362 wins, 3 fails… and a remarkable year of marking moments one day at a time

There’s nothing so unique about the 365 day project.  Photographers everywhere set out to take and post one image per day for an entire year in order to accomplish specific artistic objectives.  These include ‘learning to see’ more keenly, developing a specific photographic style, challenging oneself to be more present… more in the moment creatively.  I forever contemplated pursuing such an endeavor (especially after listening to this podcast) but never quite got around to it.  Then, last October… nearly on a whim, I started (@reybabes).

Some years pass by uneventfully, others less so.  We mark each 365 day interval, across four distinct seasons, never knowing in advance what could transpire, what might come to pass.  We expect there will be joys and there will be heartaches.  One year ago, I started marking time by taking and posting one image each day.  As of yesterday, that process is complete.  On 362 occasions I succeeded, on three I failed.  To get it out of the way, here are the three failures:

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In the first case, this image was taken of my mother and I.  I loved it and so posted it.  A few days later, it hit me.  Duh.  I did not actually take this picture – someone else did.  The rules state clearly: it’s supposed to be an image I take.  Oops.

The second was taken on Amelia Island in Florida.  We fell asleep after a long day of travel… fully clothed, lights and television on.  When I awoke early the next day, I realized that I forgot to take and post an image so I looked out the hotel window, snapped this and posted it.  Day late, dollar short.

The third was just a week ago.  I was fighting a head and chest cold and fell asleep well before bedtime.  Similar scenario to number two above.  I awoke around 3am the next morning, remembered the project, snapped this in our upper hallway and uploaded it immediately.

Three fails.

I’m proud to say that the 362 other days were wins.

As I mentioned above, we never know what a coming year might bring.  I never could have predicted what would transpire during this, my creative year.

We welcomed Bailey…

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I traveled to the Middle East…

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I became a grandfather…

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And lost my dad…

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Laura fought cancer…

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And we realized a long lingering dream…

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And so much more…

I had expected that at the end of 365 days, I would regale our blog readers with photographic lessons learned.  Instead, I’ll simply say that ticking days off one by one in this manner, and then going back and looking through them after, offers a form of self reflection, like a visual journal.  It invites you to recall and evaluate, consider… and examine.

Instead of time passing in desaturated motion blur…

… for me, it boosted the color, froze the action, made me appreciate the days I’ve lived and welcome with anticipation the ones coming.  It has helped me to take them less for granted and rather to think of each as a pearl along a string of pearls, leading forward.  Stopping to capture an image that summarizes each day has helped me count them carefully, consider them singularly, to see them for the unique moments they are.  Looking back on my Instagram feed now helps me see what a remarkable, truly remarkable, year this was.

Joys?  Yes.  Heartaches?  Certainly.

Each pearl precious in the string.

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