Week 15 of the 365 Day Picture Project is now complete! If you're just checking in for the first time, this project is just a challenge I've given myself. I'm not a photographer. This is all very new to me and I'm just learning as I go along.
The challenge is to take a picture of a person, every day, for a year. Each picture is taken fresh daily. I'm not stockpiling pictures. The majority of the subjects have been strangers but also included are co-workers, friends and family.
I post the pictures daily to Instagram and if you'd like to follow along, my username is @missellanea and the project is tagged #365daypeoplepictureproject.
Day 99 - Jessica
I found the person of the day fairly early on Sunday but I hadn't sat down to Instagram the picture until I was nearly ready for bed. Once I looked at the pictures, I was shocked at how badly I had blown it! I had to change back out of my jammies in order to go back out into the world to find another subject.
I ventured as far as the convenience store down the street. I was so happy when I pulled into the parking lot and could make out an interesting-looking person working at the counter. I approached the register, told Jessica about the project, and she agreed to be day 99.
When I asked Jessica about the happiest thing going on in her life right now, she replied, "hmmm, what's the date today?" I thought it was cute that she had taken the question so seriously. After determining the date, she then said, "today is my 4 month anniversary." She and her husband were married exactly 4 moths earlier.
Day 100 - Malcolm
We hit triple digits on Monday! This felt like a huge milestone for me, even though we still have a long way to go to get 365 days. I wanted an extra special picture to mark 100 days. I left early that morning so that I could take my time and find a subject before work. Traffic derailed my good intentions, so I was going to have to look for a subject after work, in the dark.
When I left work that evening, I was trying to think where I could go to find someone, when suddenly, Malcolm comes walking down the sidewalk. Yay! There isn't a ton of foot traffic around my work so I was so happy to see someone and I'm glad that someone was Malcolm.
He was wearing headphones, so again, I had to work hard to get his attention. I think I startled him! I explained the project and he agreed without hesitation.
I asked Malcolm the best thing happening in his life right now and he replied, "music." Malcolm is a musician and he had just had a show that weekend. He's happy whenever he gets to make music and since he's busy making music, he's happy. Keep an eye and an ear out for Wamba and 1000 Fuegos. Malcolm is involved with both bands.
Day 101 - Curt
I was driving down the street, looking for a subject, when I looked over and saw Curt unlocking his bike on the sidewalk. As fate would have it, he was very close to a parking space that was long enough for me to land in. (yes, I've had to miss out on a few subjects because I'm such a terrible parallel-parker!)
When I approached Curt to be day 101, he agreed but then hesitated, asking if his picture would be on a site that he would be "ashamed of." My poor feelings were crushed for a split second as I was thinking that my blog has beginner written all over it, but I wouldn't say it was anything to be "ashamed of." My initial reaction to his question was was that he would check out the blog and call me out on needing to spruce things up a bit with a graphic designer/web designer and that he would be ashamed of being on my work-in-progress blog. I laughed and was relieved when I realized that he meant that he didn't want to be on some sort of "People of Walmart" site where they're actually making fun of you and if your picture ends up on that site, you've basically been shamed.
When I asked Curt the best think happening in his life right now, he replied "finding his girlfriend." They've been together 6 months and she's treating him well. I loved to watch him talk about his girlfriend because I could see the sparkle in his eyes and I could just see the happiness on his face. He's also happy because he has his first solo art show coming up.
Did you notice…NO GLASSES GLARE!!! Progress!
Day 102 - Brandy
Brandy and I work in the same neighborhood. We've known each other for about 10 years.
I stopped by her work to ask if she would be in the project. I could tell she really wanted to say no, but she's just too nice! I think she and I are of the same mindset. If a friend asked if they could take my picture, I'd really want to help them, but I'd be so conflicted because of how intensely I dislike having my picture taken. I'm glad Brandy let me take her picture.
Brandy and I were giggling so much because I had just watched Peter Hurley's new "It's all about the Squinch" video and I was excited to implement this new technique. Our attempt at the "squinch" was more blink meets scrunch, but at least we were having fun!
I forgot to ask Brandy the question! I'm just going to have to do my best to give you the answer I think she would give. Brandy has a great group of friends. She's always out camping or having a fabulous home-cooked dinner with her friends.
Day 103 - Guy #1, Mysterious Shadow, Guy #3, and Dave
I bumped into these guys on the sidewalk and asked if they would be in my project. They were all in! As soon as I asked, I realized I may be in over my head. I've only taken "group photos" one other time and it wasn't pretty.
These guys were a blast! They had me cracking up the whole time! I made some mistakes but given that I don't know how to take a good group picture and I was laughing and having too much fun, we did okay.
I will learn from my mistakes and will know better next time. I was so concerned with making sure that Dave fit in the frame, that I nearly cut out Guy #1 on several of the shots. I could have filled the frame a little better, but I'll know next time.
The best thing happening in their lives right now:
Guy #1 - I'm just going to paraphrase and say that he's traveling. We had a complicated conversation that can be simplified by saying that he's happy about traveling.
Dark Shadow - He was happy they were on their way to get something to eat!
Guy 3 - "Being on the West Coast." I should have asked where these guys were from, but I was cracking up and forgot to do my job properly!
Dave - "Getting engaged." Dave had just recently proposed to his fiancé!
Day 104 - Julie
I made arrangements with Anne to meet up again on Friday. When I arrived, she wasn't there but I ran into Scott from day 83. I think Scott was working to take Anne's place as my friday night Talent Scout assistant. Within minutes, he had found 3 or 4 subjects for me to choose from.
I decided the week needed another woman, so Scott then asked his friend Julie to be in the project. Gosh! This was an "easy" day! Scott did all of the work for me!
Julie dreams of owning her own restaurant someday. When I asked about the best thing happening in her life right now, she replied, "being single" and her "two kids."
Julie was a natural. I ended up with a couple pictures that looked more like ads in a magazine! I opted to show you this picture instead, because the others were a little too posed.
Day 105 - Debbie
Debbie is one of my dearest friends. It was her birthday last night and we all went out to celebrate.
We've known each other over half our lives and she was a huge influence on my life. I learned the meaning of work ethic from Debbie and my Mom. Debbie has been working since the day I met her. I don't think it was my parents who told me in high school that I needed to go out and get a job - I'm pretty sure it was Debbie!
It was also Debbie who taught me to do your best, work hard, then once you're finished with work, go out and do your best to play hard too!
Debbie has turned into quite the cook! So much so, that I keep encouraging her (borderline obnoxiously pushing her) to start her own cooking blog some day. She already has the domain name and everything, it's just a matter of time. (Which I can completely understand.) I recently had to send her an urgent text because I had misplaced the recipe she had given me for her perfect Alfredo sauce. It had been so long since I made it, I had forgotten the proper amount of ingredients and the order in which to cook them. Debbie gave me the quick instructions and then gave explicit direction to "love the sauce." That's why she's such an excellent cook! She really does add love to her meals, and then she feeds it to us. That explains why I always leave her place with a full belly and a full heart.
We really had to work hard to get a picture. I wanted to get a perfect picture for her birthday and Debbie had also given me the expectation that she wanted me to take the very best picture that had ever been taken of her in her entire life. No pressure or anything!! I think we were both demanding a lot from ourselves and it resulted in a lot of laughs, a little bit of the scoldings that you can only say to a best friend, and the best picture ever taken of our other friend Becki, Debbie's step sister Jenny, and just about anyone else there, except for Debbie! I'm just kidding, we did actually end up with a few nice pictures. My favorite picture that I've ever taken (below) is actually one of Debbie and Becki together. My two best friends, together, laughing. It was a perfect day.
Part of the reason that Debbie and I were having so much difficulty in getting a picture last night, is that not only did I want her to work the "sqinch", but I also wanted her to give me the "slightly curious turtle" which is the name I've given for Peter Hurley's other technique that I picked up from his video, "It's all about the Jawline."
We were "squinching" and "slightly curious turtling" and laughing and laughing! I was basically using my poor dear friend as practice on how to direct future subjects. We do much better together when I'm just getting candids rather than giving her any direction. In our relationship, I'm not the director and Debbie isn't the follow-the-directionser. It is the opposite!
In the midst of all of our silliness, I remembered to ask Debbie about the happiest thing going on in her life right now. Her response, "this…this right now is what makes me happy." She was surrounded by friends and family and we all love her! If someone would have asked me that same question at that moment, my response would have been the very same thing.
Moving into next week, I'm going to continue practicing the "squinch." Peter Hurley is amazing and he presents things in such a way that it makes you believe you could actually learn to take nice pictures. He's dynamic and energetic and I get a huge boost of enthusiasm just watching his videos. Here's his newest video. Even if you're not interested in learning how to take better pictures of others, this video is an excellent tip on how to "give" better pictures! Plus, you'll be able to spot the "squinch" in future subjects and in other photos you see.
Thank you for continuing to follow along! I know your time is valuable and it is an honor that you've shared a little bit of that time with me and this project.
If you've been a subject in this project, thank you. Thank you for your time, thank you for being you, and thank you for sharing your beautiful self with us.
Have a great week!