One year ago, I set a goal to take at least one photo each day and post them on this blog. My intent was to build the habits and skills of a photojournalist by simply taking more pictures. For the first few months, I took my camera with me everywhere, read books about lighting in my free time, and posted my photos dutifully each week, reflecting on my process. When, five months in, I unintentionally missed my first day, I grappled with feelings of failure like every perfectionist, but by then taking pictures had become a part of my routine and the week didn’t feel complete without it. So I pushed on, taking more than 12,000 photos this year between by Canon 7D and my iPhone 7, missing only ten days.
While I had hoped this year-long exercise would be all about photography, it turned out (as they always do) to be even more a journey of personal discovery. This past year has seen me through travels across the United States, a bad allergic reaction, a graduation, a breakup, weddings, work events, new babies, new recipes, deaths, holidays with friends and family, and (as you’ve witnessed) some fairly uneventful days, generally involving my dog, Milo. Through the ups, downs, wins, losses, and everything in between, photography has been a constant.
Though I started with an insane amount of structure and discipline, I learned to be forgiving and gentle with myself when “life” happens. I learned to look less to the future and more to the present moment. I have become more observant and decisive. I have explored every inch of my neighborhood in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and come to appreciate it more than I knew, noticing every small change, from a new piece of litter or an abandoned shopping cart, to new paint colors, new faces, new businesses, and new seasons. I have learned to look around and appreciate the mundane, even when I don’t have a camera on me. I have learned to find meaning in positive intent and practice, rather than in perfection. I have felt the love of friends and family who have supported and encouraged me in this project, waiting every time I lingered somewhere to get my shots and never rolling their eyes (in front of me). Finally, I’ve been reminded that, even in my lowest moments, taking pictures brings me joy and my goal this year is to begin building a future for myself that allows me to do so full time.