I have lots and lots of creative ideas, but usually little time, or not the right skill set, to fulfil them.  Starting, and (even more so) completing, a project is often but a pipe dream, as can probably be evidenced by this blog.  Last year however I set myself the project of taking a photo every day.  This was in part inspired by the wonderful set of polaroids by Jamie Livingstone as discussed here. He took a polaroid photo every day for eighteen years (starting in 1979) until he sadly passed away. His friend Hugh Crawford has curated the photos into a website and a book and his site talks more about Jamie.

Some photos of that day

This is an extraordinary set of photos and I was in no way hoping to emulate them, but the idea of a snapshot of each (and every) day really appealed. I started on 1st Jan 2018 but for a long time didn’t tell anyone what I was doing apart from my partner @TallulahBass ; it was a ‘soft launch’ so to speak, partly because it would save face if I gave up after a couple of weeks, and partly because I saw no need to tell anyone, I was doing this for me.

I set myself a few rules.

  1. The photo had to be taken by me – seems obvious, but I wanted to rule out pictures of me, or just taking an image by a friend.  Sometimes I have had to borrow a friend’s device in order to take the photo, but they are all by me.
  2. They should be taken on that day.  Well, I may have had to stretch the rules a little on that one.  For example, there are a couple that were taken after midnight, but before I went to bed.
  3. I wanted to post them on the day (on Instagram and Facebook)- but this has often proved impossible, for example when on holiday without wifi, so I settled for as soon as possible.

I don’t have a polaroid camera (I believe there are modern versions available now), but I also don’t have a smart phone. These days most people are permanently connected to their phones, and photos of daily life are ubiquitous.  They are immediate and transient and in a digital age are taken without care.  I come from the age of ‘film’ when you were aware that you only had 24 or 36 shots  available on the film in your camera.  So, taking a daily photo without a smart phone gave me limitations.  I primarily used my ipad (which I don’t routinely carry around with me), or one of my digital cameras (usually if I was on holiday).  This meant a limitation, and what I have come to realise as, a domestication of my images.  Many have been taken at home, in the garden, or at the homes of my friends.  There are exceptions of evenings/days out and holidays of course – but part of what I wanted to demonstrate was that most of us aren’t spending our lives living the high life, or permanently on holiday.  A great deal of our time is taken up by going to work, and then coming home; not particularly exciting – but just as valid as a life lived.  Also, if one if lucky enough to have such a home it should be cherished.

In January I was debating whether to continue the project, partly worried that with such domestication of my images that I would end up repeating myself. However, upon creating a printed book version of the 2018 photos I was delighted at being able to look through that year, and several images managed to evoke and remind me of days and events that I had partially forgotten.  Although I wasn’t quite happy at the format in which I’d had them printed, so will need to investigate alternatives before the end of the year.

And so the project continues…

Pic of day books1