On being done

In Traditions
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On December 31st I finished up my sixth 365 project. I’ve been shooting daily for more than five years straight, and it’s been great. My photography has changed a ton and I’ve learned an incredible amount, all the usual statements you’ve heard over and over about this big old project. But this time around, in about November, I decided that I was done.

I was done, and it was okay. In fact, it was good. I ended up finishing out the year because those undone numbers would have bugged me more than not. And now it’s done. I realize that I’m only a few days after the end of the year, but this feels like a good decision.

It isn’t the shooting that I was done with, I don’t think. It was the numbering, the tracking, the crossing every T and dotting every I to make sure that it was all in order only to realize in July that you’re missing a day or so. Retracing your images, your file numbering to find the missing piece.

Then, this afternoon, I happened on just the right phrase in just the right song. “Habit is the enemy of presence.” And that was it. That’s exactly what my 365 projects had become. I’d managed to develop the habit of taking photos every day, but it had become something that I didn’t think about. I did it to check that to-do off of my list.

So, I’m going without the formalities this year. I’m shooting when I am moved to shoot, and just let it all be what it is. I love that my daily life is documented, but I can’t wait to see if I can photograph and capture those same memories but with a bit of extra magic infused.

All the best,


  1. Brava on finishing five years! I did a 365 twice (not consecutively) and was honestly relieved at the end of each one. It’s much more freeing to shoot for the satisfaction of shooting, rather than as an obligation.

  2. As someone who inspired me to pick up my camera daily, I will miss your daily photos.There is an everyday magic to your stream that always speaks to me. But you nail it when you say it is not the shooting, but the numbering, etc. I am trying to be more gentle with myself this year. Just keep those magic photos of your kiddos coming, they fill me up with goodness and joy. xxoo

  3. oh, alison!! these shots are so fantastic! that first one is just full of goodness!! and after doing 365 for three or maybe four years – i can’t even remember now – what drove me the most crazy was the daily editing/uploading. there’s no question i learned so much from the daily work and even now i love looking back – but i was just so ready to be done. i knew it was time. and i may do it again some time. to everything there is a season! xoxo

  4. Change is good, and I think necessary for creativity. Hoping that spontaneity serves you well!

  5. “Habit is the enemy of presence.” – Best Time of My Life by Cloud Cult.
    That line jumped out at me this afternoon too. I found your reference while looking into if I heard it correctly.

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