there is a lot of buzz in the photography world about 365 projects, or 52 projects or something of the like.   although daunting in the beginning, i committed to doing a 365 project which meant i would take a snapshot a day with my "big girl" camera. for me, committing to a daily photo each day and (gasp!) posting said photo on social media was HUGE!!  a daily commitment as well as an obligation to social media?!?!?  i'll be honest; it was surprisingly really fun........except for the social media part in the beginning. (more on that later)  i knew i was learning by forcing myself to use my dslr instead of my handy iphone and really compose and expose each picture.  i learned so much from day to day and when i was stumped about why something didn't turn out like i wanted it to, i researched it.  the fun never wore off the entire year but i did struggle with being on social media.  i strive everyday to be truly present in the moment and i try to commit to spending my time only on things that add value to my family's lives.  its important to me to be cognizant of doing what is important.  don't get me wrong, connecting with friends and my community is important, but the pitfalls of social media are strong and ever present and for me, not logging on is sometimes key to my being present motto.  i'm probably guilty of being over-prioritized but you know what, its what makes me who i am and i'm comfortable with i'll have few regrets about not spending Real, truly present and valuable time with my children and family; the true unplugged, real-life, doing things that really matter and build character and enjoying the natural world around us, living each day fully.  so, the social media part of my project left me feeling a little "not present" and somewhat like i was putting my personal life out there which IS NOT my thing.  i'm private and to me that keeps me grounded.  but, the social media part of the project was vital and soon I was able to realize that it was not only vital but invaluable.  if you've ever been on Instagram, or Flikr or any image sharing site, its staggering the amount of raw and unbridled talent out there.  its endless and when i say endless, one can sit idle, for hours on end and never get to the bottom of the creative pool on such 'social media' outlets.  but, for me i soon realized it was like flipping through pages of photography course work.  page after page of inspiration and ideas and creative genius - such a priceless learning tool and something else that grew out of it was a sense of community which included many of my classmates from my photography course work that same year and then of course, those artists out there that inspire me.

in summary, i learned so much in that one year than i had learned in the last 20, about photography, my camera, myself and my style.  and in the end, i had a treasure of a collection of my family's life, day by day, in journal form.  click on the Instagram "camera"  icon below and scroll back to 2015 to browse a few of the entries.  and in the end, there was no way what turned out to be a one year  journal of our lives was going to be just lingering out there in social media land and not be captured in hard print.  i'm old fashion and sentimental that way.  the project, which is a volume of 4 books, are definite treasures!