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.
One of the things I love about photography is the need and desire to be constantly improving. I read blogs, participate in online classes, study, try new things…anything to better my photography skills. When I was first learning photography, I decided to do a 365 picture project. Every day of the year I had to take at least one picture. This was huge in helping me feel confident with my camera.
I decided to do another 365 project in 2012 because I felt the need to push myself more. I set some rules for my project by doing all horizontal pictures and only black and white processing. You can view the entire album on Flickr. I really feel like I grew a lot that year as a photographer. Forcing yourself to shoot everyday really can stretch a person. I was determined not to just take a snapshot of something but instead to really try and create my shots. I also didn’t want to just take a few pictures on one day and spread them out over the week. I found myself becoming more comfortable with low light situations. Since the days can be so short in the winter I would often not have time until after sunset to take my picture. Yearly projects like a 365 can be so beneficial to photographers. I always recommend them to people starting out. I think it was one of the best things I could have done for myself when I first got my camera.
And now it’s the time of year that I start wondering if I should do another 365. It’s a big commitment but the payout is immense. Photographer friends, have you ever done a 365 photo project? Would you do it again?
I always tell people (especially moms and dads) wanting to take better pictures is that it often just takes a minute extra. This afternoon Jasper was playing with his Legos which are super popular in my house lately. I snapped the following three pictures super fast. In the first my exposure was too low and the resulting shot was slightly blurry. The second he gave me a goofy smile and the third he looked away.
The third shot though I took a second look at. The light from our windows was bouncing off his white Lego tray. I moved the tray just slightly for a better shot and took the following. One tiny adjustment, a second to get the right settings and boom…better pictures.
Jasper and I enjoy going to the Uptown Normal Roundabout to play. There is a grassy hill surrounded by little canals of water. Jasper loves to splash and walk through the water. On Sunday we were there playing and I randomly made a little boat out of some paper in my purse. We floated it down the canal until it was so waterlogged it just sunk. I told Jasper that we should get other materials and make some new boats to see what worked the best. That night after a trip to Michael’s we made foam, vellum and popsicle stick boats. On Monday we all headed back to the Roundabout to test the boats. So much cheap fun and we even caught a little tiny snail!