Hello! These are the subjects from week 46.
In real-time, the project just ended this past Monday, August 10th. The blog is behind a few weeks and I will continue to share the rest of the subjects from the 365 More People Pictures project.
I finished the first project and never really wrote a full summary as I felt I should have, but instead I just dove right into this second year. As the end of this current project was approaching, I put enormous amounts of pressure on myself that I really need to write something spectacular...or at the very least, special. I wonder if I allowed myself to fall behind on this blog as a way to force myself to spend time in reflection over all I have learned throughout these past two years?
All of these people, all of the wisdom they've shared...it feels like I was entrusted with this and now I need to do something with it. It needs to be bigger than what it is here on my little blog. But when I think about that, about that possibility, it becomes entirely too overwhelming for me. I shut down, and then all I want to do is keep on keeping on...just as things are.
I just want to continue taking a picture of a person every day. I just want to force myself each day to be brave, talk with a person, learn a little more about them, exchange genuine warmth and interest with another person, and through it all, hopefully capture them at the precise moment in which their sparkle, or their beautiful nature, becomes apparent to me. And I want to share it with you.
A better person could make something more of this. A better person could assemble all of these beautiful people and their beautiful messages together and create a book. Or at the very least, a better person could write some advice to photographers wishing to challenge themselves to a 365 Day Project. Although I'm lacking the knowledge to teach anyone anything about photography, I've learned a thing or two about perseverance. I feel like I owe it to these subjects, and I owe it to the effort I've given this the past two years, to creating at least something which will help inspire or encourage others.
For now, I'll continue sharing the subjects for this project. Perhaps I will be able to create some final words or something bigger to thank and honor these people the way they deserve to be honored and thanked. I may not succeed at any sort of book, or any sort of beautifully written and inspiring essay...but this process, and every subject in this project, has changed me.
Day 315 - Kim
This is Kim, my sister-in-law.
Even in its final days, I appreciated this project and process because were it not for this, I wouldn't have shared this moment with Kim. We see each other only at special occasions and holidays when the family gathers. I realized that Kim and I haven't really talked other than to catch up briefly on the happenings of our lives, which really only scratches just the surface. You know how that goes.
Visiting with Kim and asking these 4 simple questions, the same ones I've been asking strangers, provided us both with the opportunity to get to know each other a little better.
The happiest thing happening in Kim's life right now is spending the summer with her kids.
I asked Kim if she had recently performed an act of kindness or if she had been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. She thought about it for a moment and remembered that one of her friends had just given her some plants. Kim was feeling bad because she couldn't remember a specific example of an act of kindness which she had performed. I laughed as I had to remind her that less than a few minutes earlier, she had given me a surprise gift of a beautiful necklace she made. (Check out Kim's necklaces here.) She had completely forgotten the kind gesture she had performed just a few minutes prior.
I've noticed most of the subjects in this project have trouble thinking of, or remembering, specific acts. I think we often forget because we've performed the act selflessly. Although it's often difficult to think of a specific act we may have performed, it's been a common trait that nearly every single one of us strives to be kind and to do kind things for others. We can be pretty beautiful creatures.
"To be a good mom, to serve God, to be a good friend to people, and to be a good wife," Kim answered, when I asked her life's purpose. She does, and is, all of these things.
When I asked Kim something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered, "I have good kids...they're happy kids."
Thank you, Kim.
Day 316 - Rich
This is Rich. We met at the park.
"My recovery," Rich answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. Rich is celebrating close to 4 year, sober. Awesome work, Rich!
I asked Rich if he had recently performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of kindness. Rich explained that he was on the receiving end of kindness in recovery and in the AA program, and now he's able to be on the giving end. Through his work in the program, he wants to "give back to the next suffering alcoholic, the same way it was so freely given to me." Rich had also recently paid for a guy's groceries at the store.
"To help others," Rich answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
As happens so frequently in this project, when I asked Rich something about himself which he would consider to be a success, the answer was the same for this question as it was for the first. "My recovery," Rich said, without hesitation.
Rich, wishing you the very best of luck and success in recovery and in helping others. Keep up the hard work. Keep up the good work. Thank you.
Day 317 - Josh
This is Josh. We met at the bus stop.
The happiest thing happening in his life is letting go to a lot of his attachment to ego.
Josh was recently on both the giving and receiving end of kindness when someone reached out for some help online, and Josh was able to offer help to that person. Kindness came full circle, when it was Josh who needed help with a situation. He put out a request online and someone was able to return the act of kindness and provide Josh with assistance and answers.
"Self-fulfillment, my spiritual quest, and discovering my true self," Josh answered, when I asked his life's purpose. (I get it, Josh. Sometimes I think it's the true reason I've found myself in this project.)
"Realizing that I'm something more than what I thought I was, detaching from ego," Josh answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success.
Thank you, Josh.
Day 318 - James
This is James. We met outside Hollywood Theatre.
"My son just turned 4," James answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
James' recent act of kindness is that he was treating friends to a movie.
"To be a good father and husband," James said, is his life's purpose.
Something about himself which he would consider to be a success is his family.
Thank you, James.
Day 319 - Arielle
This is Arielle.
The happiest thing happening in her life right now is that she just moved to Portland, from Texas.
I asked Arielle if she's recently performed an act of kindness and she explained that she's hoping to become a volunteer at an arts center as soon as she gets settled.
"Helping people learn their full potential," Arielle answered, when I asked her life's purpose.
"I'm not a quitter," Arielle said, when I asked something about herself which she would consider to be a success. Attagirl, Arielle! I love Arielle's answer and what I loved even more is that she didn't even have to think about it. She answered quickly and confidently...and having been one to say that about myself, I think I have insight into her little secret. When Arielle said the words, I think she was both congratulating and convincing her own self just as much as she was answering my question. Keep it up, Arielle. You're not a quitter. I can just feel it.
Day 320 - Joe
This is Joe. Although we met randomly on the street, I soon realized he was the same Joe with whom I had been working with on some personal business throughout that previous week!
The happiest thing happening in Joe's life is summer, here in Portland.
Joe's recent act of kindness is that he opened up his home to 5 friends who were on an epic road trip! Not only did he let them stay at his place, he fed them too! (And I would say he was also quite helpful and attentive to me as I was about to undertake something scary!)
"To make other people happy," Joe answered, is his life's purpose.
I asked Joe something about himself he would consider to be a success and he answered that it was being here on the west coast. He had set a goal for himself that he wanted to move here by his 25th birthday, and he just celebrated his 25th here in Portland!
Thank you, Joe. Welcome to Portland, and thank you for your help!
Day 321 - Erek
This is Erek. He's my dear friend's brother.
It's so confounding. One of my best photos ever taken was of Erek, but on this night, I could not make a decent image to save my life. I was having some technical issues, but once that was sorted out, I should have done better. Erik is a great subject but I just couldn't perform.
Until starting this project, I didn't have a complete understanding or appreciation of success and failure in photography. I never understood that for one decent or good picture, there were thousands and thousands of others which weren't good, or which were actually pretty horrible. The downside of a 365 Day Project, at least the way I've approached it, is that I've had to share all of those off-days to keep the 365 day streak intact. I've had to show everything...some of which actually make me cringe when I look at the photos. I've had to share every single mistake...the same mistakes I make day after day after day. And then every once in a while, we have a decent picture. I feel extremely vulnerable and naked in this project, but I wouldn't want it any other way. (For now, at least.)
The happiest thing happening in Erek's life right now is being a father.
I asked Erek if he's recently performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. Erek said that he always tries to be nice to everyone.
When I asked Erik his life's purpose, he said that 6 years ago, he lacked the direction to be able to answer this question but now he's certain his life's purpose is, "being a father and raising my son to grow up to be a good man." I'm certain you're doing this, Erek. You're a great dad.
Something about himself which he considers to be a success is that he's never tried any sort of drugs. Although he's been around it, he's never been influenced.
Thank you, Erek.
Here's a summary of the life's purposes of the subjects from this week:
- To be a good mom, to serve God, to be a good friend to people, and to be a good wife.
- To help others.
- Self-fulfillment, my spiritual quest, and discovering my true self.
- To be a good father and husband.
- Helping people learn their full potential.
- To make other people happy.
- Being a father and raising my son to grow up to be a good man.
Thank you for reading!