(And thoughts on photo projects for 2016.)
As I've mentioned many times before, I usually shy away from photo projects, such as 365s or 52s, because I like to think of my photography as organic and I don't want to succumb to the pressure of forced photos for the sake of a project. I've always enjoyed viewing photo projects that showcase the progression of people or a place over a period of time. Back in 2010, a lifetime ago, I completed the Watch Us Grow project where, at the beginning of each month, I took a photo of the girls in front of the same door. It was not easy. It did not feel organic. Because of work, my opportunities were limited to the weekends and more than once, someone was uncooperative. I wanted to repeat the project a few years later when I thought I could more easily win cooperation, but the girls had grown too tall to fit within the space allotted by my 35mm lens.
At the beginning of 2015, armed with a new full frame camera and a "pro" wide angle lens, I started two photo projects: Watch Us Grow 2015 and The House.
After two months, I quit. I was running into the same roadblocks from five years earlier: I was limited to the weekends and not everyone was cooperating. (Although that sometimes leads to a more entertaining photo.) I also wasn't sure if the wide angle lens was creating the perspective I wanted and it took me months to decide which 50mm lens to go with.
I also began a series called The House. The thought behind this project was to showcase the seasons, and the changes that occur to a home, such as landscaping, construction, etc.
I wanted the monthly photos to be taken from the same spot each month but in February, the snow was so deep I couldn't climb into the front yard. And then I quit. I always dream that we'll have time for landscaping projects and the like and well, we don't. (I hope to take up some version of this project in the future.)
I'm 19 days into my 366 Project and it's much easier than I thought it would be. (Easy to say when you're only 5% of the way there.) I can always find something to photograph. The issue is actually remembering to take a photo each day. I've almost forgotten a few times already. I've struggled with the thought that there really isn't a theme for my 366 and perhaps that is the cause for my viewing the project as easy. I know some photographers use a 365 to document their kids in some manner, but I could never commit to a 365 of my kids because I know that it wouldn't be organic. But if it was kid related and not necessarily photographs of them, that would be doable. I've convinced myself that the theme of my 366 is This is My Life and I'm taking advantage of the freedom by experimenting with different styles and manual focus (different from manual settings.) I'm early in this project but I've already been thinking outside the box.
Back in the fall, I began a photography project related to spina bifida. It's a long term project so I don't have an end date in mind but Anna's been helping me which has been awesome. It's her story to tell and she's had some really great ideas.