A very Jaunty friend mentioned the concept of Project 365 to me late in 2009, to take at least one photo a day for a single year. Fast forward three years and this crazy Bird has been taking and posting a photo a day on Flickr, which you can see on my account. The photo doesn't have to be a masterpiece, it can be done using a camera phone, it was a well-intentioned project to make participants be more aware of their present surroundings and capture a moment of their day.
It's become a regular part of my behavior, making sure I took at least one photo -- which isn't difficult given what I do and the ease of a handy camera phone. The last year has moved so quickly -- the fastest yet, I feel. I didn't realize I'd even been doing this for three years until I stopped to take a look at my own album to see the date stamp from 2010.
And that's when I made the decision: let Project 365 end for the Magpie. It's not because I don't enjoy it, or that it's lost its meaning. I continue to take photos and visually document things I love, but I felt like the exercise of documenting each day was something that wasn't as necessary anymore. I just had to look at my first photos taken in 2010 to go right back to what I was thinking and where I was in life. It was a big transitional period -- I was deciding to become a freelance everything -- graphic design, photography, illustration, writing. I didn't know how to go about anything, every day felt daunting and I had a surplus of time that quickly became filled with doubt and fear. But filling that space with beauty and inspiration helped remind me that the world will keep spinning through the good and bad days, so don't forget to take a moment to capture some part of that day. I feel like that lesson has taken hold enough to where the exercise of documenting a day just becomes another to-do on my list, and that somewhat negates the purpose of Project 365.
I looked through the last three years of daily photos and could remember something very specific about that day, something that could never have been completely captured in words. I can recall why each image was chosen and what I was doing, whether it was flying off on a trip or living in my own little world that day. There were bad days and good ones, even if the image didn't betray all the intimate details. It's a unique way to journal one's life by sharing everything, but keeping many things private. A picture tells a thousand words, and it will mean different things to people, so it tells its own story. I will still post images on the account periodically, it just won't be daily. It's just as meaningful to share one image that is significant, as it is to post hundreds that make up a whole year. I don't know if anyone else continues with Project 365, but I cheer you on if you're keeping up with it. I may return to it again, if the time feels right, but for now, I'm comfortable with taking 2013 one day at a time, photo or not.
Jaunty Fine Print: Photos by Denise Sakaki