Monday, July 9, 2012

BBL 2011-2012 | Take a Photo a Day for 30 Days


Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

I've kinda been dreading writing this, and perhaps that is why it has taken me so many months to get around to marking this one off of my list.  But I guess it is confession time.  I didn't include this one because it was something I wanted to do. I included it because it was something I needed to do.

I used to be that annoying person at every single social function with a camera in my hand snapping a million photos of every tiny detail. Then I bought a DSLR camera, and stopped taking pictures.

Say what?!

I wasn't one of those people who purchased a "good camera" and then proceeded to use it in auto mode. Nope, not me. I purchased the camera, turned the dial to manual mode and never looked back.  That sounds great in theory, but not so much in reality.  In the early days, I encountered many situations where I had no idea how to properly choose my settings using manual mode so my solution was to simply not take any photos.

As time went on, I managed to master manual mode and then I decided to go pro with my photography.  Once I started my business, I felt like if I was calling myself a professional photographer every single image I took had to be professional quality.  I was no longer allowed to take crappy, out of focus, poorly composed, over or under exposed, glowing red-eye, point and shoot or cell phone snapshots.  And I didn't.  It was DSLR or bust, baby.

For a while, I lugged my DSLR around with me and tried taking photos with it all the time. However, it seemed that no matter which lens was on my camera, I always found myself wishing I had a different one with me.  Sometimes, I found myself spending most of my time protecting my camera instead of enjoying myself while in crowded environments.  Other times, I felt like my attention was constantly fractured between trying to stay engaged in the social environment around me and trying to ensure my settings were correct while taking photos and I ended up feeling detached from the people around me.  Eventually I just gave up.

Then one day I was looking through photos, and was shocked to see the drastic decline in the number of photos in my archives over the past few years.  I didn't really make a conscious decision to stop taking so many personal photos.  It just slowly happened over time due to all of these reasons.

I decided enough was enough, and added this to my Bucket List in an attempt to break the cycle and get back into the habit of taking more personal photos.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

It was, and it wasn't. After 30 days of taking photos using nothing but the camera on my iPhone, I do feel like I have broken though the silly idea that every photo I take has to be perfect. I recently purchased a new point and shoot camera and I do think that I will start using it to take photos in circumstances where I don't want to lug around my DSLR. However, my daily life just really isn't all that exciting and many days I struggled to find something worthwhile to photograph. Since there really weren't any fun social events to take photos of during the 30 days, I don't know how much of an impact this project will have on reinstating my habits of taking photos at every social event I attend.

The details...

I decided that I was going to use my iPhone to take all of these photos since I always have it with me. I felt like I wanted a theme to help me stay focused on taking a photo a day and decided on "actions" as my theme. So, I tried to take a photo a day of something that represented some kind of action. I published the photos each day on instagram, and then put together a collage of all of the images to post here...

I enjoyed taking this set of themed photos and have been toying with the idea of continuing with it for a while longer. This project has also sparked an idea for a new upcoming monthly feature I want to add to the blog. But more on that later.

Do you want to see my entire 2011-2012 Bucket List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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