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I Have a Confession…

In the beginning of the year, I started Project 52.  I thought it wouldn’t be so time consuming and such a big pressure on myself like Project 365 was.  As much as I enjoyed Project 365 and I feel so accomplished that I took a picture every single day for 13 months (I did an extra month because I’m crazy like that), it was very hard at times.  There were definitely days I did not want to take pictures, either because I had a bad, stressful day or I was just being lazy.  But I did, every single day, and it’s one of my proudest photography projects.  Some of my all-time favorite pictures I’ve taken come from those hard, annoying, stressful days where I had to force myself to take a look around a little.  I will always like those pictures a little bit more than my “perfect postcard” scenery photos because they show me what I can find when I just take a few minutes out of my bad/lazy/hectic/etc day.

So when I finished, I wanted a way to keep up and “force” myself to take pictures, but I didn’t want to be stuck and frustrated with doing another year.  So I came up with Project 52, a Picture of the Week.  And instead of just taking “random” pictures of things, I thought I’d give myself a theme to work with.  I thought changing the theme every 4 weeks would give me 4 different tries to look for my theme, and I wouldn’t have to come up with 52 themes.  I also tried to pick themes that were interesting but nothing too specific or vague, themes that were challenging but not so much that I couldn’t find anything in a week.

Project 52 ended up to be harder than I thought.  I don’t know what it was about it that just didn’t hold my attention.  I hated coming up with the themes and I never seemed to take advantage of the full week.  Come Thursday or Friday, I was rushing around to find my Picture of the Week and the 4 weeks always seemed to fly by.  Before I knew it, not only was I trying to finish the week and get my picture, but I had to come up with a new theme as well.  I tried to pick themes that got me excited to get out and take pictures but nothing seemed to work as well as I had hoped.  By the fourth week, I was frustrated and not impressed with anything I had taken for the theme, and everything felt forced to me.

So here it is, October already, and I’ve abandoned Project 52.  It just wasn’t working well and I wasn’t having fun with it.  I don’t seem to work well with having a specific theme to go out and find.  I’m more of a spontaneous photographer I think.  I like to just take pictures of things that strike my fancy.

I don’t like not finishing a project… the perfectionist and OCD in me is freaking out, but I don’t want to force myself to finish something I wasn’t having fun with, especially in photography.  Photography is supposed to be fun for me and a way to get away from the things I do need to finish or get to when I don’t want to.  I want it to stay that way.

So I’m picking another project to do.  I thought I might try Project 52 again, this time with no themes.  I may still eventually do that, but Patrick suggested taking pictures of the alphabet.  That intrigued me.  It’s small and not as time consuming and daunting as Project 365 or 52 was (only 26 letters!), and it doesn’t force a time frame on myself.  I can also be as figurative, symbolic, or literal as I want with each letter so it’s open.  And if I like it and having fun with it, I can always do another round of the alphabet.

Here are my rules:

1) I start October 1, 2013.

2) I do not have a time frame but I can’t take more than 1 week for any letter.  This way, 8 weeks don’t fly by and the next letter isn’t even being thought of yet.  This will (hopefully) keep me in line a little.  The shortest this can take me is 26 days and the longest is 26 weeks.

3) At the end of it, I can always go through the alphabet again if I want to.

4) Have fun!  Be as creative as I want, or be as literal as I want.

I’m excited and looking forward to this project.  I feel like there’s a lot of options for me to work with and there’s room to do some cool things with it.  But before I go, here is a picture of Riker.  I was in the middle of doing a “Riker!” theme when Project 52 was discontinued.

I’m kind of disappointed I was in the middle of this theme when I stopped.  I thought it would be fun to find different spots and weird situations to put Riker into.  Maybe I’ll have to work that idea into something else.  Or maybe he can make an appearance in Project Alphabet…. but let’s just start with the Letter A and see where it takes me.

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