Today I’m going to jump right into my last “shake it up” recap so we can get to my final thoughts about this project and start talking about where I’m going for the next phase of my photo-a-day challenge. Sunday was a little too cold and wet for my comfort but perfect for this pretty hellebore and Monday afternoon I rode an escalator that took me right past this shiny glass wall and a peek into this fancy bar. Tuesday I walked past a cute sign in front of a wine store and Wednesday I was really happy our new car has heated seats. Thursday I went shopping for a US map and stopped to admire this antique world map while Friday I stopped to watch these two men walking on a newly installed glass awning. They’re braver than me! Saturday I’d hoped my final picture would be of something special or at least a pretty sunset but my errands took longer than I’d planned and I was out picking up pizza for dinner when the sun went down. Hipstamatic must have felt bad for me so it served up this lens/filter combination transforming my Tuscan Chicken pizza into a colorful little slice of the world. All in all a good way to end my first full year in pictures.
Daily journal writing is something I’ve never been very good at. I enjoy pretty notebooks and pens but after a few days of planned writing my creative spark fades and I get tired of recording the same old things. My closet shelves hold stacks of slightly used notebooks so when I decided to try one last version of keeping a daily record I didn’t have high hopes for a successful outcome. This time I came at it from a different angle though looking for something to shake me out of a stretch of boring photos and with a desire to move forward with new ideas instead of placing my creative focus on looking back. Since another notebook project could be set aside too easily I thought posting my process in this public space might keep me more accountable and about six months into the project I was able to admit that I wasn’t going to stop until I’d reached a full year. Now that the initial year is complete I’m actually ready to start year two!
In order to keep myself on track I decided to start with a structure that was as simple as possible while still producing an interesting product. Hipstamatic was my favorite app at the time so I challenged myself to explore everything it had to offer in a random fashion. I activated the “shake to randomize” setting, agreed that I would avoid all post processing and placed my focus solely on composition by selecting small objects and moments to tell my daily stories. Even though Hipstamatic went through a major upgrade part way through the year I stayed away from the shiny new features and continued to shoot using classic mode in order to maintain visual continuity from start to finish. By the end of the year I amassed a collection of 365 photos and stories that I hope will be a great reminder of this unique period in time.
The daily photo routine isn’t always fun, some days I just don’t feel like taking pictures, but apparently I’m not ready to walk away yet so this post is also an introduction the next phase of my photographic journal. I’ve spent the past 12 months shooting daily images in a square format limiting myself to one iPhone app so for a change of pace the next 12 will be wide open, both literally and figuratively. Square photos really lend themselves to small views of solitary objects or quiet moments in a busy environment and while I enjoy this style tremendously it’s time to stretch a little and try something new. Going forward you’ll see a mix of everything ranging from traditional landscape and portrait orientations to circles, fish eye and panorama. I’m sure there will be a few square images every month but it’s time to open up the point of view and show you a little more of what’s around me on a daily basis. I’ll be experimenting with all the apps I’ve collected but not explored in depth as well as work through new themes for as long as they hold my interest. There may be a week of daily dog photos, a week filled with black and white, a week of interesting signs I’ve passed or maybe even a week of new bottles of wine. The point is to have fun and show some aspects of the Pacific Northwest that live outside of a small, square frame.
My final change, and what really will make this new project a challenge is how I’ve decided to share the new photos. Instead of filing each photo away until it’s time to write a recap I’ve set a goal to post everyday on Instagram with a quick caption of where we were followed by a weekly recap here on the blog in a format that will be similar to what you’re used to reading in the shake-it-up posts. If you’re a daily photo person I hope you’ll stop by Instagram to follow along but if this is too much to keep up with then don’t worry, you can still get your weekly recap right here. 🙂