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  • Writer's pictureViva City Studios

365 a retrospect

This time last year, I was gearing up to take on something I had never accomplished before: A 365 photography project. I had my thoughts on what it might be like and you're welcome to read them HERE if that sort of thing interests you. I'm also going to link you to my friend Laura who is also recapping her 365 project. I have her to thank for getting me involved in this and for inspiring me to continue and finish.

Now that I'm at the end of the project, I thought I'd share my reflections on it. It was definitely a challenge at points, I struggled when time management became an issue. I thought I would blog my images every week but I couldn't keep up. I turned to monthly blog posts, until I couldn't keep up, and at the bare minimum, I posted in my 365 photographer's group until I couldn't keep up with that either. I found myself shooting daily until May and that's when I dropped to shooting 3 or 4 days out of 7 and the "realness" of 365 in a documentary sense went out the window. But, I was okay with that. I was still actively shooting and looking for the moments that mattered. It wasn't worth feeling stressed out because I couldn't edit my own work fast enough to get it out. I reminded myself that this project was about fun; Especially when the Autumn months happened and my schedule became so hectic that I had no personal editing time. I had felt defeated; shooting for myself only a few times outside of the events I would normally photograph like birthdays and holidays with my family. So the months reflect that, with series of images over those dates. My 365 evolved into something else, it was still storytelling, even if it was no longer day by day. I resolved to see my goal through and although it may not be perfect, it's done.

An interesting thing I've noted at the end of my project is the sheer volume of practice. Practice in anything helps to hone your craft and I am very grateful for that. I suggest for anyone who wants to better themselves as a photographer to take on a project like this. Forcing myself to shoot when I maybe would not have, bringing my camera along when before, I'd think it was too much to pack or carry with kids. Using my timer to catch myself in the frame, and exploring for all the best light, that practice produced growth, and in that, grew confidence in my voice as an artist.

And now I have the year to look back on and reflect on this accomplishment. I'm pretty proud of where my 365 took me and the images it produced. It feels authentic even if they aren't all technically perfect. And they all stir the artist in me and evoke my soul. I know my nostalgic heart will fly back to these images when my babies are grown. And more important, I'm in the frame for them to look back on when they are older too.

If you'd like to see my project in it's entirety I've put together a gallery you can view HERE but if you don't have the time to take a deep look, here are my top 12 favorite images one for every month:

January Into the Fog

All day I had been preoccupied with tasks and the most glorious fog was outside. The suns bright rays had mostly dissipated it by the late afternoon when I had time to explore. We were driving home and had to take a road detour which led us down into a valley which was still quite thick. I was very excited because I knew that this park would be within the stretch of remaining fog. I gave my oldest a scavenger hunt sheet and away we went.


The Star Queen

This image stems from one of the 365 click a day groups challenges. The idea was to shoot through something to create blurs & bokeh. I had this silver star garland that I hung, and shot through with a burst of flash to get sparkle. My daughter is standing in bright window light, with a reflector on her. I love how dreamy this turned out.


Girls Can Fly

Sophia and I attended an event at the Abbostford airport that allows girls the opportunity to ride in a helicopter (Which was amazing!) but also has a bunch of open planes for spectators to check out. It was a pretty cool day and this shot makes me proud when I see her confidence here.


Summer in Spring

Unseasonably warm temps for the end of April. 21-23'c or so? So we went down to the beach one evening ate fish and chips and had fun playing in the tide flats


The Tulip Festival

Ever since Sophia was little I've wanted to drive out to the tulip festival and get a picture of her in the tulips. I finally got the chance with Theo in tow now. I'm so lucky my kids love each other. I hope that never changes.


Nap Time

Theo in his crib. I was looking for light this week and discovered how beautiful it was in my son's bedroom, especially when you adjust the curtains and get a soft sliver of a sunny ray, dust motes and all.


Tuscan Garden Farms

I was feeling stressed as it had been a particularly difficult phase of life with a toddler lately and hearing about the open house to the lavender fields sounded good for my soul. It didn't disappoint. Self portraits for the win.


The Blackberry Stump

So this image, from a series I took on a tripod of myself and the kids picking blackberries is one of those "this would not have happened if it wasn't for the project moment". This old tree stump just outside our backyard gate has been a bramble spot for blackberries for the 9 years we've lived here. 2 weeks after I took this picture, The city came and pulled the whole stump out. I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked outside into the greenbelt to see it had vanished! These images became priceless in a instant and is one of those true moments that I was very glad to have had this project to spur me on.



Another set of images that I don't think I would have accomplished without the project. Self-portraits on my fortieth birthday. I really enjoyed how these turned out and really made me feel good going into this decade.



This one is self explanatory. His smile is contagious.



Soph turned seven this year. I am shocked sometimes at how fast seven years really went and alarmed at how fast the last 2 have really zoomed by since Theo was born. My little baby girl is quickly becoming a big kid in her thoughts and actions. I couldn't be more proud of who she is becoming, and I'm nostalgic already for her 3 year old self. Kids grow up far to fast these days.


My Musician

Theo really loves guitar and we couldn't resist getting him this little toy. He immediately set to rocking around the Christmas tree with it. His favorite thing to do is to pretend play guitar to any song he deems awesome.

And there you have it! Some of the many favorites from this project. Thanks for stopping by to take a look! I hope you have a wonderful, amazing New Year with all the good things you deserve! xo- Jen

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