Begin again

In Community, Inspiration
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“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


The start of a new year always seems fresh. The holiday frenzy is past, our homes are swept clean, and blank calendar pages wait to be filled. Many people set intentions with a word for the year or a new fitness plan. With the long days of winter stretching before us, it’s a time of assessment, new beginnings, dreams for the future. As photographers, we think about how to improve our skills, stretch our limits, try new things. Ideas for projects swirl around in our brains as we seek to challenge ourselves in new ways.

But often, finding that direction or spark is the hardest part. Many people take on a 365/366 project, others perhaps a 52 weeks project to spur creativity and force regular practice. I did my first 365 project in 2009* (back in the Flickr heyday) and a 365 on Instagram a few years later. For the last couple of years I’ve spent quite a bit of time exploring instant film, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a specific project to hold me accountable. As I ponder the possibilities, I’m wondering what your pursuits for the year might look like. Is there a new idea that’s grabbed hold of your imagination? A collaboration, perhaps, or a venture with a new/old camera or format? Maybe a sky project, mug project or jar of inspiration? I hope you’ll share your ideas in the comments below to inspire me (and others!) to think outside the box. I’m ready to begin!


*I’m bravely linking to my first 365 project; I was really just starting to hone my skills during that time, and there are many shots included that I’d never show today. But I leave the project posted intact as proof for myself that I accomplished a goal and improved along the way!


  1. I loved seeing your Flicker photos. I remember getting some postcards with some of those shots! I love your perspective on life, Leslie!

    • Thanks, Leslie! I need to get back to printing more shots and making tangible art with my photos!

  2. I have been doing a 365 project through Capture Your 365 with Katrina Kennedy. My biggest problem is often taking the prompts too literally. I see the creativity in others and am, quite frankly, envious. This year I am taking a course called Creative Black and White. I’m finding myself drawn to black and white – or monochrome really. I like to explore gradations of sepia, cool bw, warm bw, old film presets and more. The problem is getting myself out there on cold winter days!

    • Larraine, the black and white idea is great! I’ve thought about doing that but wasn’t sure I could limit myself for an entire year. Maybe I just need to pick one (winter) month and use that as my creative jump-start. It is hard to get out on winter days but they lend themselves so nicely to black and white shots. Where are you posting your project? I’d love to take a peek.

  3. For awhile now, I have loved seeing the images of miniature scenes so I’ve started playing around with them myself. I could easily turn this into a year long project. Everything from learning about scale, building the scenes and then shooting them has my interest. I have a new 30mm macro lens on the way and hope that it will work well for this project.
    Here’s to a new year and fun new projects to explore!

    • Beth, what a cool idea! That sounds so fun! Are you posting online somewhere? I’d love to see what you’re creating.

  4. I did a 365 project in 2011 that I wouldn’t let see the light of day now! Just started a 366 and this time have structured it so each month has a different theme, i.e Jan-still life, Feb-B&W, March-shoot square, etc etc. Am enjoying it so far but only on day 7!

    • CJ, that sounds like a good way to get variety and stay inspired. Check out Angie’s jar of inspiration (link above) as she changes her theme every month, too. Where are you sharing your shots?

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