So I really did it. I took the plunge. I jumped in headfirst. I swam with the sharks. And I kept my head above water. Okay I’m being a little dramatic with metaphors BUT let me tell you, I’m so glad I did.
31 days ago I (along with 3000 other people) signed up to do a 365 photo challenge, that would not only get me to take a photograph using a daily prompt, but it would test me, aggravate me, confuse me, befuddle me, enchant me, embrace me, I could go on and on. But let me tell you, it was the best decision I have ever made. Why? Because I don’t ever shoot for myself. GASP! I can force myself to bring my camera along to places, but I rarely take it out. I feel awkward, or its a sketchy place and I wouldn’t want it to get stolen and/or broken. Plus I have a lot of work to do. PAID work that I owe to my wonderful and incredibly patient clients and all my creativity goes directly to that. I LIVE for photographing a laughing family, or sullen toddler, or brave senior girl who has never had professional photographs taken before and is shy but so beautiful. My passion for portrait photography is just that, portraits. But to shoot other stuff? What has my world come to???
The prompts have been all over the place, with zero rhyme or reason, but it is extremely empowering to figure out what each one means to me, and to also see what it means to the other photographers in the group, who are at various levels of photography. I want to highlight a few of my favorite images for you and explain where my head was when I decided what to shoot. If you’re curious as to what I’m up to, I’m posting daily at instagram.com/wildcraftedphotography Even more exciting is to click on the #mbljourney2018 hashtag at the bottom of every image and see what everyone else is doing!
This is my very first image, the prompt was more like initial homework “Today’s subject is NAME. Take a photo that represents your name. I struggled with this one, because what did my name mean? Who am I? I had no idea that the very first day would be so thought-provoking. What did I sign myself up for haha. I happened to be in California for the holidays at m parents house. When I realized that I hadn’t looked to see what the very first assignment was, I frantically grabbed my camera as it was already sunset and ran around their property wondering what the hell I could photograph that is meaningful to my name. Well here it is. MOM. My struggle between work and my children. After I shot some meaningless photos, I turned around to come in and my youngest was crying at the window, wanting me. I ache to find the true meaning of balancing work and family, as I know many parents struggle with this. When you figure it out, let me know will you?
This was our first confused one Day 6 “Potato”. Potato. Really? Is this some kind of joke? We were all scratching our heads, but went along with it anyway. There were no philosophical metaphors with this one, but I was one of the few who found purple potatoes (thank you local grocery store) and I had for some reason thought it would look cool on the frozen lake (when it was frozen for that one week, remember that?)
This is Day 8 “Steam” This is a pretty straightforward prompt, and while most photographers were shooting in their showers or the steam from their coffee mugs, I just happen to live at some world famous hot springs! I grabbed my camera, loaded up the family and hightailed it down to the “Mother Spring” here in Pagosa (located at the Springs Hotel). Ahhh, a good soak sounds pretty amazing right about now.
Day 28 “Free Spirit Sundays”
Sundays are free days, so we are pushed to shoot anything we want. Man, who knew that having an infinite amount of options to shoot from would be so hard? I decided to focus on what I love to do best and that is to photograph kids. Fortunately I have a lot of them so I am usually able to torture one of them into letting me take their picture. This one is my favorite (although the previous Sunday’s image of my middle child face-plant in the snow was priceless). We happen to driving home from Denver (about a 5 hour journey) that day, after attending a funeral. That day was a mixed bag of emotions for my husband and I, as we were devastated at the lost of a good friend from college, but also deeply happy to see old friends that we haven’t seen in many years. Our friend Josh was an avid fisherman, and his service was a celebration of his life. He had an 18 month old son that would never remember him, and every time I saw that little boy running around the small, rustic barn, I would briefly imagine my children losing one of or even both of us. Needless to say, as I took random photographs of various locations and object across Colorado on our long drive home, nothing ever really sank in as meaningful. Sure I like pretty pictures as much of the next person, but something deeper was gnawing at me, and it wasn’t until I walked into my in-laws house to pick up my children and saw this precious scene of my father in law teaching my 6 year old how to play chess, with the light shining just right, and the room not filled with clutter like it would have been at my own house. Well it just about made my heart grow 16 sizes larger. This image will forever be with me, and it would have never been captured if I hadn’t picked up my camera and made a commitment to myself to shoot every day.