My camera has mostly been on vacation this week (except for on Monday, when I somehow managed to pull off two photo shoots on the same day—a baby and an Eagle Scout) because Project 365 is complete! I wasn't entirely sure I was going to do it last January, but then January turned into February and I finally jumped off the fence and committed. I think I only used one pass (Sorry, I'm not counting my Hubble Telescope day as a pass) and unlike in 2008, I actually have the right amount of photos. Perhaps my math has improved?
Here are a few random observations after scanning through the album:
1. Everyone had really short hair for a lot of 2011. Well, Matt always does, but you know what I mean.
2. Goodness GRACIOUS we spend a lot of time gymnastic-ing in this house.
3. I am very sorry I took a picture of that moth on June 17. Please forgive me.
4. I love Instagram photos and I don't feel one bit guilty for using them.
5. Too bad we weren't really playing for prizes in Wyoming Weather Bingo. Because, BINGO.
6. This remains one of my most favorite projects to tackle, ever. Which is why I'm not doing it in 2012. A month-long photo-a-day is highly likely at some point, though. It's hard for me to believe I've been doing these photo-a-days for seven years come this November!
You know I have to have a project though, right? Well, here it is:
If this looks vaguely familiar, you're right—in 2010 I played along with the 12 on the 12th challenge where you take 12 photos on the 12th (or, er, the 15th or 18th) of the month. I posted all those photos here on this blog with notes, which made for a nice little project after a year of Project 365 + 1 and another year that involved a cross-country move.
While the concept is exactly the same this year, the supporting materials are completely new, because Angie (you know, Scary Angie/Not-Scary-Angie, Angie who occasionally visits from UT, Angie who owns Ella Publishing Co.) and I wrote them and turned them into this super-cool 83 page downloadable kit full of photo ideas, themed projects, lists, sketches, printables, and more! You'll also see some work from Donna Jannuzzi, Aly Dosdall and Lee Currie, who created sketches (Donna) and sample layouts (Donna, Aly, and Lee). Some of you will spot yourself in the photos, because with the exception of the sample layouts, all the photography is mine. I can't tell you how much fun it was to select photos to use, and it really reminded me of how valuable photographs are, for so many reasons.
I would like to convince everyone with a camera that a photography project is a valuable, worthy, and meaningful expenditure of your time. Here are some things to consider:
1. You don't have to be a scrapbooker to participate in a photography project—even this one. The only thing you need is a camera, and ideally, a place to store your photos (a blog, a journal, a photo album, or yes, a scrapbook) with a few thoughts about them handwritten, typed, or recorded.
2. If you are a scrapbooker, this kit has a ton of cool resources in it. And, if you're a digital scrapbooker, there are companion templates available for purchase that match the sketches in the main kit.
3. You do NOT have to be an intermediate or professional photographer to complete a photography project. All skill levels are welcome.
4. But here's the thing: the more photos you take, the better you get. I worked really hard to think of unique, sometimes challenging, and creative ideas for photo-taking for the monthly photo checklists that appear in the kit, and the more you practice taking unique, sometimes challenging, and creative photos the more unique, provoking, and creative photos you'll get.
5. It is absolutely possible to simultaneously participate in the Take Twelve Project and Project Life, a Project 365, or any other wonderful photography projects available to tackle out there.
6. It is also A-OK to focus just on this one and take a breather from bigger, more complex projects.
7. You don't have to start on January 12; you might decide to play along with this project beginning in your birthday month, or randomly in March, or in 2013. The ideas are flexible.
8. You don't have to own a DSLR to participate. All cameras are welcome, including pink Fisher-Price kid cameras. All you need is a lens.
9. No one is grading you on your performance or checking to see how well you follow the "rules." If you decide to commit to this project, make it your own—use the materials for ideas, use your phone camera one month and your "fancy" camera another, let your children or nieces or nephews or grandchildren help you, whatever—so long as you end up with 144 photos of some sort (and pledge to do something with them, whether it's layouts or a photo album or a big wall size poster) you'll have succeeded.
10. Each month I'll be blogging about Take Twelve over at The Daily Trumpet, where there will be lots of ideas, encouragement, and even giveways each month. Projects are more fun (and hold you more accountable) in numbers, so consider encouraging a friend or group of friends to purchase a kit, too! If you act quickly you can purchase the kit for a 12% discount (get it?) until January 12, when it goes back to full-price ($20.12).
Or, you can win a kit right now! Just leave a comment about something photography-project-related... what you're up to in 2012, what you love about photography projects, or questions about how it all works. I'll choose a lucky recipient this weekend. I'd love to have you join in : )