Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reflection on Project Life 365 2013

Around this time last year I randomly decided to do a 365 photo journey. I had no idea what I was getting into. I just did it. I took a picture and uploaded it on January 1st and started this photo a day journey. What I didn't realize was how much this project would help me grow as an artist and human.

I started the project to hone my photography skills and document daily life. I was feeling down about the last few years and I needed something to change. I had so much creative energy but I just never knew how to use any of it. Project life gave me the opportunity to explore the world within me and the world around me in a spiritual and creative way.

Now that I look back I'm not sure what got into me. I was just really excited to create and that energy propelled me forward. Even though I was forced to put msyelf out there everyday, I just didn't care. Sort of like those kids that ski past you on the hill. They have this fearlessness that is just so amazing. This is actually a good time for me to write this to remind myself to be more fearless this year :)

I think the coolest thing this project taught me was how to just keep going. Sometimes the picture would be complete crap but I still had to put it up. Not everyday was perfect but I was learning consistency. Now this didn't mean I never missed a day. I went through quite a few breakdowns here and there where I just didn't want to post. Life would get in the way, and excuses would creep there way in. Something would always compel me to keep going and I'm glad that I did. Looking back I'm happy I had those moments of weakness because it taught me how to fall and get right back up again. Isn't that how we all learned how to walk anyways!?! Failing is not nearly as scary to me anymore. I feel like if you're not failing, you're not doing. I think sometimes we give up too soon. If I had given up on project life at any of those moments, I would never have created some of my favorite images of project life.

I also really loved connecting with nature and my surroundings. It really made me feel blessed to be a part of such a beautiful world. I felt like for the first time I really LIVED through each season. I captured landscapes, flowers, trees, sunsets, skies and creatures. I was able to capture the emotion I felt in those moments through a photo. It was a way for me to explore the stages of life, of birth and decay.

Being a part of project life also helped me know what it was like to be a part of a supportive, creative, community. I found project life through a photographer I follow Elizabeth Messina (she's amazing). I would see her tag images as #projectlife365 and it got me curious. I started using the projectlife365 hashtag and all these people started liking my images on instagram. I then realized that people all over the world were doing their own project life journey through an organization called Project Life 365. It was organized into themes each day where you would tag the images and share. Each day project life would feature a few images based on the theme. I didn't always follow the theme but I enjoyed the challenge and did it often. I was featured five times by project life which was amazing, but it was really just icing on the cake for me. The thing I appreciated most was all the loving feedback and support from everyone who liked and commented on my images through both facebook, and instagram. It meant so much to me. It helped me keep going, it helped me be better and I felt like I was a part of something much greater than me. That's one reason I'm thankful for the world wide web! It brings people from different walks of life, with a common interest, together.

Finally, it helped me grow as an artist. I got to use all those stored up ideas in my head. It would force me to get out there and JUST DO IT! I didn't know how the picture would turn out but I had to show up and create. It forced me to think outside the box with certain themes. It forced me to carry my camera everywhere and take pictures all the time. I took sooo many pictures. I got used to using my camera quickly, experimented more with lenses, and with light and colors. I also took a whole lot of self-portraits!! Those were my favorite because I could express myself through color, makeup, fashion and my moods. I ended up creating an ongoing exploration of self through self-portraits called Project Introspection. You can check that out on my website here. Looking back, it's amazing to see how much I've grown as a photographer.

I would like to say to anyone out there that feels discouraged by life and it's hardships, you don't need the next diet or new dress to make you feel better. All you need is to look within. Have the strength to see the things you would like to change and take steps towards changing them. Don't be hard on yourself, habits take time to form. There is nothing you're not capable of learning to do. Don't let fear or failure stop you from being the best version of yourself. There is so much beauty out there and in YOU waiting to be discovered <3

"Don't be fooled by your emptiness..there's so much more room for happiness." Kaskade

These were some of my favorites from the year in a short clip. Music: Room for Happiness (Kaskade's ICE Mix) [feat. Skylar Grey]

So what's next??... A world of possibilities awaits....and I welcome the beauty, the breakdowns, and every lesson learned in between.

All my love,

P.S. I totally recommend any type of 30 day challenge or yearly challenge to anyone wanting to try something new. Pushing yourself with small projects is fun and rewarding. If you're interested in doing a photo a day 365 project I would check out @my_365 on instagram. Unfortunately project life 365 has retired and stopped doing the prompts :(


  1. All photos are so beautiful. But the first and the last photo really took me to a different world! The creativity and quality of your work is truly hard to match. So, so beautiful!

    The project life 365 was so very interesting. It's a shame to see it go. I had plans to participate -just waiting for some free time.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment Kelly! I really, really appreciate the love and the feedback :) :) I'm glad you liked them.

      You would love the 365 project! Definitely go for it whenever you feel like it. I would look into my_365 on instagram. It was created by some of the project creatives who wanted to continue. The community is amazing and incredibly active so you could jump right in any time!

  2. The combination of the images plus your writing is so powerful. The sum is greater than the parts, and yet the parts can stand alone too in their beauty and truth. I can't wait to see your work in a gallery or book (or both!). I love the idea of project introspection too. Instead of superficial narcissism, it's a journey within that's captured in photos. That's why the portraits resonate beyond just being pretty. pictures.

    1. Thank you Jean!! I'm envisioning my work in a gallery setting as well in the future (I would love if you could come of course). As always, I really appreciate your thoughts and I know you can connect with me on the fact that fashion for us is beyond the superficial level. It is a way of expression and art that resonates with our hearts and souls. Seriously still high from our conversation the other day!! Love ya!! XOXO

  3. Thanks to Jean from Dross Into Gold I found your gorgeous blog. I love how you express yourself through photography and style. Your headwraps are magnificent!

    1. Thank you so much! That means a lot coming from you! I adore your style and blog which I too found through the lovely Jean!

  4. Yeah I agree that your writing is also very powerful along with these heart throbbing photographs. I just love reading your posts. I am so impressed with your photography skills. Do you know any good Port Macquarie Photographer that can teach basics of creative photography? If yes, then please recommend!


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