Apologies for the break in the series, Christmas and life got in the way!
Project 365 is a wonderful photography used to document daily life and the little moments which are otherwise forgotten. I'm in my fourth year and, aside from an incident yesterday where I never wanted to take another photograph ever again, look back fondly on all the memories. However, there is another wonderous aspect to the project; the community which has sprung up because of it. I feel it's a real privilege to see people's everyday life and families grow and change, especially over the past two years.
I've mentioned before what a pleasure it has been in the past to find a stranger join in on the linky. To find someone from another part of the world, completely unrelated to the UK Parent Blogging world, joining in with the linky is a real surprise, and a joy.
Finding someone from Australia in the linky was a big surprise!
Susan Snaps is one of the most wonderful photography blogs that I've come across. Susan was a journalist but is now a university lecturer, and lives in Brisbane, Queensland. As she has a teenage son who has opinions about his privacy, she doesn't tend to feature him often on her blog. However, this allows her to have a wider subject matter, especially as she can be regularly found wandering around the South Bank amidst the street performers and families picnicking. This makes for wonderful photographs, joy and laughter oozes from every pixel of the screen.
I've tried to narrow my selection of her photographs down to my favourite four, but gosh it was difficult!
I've asked Susan in the past if she is a 'stealth photographer' like Stephanie from Point & Shoot The World, but no, she actually engages in conversation with the people she snaps and finds out their story; who they are, what they're doing and gains their permission to use the photos. I love the vibrancy in this photograph of the laughing girl at the all inclusive Springflare festival, combined with the silhouette of the acrobat at the South Bank it goes some way to show its fabulous and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
One of Susan's other favourite subjects is birds. She's commented that until she started the 365 Project, she'd never taken a photograph of a bird but now she can't stop. I spent ages trying to decide between the wonderfully colourful parrots and exotic birds, however this image of a common pigeon supping on a public water fountain really appealed to me! Water is another common feature in her 365 photos, and I love the angle of this water feature with the perfect sky behind. Susan has a real talent for capturing moving water, the splash of it tipping over the final spout is beautiful.
These are Susan's favourite six from her two years of Project 365 so far.
31/03/2013 – Before the project I had not ever taken a photo of a bird. I don't think I even noticed them. Now it is on of my things and I reckon I'm not bad at them.
31/12/2012 – Three things to recommend this photo
1) I survived the first year
2) I love our pool and it features a lot in the project
3) I do get to document a lot of the lives of those important people around me (here my niece Cleo)
25/11/2012 – There are a whole pile of community events I would never have bothered to visit if it wasn't for the camera. This one was take at South Bank – a fantastic area in walking distance of my home my go-to place when I'm not feeling very inspired (so about three times a week). I see living so close to such a vibrant, interesting place to be a big bonus for me and my project
16/04/2013 – Getting out and about with the camera means you get to know the people in the neighbourhood a lot better. I like that. the best thing about this image is that it was when I took the new puppy in to visit Margaret next door. Conversations with Margaret always revolve around incontinence pads, problems with the hearing aid or doctors' appointments – except when I take Rumple. It's the joy of both of them (plus Rumple is my 365 buddy now. He's normally with me as I walk the streets)
28/09/2013 – I read the manual. Well I google searched "How to take photographs of fireworks". I never read manuals so I was really proud of myself for doing so. It's part of the project teaching me better use of my camera.
02/10/2013 – I loved this photo so much it is in the process of becoming canvas wall art. It's the sort of reward you get for carry the "proper" camera with you everywhere (and living in a beautiful part of the world).
- When did you start doing the 365 photo project, and why?
I started on January 1, 2012. I'd heard about it somewhere and decided it was just what I needed.
As background, I work full-time and a family with very high physical and mental health needs. Between us we have a cardiologist, neurologist, two gastroenterologists, two psychiatrists, two psychologists, a development pediatrician and doubtless others I've forgotten. Life can easily feel like an endless procession of work, washing, Woolworths and waiting rooms – if you let it.
I decided that I needed something for myself in all that and some way of finding something different, something special, something beautiful every day.
At first the plan was just the photos with a bit of a caption. In fact on my first post I said "I may comment about it or let the image talk for itself". It hasn't turned out like that. As a former print journalist (now working in a university) the need to write kicked in, and the rambling anecdotes are as important as the photos that loosely inspired them. It's about indulging my creative brain.
- Why did you decide to continue the project for a second (and third) year?
Basically I couldn't stop. About mid way through the first year I decided I never wanted to take another photo again. But I was too stubborn to give up. I was counting down the days. But then I realised what a great creative outlet it was and even though we continue a love/hate relationship, I knew I would miss it.
- What's the best bit about doing a 365 photo project?
For many people it's about documenting a year (or more) in the life of a child and it becomes a precious record where they seem to change every day. I have a teenager and 365 days of sulking in a bedroom would not make for very good material (I joke, but only a bit). He would certainly never consent to that much of his life being recorded and at his age that's fine. For me it's about the creative process. I'm a much better photographer now than I was at the beginning. But mostly if I hadn't made this commitment it would be far too easy for life to get in the way. This gets me out of the house every day looking at the world through fresh eyes and seeing things I would never have noticed before.
- Are there times when you've wanted to give up, why? What kept you going?
Just about every day. Sometimes it feels like it is too hard to fit it in which is exactly why I need it. I continue because I'm stubborn, because just when I think "right, that's it" someone writes an incredibly lovely comment and because deep down I know I love it and it really is the only thing I do just for myself. It's permission to be selfish.
- What tips would you give to anyone who wants to start a 365 project?
Remember it's your project. Don't think that because everyone else is taking photos of their child's Easter bonnet you have to or conversely because everyone is taking photos of the Christmas concert you can't. Make your own rules and if some days you have to take a photo of socks just to stay in the game then socks it is. Just take it and move on.
- Anything else you'd like to add?
I am not a very good 365 buddy. People on the link have been incredibly generous in their time and comments and have spurred me on to keep going and I have not held up my end of the bargain. Every week, I promise myself I'll do better. Every week, life seems to get in the way. That's why communities such as TheBoyandMe are so helpful. They spur you on and let you be you.
How do you see the world around you?
Please pop back next Thursday when I introduce you to another longstanding member of the 365 community; Fun As A Gran.