Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My World {365 day} Photo Project

On January 10, 2012 I finished my My World {365 day} photo project. Not to be melodramatic but this project may very well have saved my life.

Flashback if you will to January 10, 2011. A miserable day. I was in a terrible place at that time in my life. Why exactly? I’m not sure I remember accurately. Some things I do but I don’t really want to dwell on them at this time. Now I love a brand new fresh year. I’m not super jazzed about New Year’s Eve, it always seems a bit of a waste of time but I absolutely love New Year’s Day. I love new goals, dreams, and the feeling that you can throw off the old mistakes of the past and create a brand new better self. The beginning of 2011 was no different and when I found myself miserable on the tenth I was determined to not let the New Year get started off on a bad foot so I did everything I could think of to feel better. Practice my voice lesson (singing always makes me feel better), text friends, call friends (everyone was busy). Nothing was working and I was frustrated because I truly was trying. Finally I decided to get out of the house and call my sister Leah who lives in Australia. I took my kids to the library so they could be entertained by something other than me and used the Library’s network to Skype call my sister. I had a hard time getting through because she was in the middle of something. Perhaps you, dear reader, will recall the terrible flooding that occurred in Australia at that time. Well, she called me back to inform me that she was being evacuated, her husband wasn’t home yet, and she would have to do her best to get her pregnant self and baby son out alone. She would call as soon as she could, pray for her.

I sort of lost it.

It’s very selfish to say that, I know, but at the moment it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I was a wreck of stress, misery, fear, and worry.

I probably should add that I had been praying for help this entire day. I really am not a fan of wallowing in misery without fighting to make things better and as I drove home I was still praying…pretty darn hard. Some may not believe in a higher power and of course I respect their views and only ask that they respect mine in turn. I, myself, believe unequivocally in a higher power and I believe with everything I am that as I pulled out of the library parking lot that the inspiration to undertake this project that came to me at that moment was of God. I can still remember everything about that moment. I was to photograph something every day that had to do with my world. It could be something I was doing, something that meant a lot to me, something that caught my eye, or to portray, without words, how I was feeling that particular day. I remember feeling immediate comfort and a lightening of spirit as I planned some of the things that I wanted to “say” and the “stories” I wanted to tell. I remember feeling strongly that my sister and her family would be all right.

January 11th was day one and I remember that it was so cold, like only January can be. Bighting cold that seeps through your piled on layers and you almost want to cry you are so cold. I wanted to portray cold, solitude, loneliness, hope.

This is also a place that I see extremely often as I run or walk in the mornings and I have enjoyed the beauty of the scene at every season and pretty much every time of day. It means a lot to me.

As I look through the pictures of the last year of my life it reads like a diary. It brings back so many things; experiences, emotions, laughter, and tears. At one point I decided to write the stories but I stopped that quickly. I wanted to be able to speak straight from my heart without worrying about whether anybody else would approve or judge. I should add that I posted every picture on facebook and am in the process of uploading them to my online Fine Art Boutique. I cringe sometimes that they are public but that was part of the cathartic process. I learned to see the world around me, to appreciate the unexpected beauty I found, to tell stories and convey emotions without words, to really be in touch with myself.

The end of my project grew near and I began to get very nervous. I was so afraid of losing all that I had gained. I was afraid of stopping. The end photograph had to be something special and so I decided to do a self portrait. Have you ever wondered what super power you would want to have? I do all the time. My number one super power of choice is of course to fly but a while ago I decided that a good semi-useful super power to have would be the ability to yell “Confetti” and confetti would shoot up from your hands. Good to throw into the eyes of an adversary and fun at parties. I told friends about it and it kind of became a thing. Hence the pictures on facebook of either throwing confetti or rolling in it. Hence again the self portrait of me with confetti in the air to close out a wonderful year…. there really is only one more thing to say


p.s. Here is the link to all 365 images


  1. Aww, Mandie, those are truly beautiful to look at... a tough year, mixed with images that both pull at the heart strings and bring light and life to the forefront. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my first thought as I clicked on this post was "ooh fun picture" and now I am just laughing so hard about your super power. That is so funny. Seriously I can't stop laughing. I love that you're throwing it in the eyes of your adversary. So so funny! Anyway, I loved this post. Very personal for you to share, thank you. I'm so sorry for the unexpected stress that I caused in this story (and would love you to skype me any time when you're feeling down) - and as it's unlikely that I'll be experiencing any natural disasters again any time soon it shouldn't be so cut short. :) I'm glad you were inspired though to do this project. I was going to comment that you should post the whole 365, so I'm glad to hear that you've got them on FB, I'd love to seem them all again together. Also I'm glad to hear what a great experience this has been for you. I've heard people talk about it, but it seems really daunting to me to keep up with. Maybe I'll have to consider doing it. Anyway, great post. Great picture. Great super power! :) (still chuckling)