my everyday life
Two lifetimes ago, I followed quite a few photography blogs, and spent almost as much time on Flickr as I now do on instagram. It was a fun, positive, encouraging community to be part of, and I found myself getting swept up in the tidal wave of project365 excitement coming into 2010. It was set to be a massive year for us – our three year old would be off to preschool, we had a trip to Germany planned to visit my husband’s family, as well as a long awaited renovation and extension of our house, and discussions on the timing of baby three in amongst all of that.
It was the perfect year, then, to document daily all the everything we were up to. I joined a group on Flickr. I created a side blog. I chatted and made new friends, some of whom I’m still connected with on Facebook and insta – my original Saturday Night Craft Along host, @teaandbrie, was one of them. The year started, and we were off and racing. In those glory days of blogging, it was so inspiring each day to visit and comment on everyone’s blog, and have a flurry of messages in my own inbox. Around day three or four, I had a photo that seemed rather random, and so I took a bit of time to draw on my blogging experience, and weave a story, rather than just caption some details.
That post was a turning point, and my 365 became as much about telling a story as it was sharing a photo. I would shoot in the mornings, write my captions curled up on the chair in the boys’ room as I kept them company to help them drift off to naps, and then would edit, blog, post while they slept. Every day for fifty days.
Week eight of the year became much more a struggle to shoot, blog, post, comment, each day, and I officially pulled up stumps on day 56. That much discussed baby three was on the way, and making me miserable. Doing the days with two small, busy boys, was almost more than my energy could handle, and something had to give. My craft blog had already dried up to a trickle (and then stopped completely for four months), and so the 365 had to go. I would shoot every now and then, but daily was more than I could commit to. I was done, as far as 365s go.
I tried a couple more times. 2012 was one of my more successful efforts though many of those days were catch-ups and backfilling, rather than a true 365. From there, my photography business started to really take off, and I found myself shooting less and less for fun, and eventually, completely burnt out, I called time on that chapter mid-2019.
Over the next three years, I would shoot a little bit here and there, trying to find my mojo, but I struggled to create the habit – tiny house storage didn’t lend itself to having my camera in easy reach. Then in the dying days of 2022, I was reminded by I-don’t-know-what, of how much I enjoyed that very first 365. I was inspired to pick it up again. 2023, once again, was promising to be huge – our new house is finally (FINALLY) starting, and we are wrapping up our tiny house adventure. We aren’t discussing extending our family, but instead preparing for a new chapter in the opposite direction, with our eldest discussing unis and cities he would like to be based in. As much as we wish we would be going to Europe, instead our European family is coming to us.
Much like 2010, it’s a massive year incoming, and there is so much to document. A daily project will also help keep me grounded in amongst all the craziness. It gets me back in the habit of using the big camera, not just my phone. It’s a creative process I can do in the smallest spaces of our tiny house with increasingly large children.
Like my very first blog, I’ve entitled my project “My Everyday Life”. I knew the accountability of sharing would keep me on track, but Flickr is no longer the engaging place it once was, with most of my Flickr friends having moved on just like I had. I contemplated a blog once again, but again, it likely wouldn’t garner the connection and community blogs did in 2010. That left me with instagram, and so that’s what I did – I created a side insta specifically for this project, where I could not only share my photos, but add a caption and a little story each day too.
The theme, clearly, is loosely based around everyday happenings. As much as possible, I want to avoid the easy option of snapping what project I’m working on – over the last few years, the only time I’ve really gotten my camera out was for blog photos, and the point of this project is to use my camera for more than blog photos once a week. Aside from that, I have no real rules for the project. One photo a day, that’s the only criteria. I don’t even demand of myself daily posting (though being a week behind and only just today posting my February wrap up reel has me a li’l stressed, tbh), which was a point of struggle in my 2010 project (and the reboots). Failing to give myself grace on the days it was too hard to post pushed me towards a failed project faster than any other factor.
Two months in, and I remain committed to this project. I will confess I am finding it harder to find my storytelling voice this time around. Attempting to replicate my 2010 style feels awkward, and I think also, having people from my real life networks finding my account (thanks, insta algorithm) and following me adds a level of pressure I didn’t expect – if I get too far from what they see as “normal” for me, in my prose, will they consider me pretentious? Try hard? Cringe (as my teen would say)? While it shouldn’t matter, and I am thankful for their interest and support, I find myself worrying nonetheless! That is my March goal – to worry less, and enjoy storytelling more.
Looking at the monthly grids above, it’s interesting to see the patterns emerging – specifically orientation, clearly I default to landscape, so that’s another thing I would like to work on in March. I’m trying not to include too many house build photos, or school table photos, but also those are indeed part of my story, and sometimes that’s the best option. But sometimes it’s also the push I need to think outside the box and come up with something different, whether it be drops of condensed milk or a still life off fruit or a feature of my grandfather’s box brownie. Or the push to find the little moments that would otherwise be overlooked.
By day sixty, the easy photos have been done. Now is when the work begins. 60 days down, 305 to go.
I will continue to share monthly or bi-monthly wrap ups here on the blog, but if you would like to follow along more consistently, you can find my 365 insta at @rach.myeverydaylife