Last month I posted the first part of this two-part blog series on my 365 project, and let you know the first two of the five main things I've learned so far with this project. Like I said in that post, it's one of the best and also most challenging things I've done for my photography.
Today I'm back for part 2 of this series, and I'll fill you in on a few more tidbits that I've learned while being involved in this project. If you're considering a 365 project, or are in the middle of one, these may be things that you've experienced. Or, maybe you have some experiences from your own project that you can leave in the comments to help others!
Anyhow, read on to find out the last three things I've learned from this project.
3. I do a fair number of self portraits, but I actually can't stand having my photo taken.
Self portraits are some of the most challenging photos you'll take. You're not behind the camera actively setting up a composition or focusing. You're in front of it and you have to use the skills you have to put yourself in the right place, the right light, focus correctly, not cut off any body parts...yeah, they're not easy. Plus, I HATE having my photo taken. Hate. It. However, even before this project I did them from time to time, mostly to try out lighting techniques when I didn't have any other subjects except me! For this project, I'll do them when I'm up for a challenge; when I have an idea that I need to photograph LIKE NOW, when I have some sort of story to tell, or when I'm trying to show myself that even though I think I look ridiculous in photos, I really don't. Like getting allergy shots to make yourself less reactive to things. Or something. Being in front of the camera helps me understand how all my clients and subjects feel when I'm going all over Rhode Island photographing families and kids and high school seniors. I get a feel of how it is to be in front of that lens. I will say, I do love taking photos with my cat, though...
4. The bottom line is that every day you should take a photo. The rest doesn't matter.
This means that there are some days when you feel super creative and whip out all your lighting gear and have THE PERFECT PHOTO in mind. And then there are other days when you phone it in and you're tired and at 11 pm you take a photo of your woodpile next to your wood stove. Because winter. And it's cold. And you're tired. Did you take a photo that day? Yes? BOOM. DONE. That's all that matters.
5. Light. It's all about light.
Photographers are always looking for perfect, beautiful light. I see it all the time, every day. Sometimes I am not in a position to photograph in that light because I'm driving or working or surfing and seeing the Most Beautiful Sunset Of All Time but my camera is, you know, on land. But those days when I can capture light and shadows of any kind: hard light, soft light, sparkly light, side light, rim light (my favorite, which WILL cause me to almost crash my car) are the best days. I will never stop seeing light. If I ever stare at you creepily, it's likely because I see catchlights in your eyes or you are standing in the most beautiful light. Plus, you're awesome.