... and dog tired!
I just completed my first double dog dare thanks to the support and accountability of the Squam Artworkshops Community. In January they kicked off the challenge on their new blog and I decided it was just the incentive I needed to complete a task that had been weighing heavily upon the grey matter.
You see, I take a lot of pictures ... but said pictures live in various virtual folders on two computers and two back up hard drives. Knowing that one day the Apple cloud will evaporate (not that I'm in the cloud yet) and a solar flare will wipe out the contents of all of earth's computer hard drives (and yes, one day pigs will have wings ... in fact I'm sure there is one over on Youtube somewhere ...) I've been living on the edge worrying about the demise of this vast photographic record of my family's life.
Okay, so I am motivated by apocalyptic fears but here is a time when fear and angst were put to good use:
one is a Blurb Book and the other from Shutterfly
I completed not one, but TWO photo books! The main project - my double dog dare - was to retrieve (yes, woof woof!) the 365 images from a daily self portrait project spanning 2009 and 2010. I had just completed the first Unravelling course with Susannah Conway and a group of us decided to stay together for either a 365 or 52 (one photo a week) project. That I completed that project is proof I am nothing if not a terrier holding onto the end of a sock. Once I commit, I commit.
I admit, once that year was through I was relieved to step away from the task of a daily photograph. But a year later and I realized how that practice made me more attentive to the details of my life. Each day of that year is vivid in my memory because I took time to celebrate it.
I also discover shifting though a year's worth of work I could identify aspects of my changing style and interests. Many of the images are pretty dreadful in terms of technique but they do chart my progress as a photographer; looking at a large body of work, I am able to identify my true strengths and can begin to more mindfully develop my interests and skills.
And because I had my camera already out, I took lots of pictures of daily events with Cowgirl. I had been making photo albums for her but somewhere in 2009 things fell apart. So a side dare was to begin reconstructing those missing years into photo books. Spurring me on was the fear of one day handing Cowgirl a back-up hard drive saying "Here is your childhood."
For Cowgirl's book I used a fun template in Shutterfly called Project Life, a digital scrapbook designed by Becky Higgans (her products are here if you would rather make your own) which allowed me to type in stories and text to create a more personalized book. (The one thing I like about Shutterfly is your projects stay there indefinitely; a book I made years ago is still available to reprint or even edit should I want more copies for family members.)
Of course I am caught up through August 2009 ... many more books to complete ...
And did I mention I've committed to another 365 project?
i think i deserve to be star student
Which means another book at the end of 2012 ...
But this is what you get to see when you complete your dare:
Okay, I just dare you not to want to jump up and take action now! You know you feel a mighty woof coming on. (Thank you Jen Gray, you are a Joy Warrior extraordinaire!)