[I'm still really into #FinishItFriday and I finished several things again today. I'm going to save my thoughts on it for next Friday and share this instead today since it's almost November.]
When I look back on how this whole year of creative habits got started and I really analyze why it's been mostly a successful adventure versus just another idea that fizzled out, I notice lots of little things that happened before I began.
One of those was in November of 2013, two months before beginning year of creative habits. Many people are familiar with NaNovWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which goes on in November every year. Lots of similar challenges were started around it, like NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and WNFIN (Write Non-fiction in November) etc. That November I joined Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks to try NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month). Sure I've participated in similar challenges before but this one was different. There was nothing super special about it; the difference was that I actually finished it! I made it through 30 days taking a photo and posting it every single day.
That was a huge accomplishment for me at the time. I'd never been so disciplined or consistent before. It was a game changer. Not only did I realize that I COULD do it, but I was also really happy with the results. Even now, two years later there are photos from that project that I'm still proud of. I can see how those photos helped me build a style, things I can continue to do and lean on today. Here's a few favorites from the challenge.
These bits of bacon were left behind (who does that?!) and I noticed that they looked like numbers so as I was clearing the table, I arranged them and took this shot. I'm still playing with food and photos today.
Completely inspired by Emily Blincoe's instagram feed, I arranged these leaves in color order. I'm still picking things up outside, arranging, and photographing today.
Karen's tagline is "look for the light" and that phrase has really stuck with me. I set Clara up by this window and took a portrait that I still love.
But I realized that I'm most drawn toward more dramatic lighting like these two.
This is probably one of my all time favorite photos. A few years ago, we started a tradition of staying home on Thanksgiving day. (We usually do the big family dinners on the weekend.) It's become a tradition that we really love--to make a big, fancy meal that's just for us, to hang out and watch football, and to do the extra large crossword puzzle that comes in the newspaper. If she's in town, we invite Thad's grandma to join us. It's really great to have her all to ourselves for the day. I still love to take photos that tell the stories of our family and our traditions. They are always changing.
It was this photography challenge that really gave me the confidence to go for a bigger thing like year of creative habits. Baby steps. November 1st is this Sunday. There's no better day to begin a challenge. If you're new to this, pick something fairly easy like a photo-a-day or a sketchbook drawing. If you've already accomplished something like that, go bigger. Write a novel. Start a blog. Do a painting a day. Whatever it is, get started. You never know what it might lead. You might even amaze yourself!
EDITED TO ADD: Karen of Chookooloonks is hosting NaPhoPoMo again this year.