The Final Challenge of 2018
I decided to go out of 2018 with some style by creating an Instagram challenge for myself in the month of December. The challenge: Daily themes, all of which must be expressed via a self-portrait. Of course, it wouldn’t be a challenge if there weren’t rules. In this particular situation, I only used my Sony A7r to shoot with. Furthermore, I decided to only edit the images through a single app during the entire process, Snapseed, on my phone. In addition, I could only use two different lenses. That last decision was in part for the challenge, and in part because I only own two lenses, a 35mm, and 90mm.
Easier said than done
Initially, I had a list of the ideas I couldn’t wait to capture. And yet, I ended up having to change my ideas for certain days because of uncooperative weather. For example, one idea I wanted to try was footsteps. I assumed with the challenge taking place in December, it wouldn’t be a problem to capture footsteps, ideally in the snow. However, there wasn’t a single day of snow the entire month. Not even a little dusting! Welcome to New England where we learn to expect the unexpected during all seasons. Like 50 degree days in December, 75-degree days in February, and two-foot snowstorms in March.
Too many to choose from
Yes, having multiple choices sounds like a silly problem to have. That being said, in coming up with ideas for each day, I found myself creating different variations of each shoot. Because of this, I was left having to choose just one idea or photo to select for my daily challenge. And there were a few times I struggled between just two images. For example, one of my favorite ideas was recreating the characters of “A Christmas Carol” by portraying the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. However, the number of variations for each portrayal were numerous and resulted in an immense internal struggle. One of my many variations included in this post was creating double-exposures for each shot using different natural elements in each.
In conclusion, I chose images that not only worked well alone but worked together when placed next to each other. Considering the idea, my way of doing this was choosing images with similar expressions and features such as closed eyes.
That’s a wrap
There were a couple of things I learned in this experience. Firstly, December is a difficult month to work on a daily photo challenge, especially for all 31 days. More specifically, some days I had to force myself to work on my photography. Admittedly, this happened on busier days or when I was frustrated with an idea not coming together how I imagined it. As a result, I learned it’s beneficial to pre-shoot certain days if you know you’ll be busy so it’s not too overwhelming. Which was certainly the case in a month like December with multiple Holidays and events.
The second thing I learned was how to go with the flow. But as previously stated, I had no choice in certain cases, such as non-ideal weather, so I had to be flexible.
To summarize, despite the struggles, the process still made for some great photos to wrap up the year.
So, now that 2018 is over, what challenges do you think I should try in 2019?