TAKING A PHOTO EVERY DAY FOR 1500 DAYS

On January first 2015 I found myself sitting at a table at my grandparents house. I put a fisheye lens on my iPhone 5 and snapped a picture of my family celebrating the new year. As you can see the fisheye didn’t work that well and the photo isn’t particularly a good photo. But I took the photo anyway and decided to take a picture every day for a year. A challenge called ‘the 365 challenge’.

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January 1; 2015: the very first of 1500 photos. As you can see I wasn’t particularly paying attention to quality. Shot on iPhone5.

The 365 challenge is very simple. You take a picture every day for one year. At that time that was also my plan. Do it one year and then see where it goes. I had no particular reason why I did it. I just thought it might be fun.

Some people set rules like making an epic photo a day or working in only one colour or only shooting black and white. I didn’t have any rules at all. And as you might tell from the pictures included in this post I certainly didn’t go for the perfect shot. I ended up shooting almost all of it on my phone and sometimes so quick that I didn’t really bother with perspective or any other photographic rules.

After the first year I looked back on my photos and saw so many great moments captured. Things that made my year awesome, but also things that ruined days or showed that some days pass by without anything happening. I decided to push through and do another year… and another… And all of a sudden it’s 2019 and I’m 1500 days into the daily photo project.

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January 1; 2016: one year into taking a daily photo. In this case a self portrait on Times Square in New York. Me and my wife (then girlfriend) in the upper left corner. Shot on iPhone 5.

A lot has changed since the first photo in 2015. I started with an iPhone5 and used VSCO to edit my photos. When I bought an iPhone8 I changed to Lightroom Mobile for editing, but I kept using VSCO to upload every daily photo into an online journal. I won’t share a link here because the content has changed as well. I thought my daily photos would be random snapshots of things like landscapes, but very soon it turned out to be much more than that. I started to capture the big and small things that made or fucked up my day. Sometimes personal things like family photos or self portraits. The last 2 years more pictures are made with my camera instead of my iPhone, some were even made with an old polaroid. I hope to continue to do that in 2019.

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July 18; 2016: sometimes it’s about the big moments. Like getting married. I know it’s in Las Vegas but it was very real. Shot on iPhone6

Through the years I also had to be creative when I forgot to take a picture. I had to use screenshots of things that made my day and I wasn’t able to capture in a photo. I used stills from videos I made because I filmed something instead of photographing it. But I did something every day and all but one were uploaded to my VSCO Journal. The only one that I forgot to upload is May 18, 2018. The autist in me still weeps when I think about this missing photo, fucking up my otherwise perfectly chronological journal.

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July 30; 2015: parked next to these Gnats with our plane. Just a few days later on of these jets crashed killing the pilot. Shot on iPhone5

Keeping track of all these pictures turned out to be quite the thing. I always just imported my cameraroll and saved all the images on two external harddrives. The folder was called ‘Phone pictures’. Every picture I ever made with my phone was in there. In the past few months I started to put them in chronological order. I made a folder for every year and in that folder I made more folders for every month. I still have to rename all files to the exact date they were made, but I keep postponing this painstaking task…

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December 12; 2017: other photos are completely random, void of any meaning. Shot on iPhone8

After these 4 years this journal has become a living document. It shows how life changes over time. I started when I was still studying, then there’s a batch of photos when I lived in a studio with my girlfriend and then when we lived in our current apartment. Work has become a big part of my life with a lot of pictures made at one of the eleven schools I have worked at in the past years. Travel has become a thing and it amazes me how many cool places I have visited in these years. Also I seem to be eating a lot. I have a ton of food photos.

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November 11; 2018: sometimes it’s all very symbolic. Being at the Menin Gate in Ypres at exactly 11 A.M. on 11-11-’18. Shot on X-T2.

It shows so much about my life and most of all, it shows how fast life is passing by. It doesn’t need to be a big or epic thing, but every day in that life should have something worth photographing and that’s why I continue doing it. Here’s to another 1500 days.

Thoughts, comments, questions? Let me know in the comment section below!

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For the best daily photo project, visit this site: http://photooftheday.hughcrawford.com This guy made a pictures every day with a polaroid for 14 years until the day he died from cancer. Unbelievable, touching and beautiful!

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