Friday, January 1, 2016

Day 365, Project 365

So, here we are: 365 days, one entire year of taking a photo every single day.  This project was not planned.  On January 1, 2015 as I browsed through my Facebook feed I came across Click it Up a Notch's  post about starting a 365 Project.  I was intrigued and it felt like a good challenge.

I decided to do it with only the hopes of learning some more about photography - my passion.  And I love a good challenge and knew I was just stubborn enough to follow through - to not let the challenge drop.  I'm not going to lie, there were certainly days that I felt like throwing in the towel, felt like my work was dull, lifeless, boring in comparison to others and that it was just plain darn hard to get that photo in for the day.  

What I didn't anticipate with this challenge is what 2015 actually held for me both in life and photography.  Very soon into the project I felt very intimidated by the work of others and boy, does that have a way of working into your head.  I felt discouraged, like I would never be good enough (although, looking back I'm not exactly sure who I thought I needed to be good enough for).  I felt vulnerable.  Like, standing-naked-in-front-of-a-standing-room-only-auditorium-and-having-to-give-a-speech vulnerable.  Here I was putting photos of mine in a very public space, photos that I often put a lot of thought into, trying to make them 'just right' and that is awfully scary.  Very quickly that faded as we had a death in the family early in the year and my focus needed to be on all the things involved in helping my family through the loss, cleaning out a house and getting it ready to sell in a very short period of time.  I still shot every single day through that but I didn't have the time or energy to focus on others, what they were doing or how I compared.  By the time we had sold the house and things quieted down that comparison and even some of that vulnerability faded.  And until I started writing this I didn't even realize that those feelings had kind of dissipated.

I bought a new 'real' lens in the spring and that, I felt, made a huge difference in my photography and really understanding things I could do and accomplish.

I second shot at a wedding (this one still blows my mind away...Eric is very trusting!).  I almost bailed on this opportunity - I had myself so psyched out that this wasn't a place I belonged, that I had no business being there.  I am so, so glad I stuck it out and took advantage of the opportunity.

Then along came late summer and I was asked to take some senior photos for a friend's son and his girlfriend.  Another challenge!  I managed to successfully freak myself out on this one but overcame and rocked that first-ever senior photo session (on the absolute hottest, most humid day of the summer, I might add). And from there a couple of other inquiries.  At some point late summer, early fall as I reflected I realized that, Holy Hannah, people like me (yes, borrowed that from Sally Field!) and are actually willing to PAY me to do something that was not only my hobby but my passion.  I started wondering if I should start a business and if you know me, you know that I have a hard time letting things rest.  So did what I do best: I researched.  I analyzed.  I talked to people.  And the bug kept growing and growing and a few more photo sessions and BAM!  Aimee Anne Photography was born.

With these sessions, I have a confession to make:  I was terrified to show images to these families/seniors.  I had no idea that I'd feel that way.  I would send off the gallery and I think I nearly held my breath until I heard something back from them.  It is terrifying and I don't think I'll ever get over that.  I pour my heart and soul into these sessions and I only want my families/seniors to enjoy and hopefully love the final product.  These experiences left me feeling more vulnerable than ever and more jubilant than ever when I got the 'I love them' text or message.  Shoulders dropped, exhaled a sigh of relief and relaxed.

I am not perfect, never claimed to be and know I have so much yet to learn and know that the learning never stops.  My goal for these quiet winter months is to take some classes online, understand business and marketing practices a little better and hit the ground running this spring with the warmer weather.

This whole time I had some fantastic, out-of-this-world cheerleaders.  I am 100% certain that I would NEVER have done any of the things I did without their support and encouragement.  I don't think some of these people realize the impact that they had and that I could not have done it without their support.  I am eternally grateful and owe so much to so many.  Thank you to each and every one of you - you know who you are.  I am truly blessed.

So, now what?  Well, since I bought the camera I've dreamed about for months (yay!!), it really needs to be broken in and I need to learn this baby. :)  While I won't do a 365 project, I may try for a 52 project.  I saw an article with some structure for a 52 project and it looked interesting and challenging.

If you're still with me after the novel I've written, here's the final photo for 2015, Project 365, Day Number 365:


It seemed fitting that I close the year and project out with a selfie of me and my biggest supporter!  By the way, my arms are SO not long enough for selfies with this camera/lens.  :)  
Happy New Year!  


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 364, Project 365

At the risk of sounding repetitive, Holy Hannah!  Day 364?!?
I want to reflect but I think I'll save that for Day 365 (which will almost certainly be posted on 1/1/16 ;) ).

A couple shots of the tree in the front yard tonight - with the old camera.



And a shot of Fozzie while I was testing out modes on my NEW CAMERA!  :)





Monday, December 28, 2015

Day 362, Project 365

Some more of my favorite ornaments:

The two glass bulbs were my grandma's and the sequin bell is one that my mom made.  The two glass bulbs have got to be 50 years old or more and the hand-made one is well over forty years old.  I love having this keepsakes, things I truly treasure.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 361, Project 365

And here we go...winding down:

Couldn't resist adorable Nala as she sunned herself this morning:
Last of the Christmas celebrations today:
The Valencour kids

And to top it off, gorgeous sunset tonight!!






Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 360, Project 365

I know I keep saying this but Holy Hannah!  I can't believe how little time is left in 2015 and that I actually have seen this project through this far!

So this came in the mail today!!

Day 359, Project 365

Christmas Day!

A little tree bokeh.

A different perspective.

My world!