My good friend, Abbey, messaged me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to do a weekly photo challenge with her. Each week has a different theme provided for us. We shoot something for it (without knowing what the other is shooting) and then post it every Saturday. I’ve done a few 365 projects where you take a daily photo. Though those projects are always a challenge and I feel like they’ve been good for my photography, I didn’t want to take that on this year. The 52 week challenge is just one photo every week and felt a little more my speed. We’re three weeks in so far and it’s be a lot of fun to think about the theme and then see how Abbey interprets it.
We’ve already covered the themes “simplicity”, “light”, and “lifestyle”. I knew for last week’s theme of lifestyle I wanted to shoot a more candid picture. Lifestyle photography has always interested me and it was easy to shoot my son playing, surrounded by all of his toys. This week’s theme is details so it’ll be fun to capture the little things. I’m sure some weeks I will have an idea right away what I’ll shoot like the lifestyle theme. I’m waiting to see what sparks my interest for details. Maybe if we’re baking something I’ll capture some details or playing a game I’ll get the little pieces…I’m just going to wing it.
These projects are always good for creativity and keeping your camera out. It forces you to shoot which is great for me. Sometimes when my business is busy I can forget to shoot my own family and things around me. Having the themes already planned out is good to give me some ideas but it can also be a challenge if there is nothing about it that sprouts an idea. I’m looking forward to capturing the year and doing this with my friend!
You can follow along each week on our Tumblr, 2 Friends Through 2 Lenses.
Did you know that you can be a microfinancier? There is an organization called Kiva that allows you to do that. They provide a network that connects you to people who need loans. These people are all over the world and most are looking for loans to start a business or expand their current one. Because of their circumstances they are not able to just go to the bank and get a loan.
Kiva works with a range of organizations to find borrowers and administer loans. We call these organizations Field Partners because they work at the local level, within the communities where loans are being used to make a difference. While most of them are microfinance institutions, we also work with schools, NGOs, social enterprises and more. They all share one thing in common: the social mission to alleviate poverty and improve people’s lives. From Kiva’s page
My most recent loan was to Yeyeri in Uganda. A loan of $450 helped Yeyeri to purchase general merchandise to sell, such as sugar, rice, soap, and other items. She only needed $450 and I chipped in $25. She was just officially funded and will start her repayment schedule in February. Once my $25 has been repaid I will have the money put back in my account where I can withdraw it or loan it to someone else.
I have been able to make 41 loans since first starting Kiva. That’s over $1,000 which is pretty amazing…especially since I haven’t put in that much. I’m just reloaning the amounts when they are paid back to me. I hope you’ll check it out. Maybe you want to loan to Margret in Uganda. She’s requesting a loan of $450 to buy sugar, salt and sodas to sell. Or maybe Nicolas from Paraguay who needs a loan of $775 to help buy tools. Small loans that really can change lives.
As a kid I always had my nose in a book. I would read book after book, making multiple trips to the library each week. My pre-kiddo days often centered around what book I was currently reading. One of my goals this year is to definitely read more. Every year I try to set a reading goal. I use the website Goodreads to track what books I want to read, have already read and my current read. Last year I failed miserably at my goal of thirty books. This year I’m feeling a little more determined and just set my goal for twenty-four books. Though twenty-four books isn’t really all that many considering one of my friends just set her goal at ninety. Yes, ninety books in a year! I wish I could do that. Maybe then I would get through my ridiculously long list of books I hope to read during my lifetime.
The day after New Year’s I had a completely free day. I was still on my Christmas break so there was no editing to do. I had recently picked up a Rainbow Rowell book called Fangirl. I’m a big fan of Rainbow Rowell’s books as they are super enjoyable, easy reads. I picked that book up first thing in the morning and didn’t put it down all day. I barely let anything get my way of reading, you know like parenting. It’s been a long time since I’ve read all day like that. Getting so engrossed in a book and carrying it around all day reminded me of my younger days. Picking such a quick read that was easy to get into was a good start to my year. It made me feel a little more hopeful about reaching my reading goal. I’m thinking if I keep up the momentum I can accomplish the goal and maybe even more. Really…two books a month is totally doable, right?
Are you a resolution setter? I love the clean slate of a new year and opportunity to set goals. Here are my goals for 2015:
1. Travel more. Nothing major but mostly just get out of the state!
2. Send one care package every month.
3. Take at least one photo every day. I’m doing another 365 project and I’m excited about it!
4. Read 30 books.
5. Compliment others more.
6. Send more thank you notes.
7. Wear lipstick a little more regularly.
What are your goals this year?