I love photography. I love pictures. I love looking at them. I love being in them. I love taking them. However, with the way I’ve been treating my camera, you’d never know it. While I am an avid Instagrammer, I have been neglecting my DSLR. My camera body is pristine from lack of use. My Lightroom is laughably outdated. I need to make a change beyond toting my camera around with me like another member of the family. I need to examine what it is that I love about photography, how I got here and why I want to keep taking pictures. Some introspection was in order.
The photography blog, Click It Up a Notch, has a series of photographer interviews that I read voraciously. The more I read, the more my mind sparked and fired, ideas pinging around faster than I could grab them. If reading about other photographers created such a response, what would happen if I posed those same questions* to myself? Over the next few weeks, we’re going to find out.
*photographer interview questions courtesy of Courtney Slazinik of Click It Up a Notch.
Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
In August of 2006, M was turning a year old. During her first year, I turned to a number of resources to help me navigate the first year of parenthood: family, friends, books, magazines — I was all over it, making sure that she was hitting her milestones, that she was eating from all of the food groups, and that she was engaged in activities to stimulate growth and development — Gymboree Play and Music! Kindermusik! Stroller Strides! My mother gifted me with a subscription to Parents Magazine as part of my “Welcome to Motherhood” starter pack. In the last issue before my subscription ran out, I came across an article entitled “The Swimsuit Project”. In it, author Maria Heck describes how prior to her becoming a mother, she came across a photo essay in Life Magazine. The photo essay depicted a young woman whose mother had posed her in the same bathing suit each year on her birthday. Heck was duly impressed and promised herself that whenever she had a daughter, she would duplicate the project. When her daughter was 4 months old, Heck slipped Madeline into a floral bathing suit, complete with bra cups, that had belonged to Heck’s mother. Every year on Madeline’s birthday, Heck snapped a picture. She did this for 15 years, stopping when the suit fit her daughter better than it had ever fit her own mother.
At that point in time, Heck decided that, “the chronicle is complete. She has gone from baby to young woman. If anything proves that your child grows up in the blink of an eye, it’s seeing these pictures all together and realizing that the first one was only a heartbeat away from the last.”
This is a project that I work on three times a year, one time for each of my girls. Another worthwhile challenge I did was a photo-a-day challenge for a year. I chronicled my experiences on a dedicated tumblr blog, which when I look back on now, unfolds into a very spectacular story.
I’ve looked into doing several other mini-challenges like a photo an hour for a day, or selfie a day for a week or 30 days of 30 things that start with the letter H (that last one I just made up, but who knows? It could be totally do-able!).