As I mentioned in my last post, my count was off on my 365 project so I’ll share with you #366, which was intended to be #365. I was bummed when I realized (incorrectly) that I was going to be taking photo #365 on the day I flew back to NYC from Oregon (on a redeye). I had wanted to do something special for my last photo – but things got so crazy with all the travel and festival stuff, that I just didn’t really have time to plan anything. So there I was, sitting in my claustrophobic Continental coach seat and I was determined to do something even a little creative to mark the finale of this year-long project. And here’s what I came up with:
Photo 366 out of 365 (one for good luck) – “365”
Since this year was marked with lots of travel, the setting of this shot seems rather appropriate. It was cute… I was sitting there carefully ripping the numbers out of the Continental Airline magazine and Adam was looking over at me adoringly – he loves when I get all craftsy.
So there you have it. I’m done. And it feels good, and anti-climactic and kind of weird. So I’ve been thinking… what has this project meant to me and how do I feel about it now that its over?
First – this project proved to me that even without a boss telling me what to do, I am totally capable of sticking to a project and seeing it through until the end. That is a relief to me, because I always sort of feared I was a little flighty – that I lose interest in things too quickly. And this was a long project… an entire year of delayed gratitude. But what I’ve realized, is that the final picture didn’t provide the reward I thought it would. Instead, the reward truly came from the process – and the people who supported me throughout, and the body of work I’ve slowly built up. And that was an important lesson for me to learn. Because of this, I can now identify with all these filmmakers I’ve been meeting, who put YEARS into the creation of one film. I never really understood that dedication before. At least, I never really thought I’d have the focus and tenacity to pull something like that off. Now, I actually think I could do it. In fact, I can’t wait to do it with Adam on his next film!!
Another important lesson I learned, is that it’s ok to fail sometimes. It’s not the end of the world. There were some days, when I was sick, or it was cold and raining and I didn’t put much effort into taking pictures. There were other times where I’d just feel off and completely uninspired. But just like every other day, I’d have to take a photo and I’d end up having to post something I wasn’t proud of. That was hard for me. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. I had to remind myself that just taking a picture at all and staying committed was reason enough to feel successful. But it has become quite clear to me that I hold myself to an exceptionally high standard. And I think that is good for the most part, but it can also have the negative effect of making me want to quit something if I feel I’m not a superstar at it right away. On days when I felt crappy about my work, it was the support from all of you – my family, friends, strangers (some now friends), who boosted me up and pushed me along. I was no longer just doing this for myself. I was accountable to all of you, who were taking the time to look at my photos, read my blog and share your comments with me. That was huge. So thank you all so much for your participation. I couldn’t have done it without you.
So now… what’s next?? Well, first on my list is to make prints of about twenty-five photos for my amazing friend (and stellar casting director of Hello Lonesome), Brette Goldstein. She (along with her mother Leslie) are some of my biggest fans and she is decorating her entire apartment with my photographs. I love you Goldstein women!!
I’m doing a photo shoot tomorrow with the artist, collector and gallery owner who lives on my block, Joe Overstreet. That is going to be my final project for my portraiture class, which ends in two weeks. I’ll be sure to post my favorites from our session right here!
I’d like to do another project like 365 – but maybe not 365 – maybe 52. It would be nice to focus a little more on quality vs. quantity for my next project and have more of a specific direction instead of the complete randomness that was 365. More on that when I figure it out.
And finally, I have discovered a newfound love for social media through this project. I have decided I’d like to become a social media ninja. I think it fits me. I love connecting with new people. It’s what I do naturally. And I can use it to promote my blog, my photography, Hello Lonesome and the next film we make together! I’m super excited about this.
And last but definitely not least… I want to send a shout out to two fellow 365’ers who are days away from completing their projects as well… Yvonne & Bryn!! Check out their projects on flickr by clicking on their names.
Ok. I’d say that’s enough for one day.
Oh WAIT… one more thing. I’d like to compile a “best of 365” portfolio and I can only do that with your help. When you have a minute, take a look at my photos from the project (links below) and comment with your very favorites (5 max). I’m going to tally them up and see which ones get the most votes! Thank you thank you!