Wow! I really did it! I think I have 360 photos total, which is fantastic and much higher than I thought I would have. Sit back and grab a cup of coffee – this is one of my longer posts! So … would I do this project again? Yes! Will I do it for 2015? No! Huh?

      Let me start by breaking down the project … how did I approach it and what happened?

      • I started the year thinking I would always keep my big camera on me and take all photos with that. Uh, that is unrealistic. I used any camera available to me – be it my phone, our small point and shoot, as well as my Canon. I just needed to make sure I took a photo.
      • I started the year thinking all of my photos would have a lot of thought and preparation put into them. HAHAHAHA! There were days when it was nine at night and I realized I hadn’t taken a photo. Hence quite a few wine shots!
      • I started the year thinking I had to post a photo from each day. There were times that I had a photo in mind for a day, but for some reason couldn’t get to it until the next day. So even though I took the photo on a different day, it would count for the “idea” day. Also towards the end of the project there were a few times that I really just HATED the photos I took one day, but then couldn’t choose between photos I took a different day that week. I gave myself a little latitude in my selection and there were a few times that two photos were included from the same day (like Carter losing his first tooth).

      What were my challenges?

      • Taking a photo, even when you didn’t feel like it. You slog through. You just do it. And sometimes it really sucks. And then sometimes those are the days where you are surprisingly delighted at what you snap.
      • Being okay posting what you would consider a crap photo – it’s a learning process. Your failures are the stones in the path that you are laying to achieve your success. Each photo that isn’t up to the standard I would like to see in every single photo shows me what I have learned. What I would tweak. What I would or wouldn’t do again. It’s all important. And it means I am growing.

      And did I learn anything? HELL YEAH.

      • I learned my camera inside and out. And then inside and out again. There is nothing like figuring out a piece of equipment by using it (basically) daily. Through constant trial and error, I figured out what worked and what was a fail. Sometimes epic fails. And then there were the gratifying times I got those money shots.
      • I learned to really look at the world differently. As a photographer I always have a different skew on how I see things, but this pushed me to daily, even hourly, think about seeing it through a lens. Taking that photo was top of mind.
      • Along with the above, I saw the dynamics of light in everything I looked at and how it would translate. Long shadows, low sun, when to use flash and how. Being very aware of not enough light, too much light, specific directed light – all of it.
      • I developed a good post processing rhythm since I was doing it every week. What was I willing to edit? What was I unwilling to touch?
      • And most importantly, I learned that my family grew a lot in the last year. And we had a blast!

      So why won’t I do this again in 2015? A couple of reasons. I miss doing longer storytelling posts about our family. It is time consuming to do a photo a day and then you don’t have the energy to do other things. But the big reason is that Jeremy has been asking why I don’t take video. My camera and lens set up give me some absolutely amazing optics and now that I am more or less comfortable with the still portion of, it is time to be uncomfortable again. I did a trial run by creating a video from late November through mid December that I will post soon – I wanted to see if I could do it and if it was something I liked. I did like it and am pretty pleased with the results considering it was my first try.

      For 2015 I am going to do two different projects centered around video (and boy am I a bullet list queen today!):

      • A one-second-a-day project that I will compile and post at the end of each month. Small little snippets of our day to share with everyone with video taken with my phone. I follow a few other photographers that do this and it is so fun.
      • One video a month that tries to push my artistic capabilities to grow. Where Jeremy does an amazing job with the GoPro, there are so many things he can’t do because it doesn’t have the optics. I am going to try to tackle some of those creative things to see what I can come up with. I am still trying to figure out a name for this project (comments with ideas always welcome!)

      Does this mean I won’t be doing the still photography? Uhhhh, that would be like cutting off an arm or a leg for me. I will definitely be taking a ton of photos this year, but I will be going back to the storytelling posts about what we are doing as a family.

      And with that, here are all of my 365 Projects in a slideshow set to music. I will warn you – it is long. Like twelve minutes long. But I needed it to be this long because there are 360 photos and I didn’t want to give people seizures by flipping through them too quickly. But it goes by fast (at least for me!). There are lots of friends and family sprinkled throughout it too. Honestly I only expect four views on it (thanks mom, dad, Nana and Papa!), haha. I hope you enjoy all that was 2014 for our family!