Week 7 of the 365 Day Picture Project is finished and it was a sampling of the challenges that are to come this winter. The important thing is - the project survived the week! I thought I would have a few more weeks to consult with a real photographer and learn how to shoot in the rain. I was mistaken! The rain is coming down so fiercely, even native Portlanders are using umbrellas! Normally, diehard Portlanders will not use an umbrella. If you use an umbrella, you're considered a dainty flower, or, you're not from around here.
I'm just going to have to get resourceful a little earlier than I had expected and search for more indoor subjects.
If you're new to the project - these photos are taken "fresh daily." I'm not stockpiling photos for use at a later time. I've been taking a picture of a person each day and will continue to do so for an entire year. I post the pictures each day to Instagram, and post a re-cap of the week's photos, here on the blog.
Day 43 - Rebecca
Becki is one of my dearest friends and she is one of the kindest human beings on this planet. We've known each other since Junior High School. I've never met a more thoughtful or giving person. I'm so lucky to have her as a friend!
We got together Sunday to celebrate her birthday a few days early. We didn't plan it this way, but Becki, our other friend Debbie, and I, all ended up settling in the same town. Being so close to such good friends is a blessing. It's sometimes quite difficult being away from my family but Becki and Debbie are my second family.
I'm amazed by everything Becki manages to accomplish. She's raising two busy and successful kids, she's an excellent wife and mother, she works, and she still has the time to support all of us in our endeavors. She is Supermom, Superwife, and Superfriend! I love her!
Day 44 - Matt
I work with some really cool people and Matt is one of them. Matt has always been a bit of a dichotomy. He's got a street style vibe, but with a sprinkling of preppy. At first glance, one could possibly think he's a badass, but he's an absolute teddybear who works in the embroidery department and loves to sew and cook. He's also our acting on-site mechanic and whenever a co-worker has car troubles at work, Matt manages to get them going again. (at least until they can get to a shop.) There really isn't anything he can't do!
Day 45 - Jason
When I went into the store that day, it was unusually quite and I was the only customer there at the time. I explained the project and just as Jason agreed to let me take his picture, he got slammed! I didn't want to hold up the line or delay any customers so I was only able to get a couple super quick snaps and they were not well composed.
I was a little upset with myself afterward. I want each picture to be better than the one the day before. I can be hard on myself for making mistakes. But, I've finally learned that if you spend too much time beating yourself up over mistakes you've made, you're inviting more mistakes to happen because you're so busy focusing on what's behind you that you can't concentrate on what is right before you!
I would have loved to get an unobstructed shot of Jason, but I didn't and that's ok. He was working hard and serving customers and he didn't miss a beat while I snapped this picture. That's part of what makes him awesome! He can have a store full of customers and he's always friendly, efficient, and he never misses a beat!
Day 46 - Jamila and Princess
These two cuties were spending "quality cousin time" together with a walk in the park. Actually, it was more like a walk all over Portland! These two girls put in some serious miles before they even arrived at the park!
Day 47 - Two Guys Running Stairs
This was a super quick shot as they were about to begin their workout.
John is another one of my awesome co-workers. There have been numerous times that I've gone home at night thinking how glad I was that John works with us! When we need shipping miracles, he makes them happen!
John is actually an imported Hoosier, but with the love he has for Portland, you'd think he was born and raised here!
Day 49 - Michael from Curly's Lock and Key
This is the rescuer who AAA sent to save me from my myself! I locked my keys and purse in my trunk. At least I had my phone on me, so I was able to phone AAA.
My car was parked outside of a residential facility which I believe was a program for people with mental or physical disabilities. It was pouring down rain but a few of the residents came out to keep me company during the wait. I appreciated their kindness and visiting with them made the wait seem like just a matter of minutes.
It should have been a fairly easy "pop-a-lock". The plan was to unlock the cabin so I could then release the trunk latch and get my purse and keys out of the trunk. Easy, right? It only took Michael a few minutes to unlock the door to the cabin part of the car but once inside, we discovered the car thought it was being violated so it went into lock-down mode. Nothing worked! The trunk-release latch didn't release the locked trunk and the power locks wouldn't unlock the doors or the trunk. No problem - I'll just flip the back seats down and crawl through to the trunk. Well, it was my old car that had flip-down seats which enabled trunk access. This car is a fortress! Nothing was going to get us through to that trunk!
It turned out, I had two rescuers yesterday! Michael and I were feeling defeated when I decided to call Jim Fisher Volvo to see if they could help us. I didn't purchase my car there and I figured they wouldn't have time to mess around with some woman who locked her keys in her trunk, but they turned out to be the absolute epitome of customer service! (and I'm technically not even a customer.) I talked with Cory in their service department and he was able to walk us through the trick which enabled us to penetrate the trunk. He was patient and helpful on the phone, even though it must have been a stressful call with all of the background traffic noise and the noise from my blaring car alarm!
After all of Michael's help with my car situation, he was then sweet enough to let me take his picture. What a nice guy!
Up until now, this project has been more rewarding than challenging. There have been a few tough days but overall, this has been a blast! Lately, I've been having nightmares that I wake up in the middle of the night to realize that I had forgotten to take a picture that day and the project is ruined. Or, that I've been unable to take a picture and the project is ruined.
The project has now reached the "challenge" stage due to the rain and shorter daylight hours. I've been telling myself that it's just like the Marathon! If it were easy, it wouldn't be an accomplishment!
I was just about to publish this post when I did a preview and noticed that instead of making progress, I'm making some mistakes even more pronounced. I'm going to add this little self-critique section to share with you some of my process in learning how to take a better pictures. If a real photographer were critiquing me, this list list would be 10 paragraphs long. If I tore myself apart that critically, I'd abandon the whole damn project! So instead, I'm just going to concentrate on one or two areas which need improvement and I'll share with you as I work through these issues. I think the process of "writing" these faults out and sharing with you, will also help me to concentrate on these areas and conciously strive toward making improvements.
Starting with the very first picture I snapped when I first got my camera, I noticed that I had a tendency to accidentally chop off the tops of people's heads. This is a horrible habit and quite the beginner mistake. Instead of improving on this tendency, the project has caused me to get worse! It's just like my dad and my shot put coach used to tell me when I would practice throwing the shot put...we practice to improve good form, not to reinforce our mistakes. If we half-ass our way through practice, we won't improve but instead, we strengthen our bad habits.
I've been reinforcing my bad habits! Shooting under awkward circumstances and under extremely pressured time constraints (and the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing) has exposed all of my flaws and mistakes. Moving forward, I'm going to make the conscious effort to improve in the area of not cropping off people's heads! Let's see if I can make that improvement in week 8!
Thank you so much for being a part of this project and following along! I'm exited as I enter this next stage. I'll soon join a photography class or take private lessons and I hope to be able to show you everything I learn as I being to gain actual skills and improve the quality of my pictures.