At the beginning of the year, in my 2013 Intentions post, I pledged to do a 365 Project that involved taking a photo each day throughout year 2013, of or about me. I named this project Project 365 | Just Me.
The History. I have been an ardent scrapbooker for more than 10 years now. Taking photos and telling stories has become as integral to my routine as brushing my teeth. Aside from combining my love for Art and family, memory-keeping has become so important to my overall happiness, enabling me to notice the little things in my everyday and be grateful for them. Scrapbooking has enriched my life in many ways.
The Problem. In a decade of scrapbooking, I am missing from the big picture. I thought that Ella or Luke might take an interest in photography at some point, but I think it has been so normal in their lives, that it has become perhaps mundane to them. Eric just doesn't think on the same wave-length and my Mum only visits once, maybe twice per year. If I don't start taking photos of myself and making myself part of my story, then no-one will.
The Solution. JustMe is a project that I have tried and failed a few times over recent years. It has always somehow seemed vain and a little narcististic to me to take self-portraits, but at the beginning of the month I approached it with new energy and an *I can absolutely do this* attitude. How hard can it be? I just needed to get over myself, stop thinking and talking about it, and just get on and do it.
Last Fall, I started to dip my toe in the water by taking the odd photo and sharing it on Instagram, just to test the waters. I'm not a *jump in at the deep-end* type of girl at all. The more photos I took, the easier it became and the less I minded seeing myself in a photo. As the end of year approached, I stumpled upon Elsie Larson's Let's try a 365 Project? which I took as a sign that 2013 was the year to get this project done.
The Progress. Almost one month into the project and so far so good. I have miss 2 of the 28 days, but have taken more photos on other days, that I have been able to use instead. This project is not a measure of perfection but is intended to show the real me in an authentic and imperfect light. Like Elsie, I am learning a lot.
I could choose to beat myself up about the 2 days I have missed but how about celebrating the 26 photos I did take instead? We are quick to notice what we don't do instead of patting ourselves on the back for our achievements. Are you looking at your scrapbooking goals for this month with a half-empty or half-full glass approach? What are your well-dones for today or this month?
Photo by Jeannie Thiessen, Team Member at Capture Your 365, provides support and resources for daily photo projects.
Love Thy Self. Another big lesson has been self-acceptance and the idea of viewing myself as other's perhaps see me. Taking a photo a day of yourself means that you see yourself every day as others see you. After a very short time, I have become really OK with the fact that I'm always in my work-out clothes, rarely wear make-up and have deep line forming between my eyes caused by squinting and sensitivy to light. People see us as we are every day so why do we freak out at a single snapshot of one of these moments?
I suppose I'm learning to choose joy over comparison, be present in the moment, and my stories, and if I can't convince you, then maybe this 3 min video can pursuade you just how important it is to get in the shot.