Today I want to write a little about a couple of projects I’m participating in on Flickr.
The first one is a project to take a photo of yourself everyday for a year. There are many variations of the 365 theme on Flickr. Why anyone would bother to do such a project is a good point. Some people join a project as a challenge to improve their photography. Kathryn Greenhill initiated this particular group project. In her invitation she writes,
“I got as far as 281 photos doing this in 2009 and was really confronted by the choices I had to make about how I presented myself. Did I always want to show myself as a healthy, cheery sort of person? How much of the ugly and everyday was I prepared to show?
I discovered that – contrary to my comfort level – photos with myself smiling really *did* look better. This freaked me out, as I always thought that forcing myself to smile looked worse than showing something “genuine”. This flowed on to my everyday life where I started smiling at other people more…
I’m interested in giving it another go for 2011 to see if I can make the whole 365 images and wanted to share the activity with anyone else who was interested in joining in. I’d like to see what other people I know do with the exercise.”
I joined because it seemed like a fun idea at the time and because I know I’m mostly behind the camera when it comes to our family photo snaps. I’m interested in telling our family stories via scrapbooking and felt it was important to document me as well as my children and our activities. It has turned out to be a glimpse into my life and by extension, my family life.
I find looking at photos of my forebears compelling because of the stories they tell, not just through their presence in the photograph but the places where they were taken, the clothes they wore, the activities they did. Maybe there will be great grandchildren of mine who will wish to do the same.
I’m also enjoying the community aspect of this activity. Looking at other people’s photos, their expressions, the things they include in the photos opens little windows into other people’s experiences. How strange it is that I start to feel concerned about people I have never met when I don’t see a photograph from them for a while?
As Kathryn pointed out, it is confronting. Many days I don’t feel photogenic or feel like taking a photo of me. Some days it’s fun, some days it’s boring. Some days don’t happen.
I’m not sure what I will do with the final 365. It is possible I’ll make a physical book of the photo set, although there are a few videos up there too.
The other project I’m doing is a more personal one. I’m taking photos of the books I borrow to read this year as a way to record my reading history in a visual way. I started recording what I read over 12 months a few years ago via my personal blog. It is an interesting reflective process and I have found that publicly recording it has influenced my choices in what I read – probably for the better in the sense I’ve extended my reading habits.
Food seems to feature a lot…
In other news! This is our 300th Post on Diligent Room!!!
Birthday cupcakes for us!