Sometime in 2015 I had the thought “Gee, it would be fun to try a daily photo project in 2016!” Then I had the good sense to realize that maybe I should try it for a shorter period of time before committing to a 365 day long creative project. So I decided to try it out in the month of December: 31 photos in 31 days. Every day.
It was humbling. And fun. And challenging. There are a lot of photos that aren’t great. Some are rather bad. But I loved the experience of waking up each day with a commitment to look closely at everything I interacted with each day and find something interesting. I’m not sure I’d commit to a 365 daily photo project right now, but I’m glad I did it in December. I think I might make it a December tradition: it’s a great way to slow down a bit during the holidays and appreciate the season.
One of the lessons of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is that you don’t need to feel like you should do something with the results of your creative endeavors. You don’t have to want to publish a book to find value from personal writing. You don’t have to show anyone your art if you want to paint. I pondered whether or not I wanted to share my 31 photos from December (a few I posted on Instagram, but the majority were not posted), but I decided to share them. They’re not amazing, and some days you can see my struggle to capture something of interest (hello cabbage photo, I’m talking to you). But the project pushed me out of my comfort zone and got me to look harder at the world around me. If posting about this encourages others try their own version of this creative exercise, I’d be pleased.
The 31 Photos
I decided on black & white photos early on, a choice I’m not sure I’d make again but I went with it this time. They were all taken on an iPhone 6s. Without further delay, here they are!