how a photo a day blog helped me achieve personal photography goals
In 2006 I started a photo blog and decided to publish a photo a day. There was a definite purpose to this. No, it wasn’t so much to get my work seen by a bunch of people, it was so I would commit to creating new work. It was a way to force me to continually create. As a professional commercial photographer I continually photograph for clients. You might think the last thing I’d want to do is shoot on my days off. Well, I happen to love photography and it was time to explore a bit outside of the commercial studio.
The photo blog was partially inspired by Tiger Woods, Yes, it’s true and I’m not even a golfer. Tiger Woods, at the height of his career, decided to make a major change to his swing. Imagine that, the guy was already the best ever and he decided to change the way he does things, realizing there would be penalties in the short term. His game may suffer for awhile. But, in the end, he would benefit (or so he hoped). The big thing is that he realized it would take the dedication of an entire year to enact a change.
In 2006 I was trying to change my swing. My plan was to create a bunch of work without being judgmental, to just let it go where it wanted to go. Some things might work and some might not.
That visual diary, which I called 37 Seconds, is still floating around out there on the internet at 37seconds.my-expressions.com . I didn’t meet the goal of a photo every day but there are hundreds of images there. It’s a big ‘ol gob of photos that I added to off and on for awhile.
Okay, so that was the sketchbook. What were the results? What did the experience lead to? Now, a couple of years later, I realize that my year long experiment produced these rewards:
- My recent show, Forgotten America, at the Carnegie Arts Center
- A book of images from 2006 that I self-published: thirty seven seconds
- This series of images from a road trip down Highway 61 **NOTE: the gallery is still functional but the rest of the site is no longer functioning
- Publication in the B&W Magazine 2007 Single Image Contest Awards
- The sale of a few prints
At the time it seemed like a year completely dedicated to just experimenting would be a risk that might not pay off. After thinking about it, maybe it’s time to start planning another “photo a day” for 2009!