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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Introducing a Fun New Project: Friday Photo Challenge

Last night got me thinking and suddenly I had one of those "AHA" moments that gets you really excited. If you've been reading as of late, you'll know that my being excited about anything is HUGE. As a Plan B while I await professional help for my post-partum depression, I am going to do a little self-therapy.

I have been into photography and art since I was a child. I still have the photos I took with my first disposable camera. I was at a Girl Guide camp. I took photos of my fellow guides but mostly I took photos of the world around me. Even then, I was more drawn to photographing nature that people. It came, well, naturally.

I'll never forget the moment after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had started medication and was starting to feel more like myself again. It was a sunny day and I went to go sit outside in the sunshine on the steps of the staircase that had previously crumbled under my weight, nearly sending me falling through them (I'm still a little traumatized). I was sitting there with a hot cup of coffee in my hands, soaking up the sunshine. I breathed in the fresh morning air so unbelievably happy to be alive. After spending months in pain, scared that there was something life-threatening wrong with me, I was sitting there, doing okay, grateful that what I would have my entire life was manageable.

If I had had a camera then and was to have taken a photo of the woman, comtemplating the preciousness of life, I may have snapped the photo from behind, a solitary image of calmness. Or it could have been a profile image showing her calm smile. Or, as I'm often wont to do, it would have been more abstract, such as the steaming cup of coffee or the streaming sunshine. The point is, that in every given moment, there are multiple ways to take it in and see it, truly see it.

Photography has allowed me to focus my mind and process the world around me in special ways. I see things I would never have seen if I hadn't taken the time to look a little closer, a little deeper. That is the beauty of the lens. Nothing is truly hidden, much is revealed. For me, art is my version of therapy. I believe in it so much, I wanted to be an art therapist, but alas, University and I don't mesh too well, and I didn't get too far in my studies, though I loved it dearly.

My daily photos have reminded me about the power this has in my life. I think the hardest part about PPD, for me, has been the isolation and disconnect from the things in my life that truly mean something. It's time to change that. And I'm dragging you along with me for the fun, if you're willing.

Hence the beginning of the FRIDAY PHOTO CHALLENGE! It is open to EVERYONE and I'm really hoping you'll help spread the word and encourage others to participate. I know there are lots of weekly memes out there (I participate in a couple when I can) but I wanted this one to be different. I wanted to encourage, everyone (including myself), to look at the world a little deeper and try to see things in a new way.

Here's the gist and the rules:

1. I will post a theme for the week. You will have a whole week to take a photo that YOU think best represents that theme. This is not about being a professional photographer. All I ask is that you post an ORIGINAL photo that YOU have taken. The beauty here, is that we all view the world is a unique way and art is a way of showcasing this view without having to explain it.

2. On Fridays, post the photo and mention the theme for the week (so we know we're all on the right week and what we're looking at). I will post the CHALLENGE post with an auto-link form. Fill out the form so that I, and others, can go visit your photo.

3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

4. While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

So, that's the deal. I would really love people to join me on this and have some fun with it. I'm a social person and right now I need to draw myself out and work towards goal. So help a depressed gal out and spread the joy of art.

The first CHALLENGE post will go up January 29th. That actually gives you more than a week to find your inspiration.

This week's theme: STRENGTH

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or email me (see right sidebar).


IF Optimist, then... said...

Wooooooooo! I dig it. Bring it on, how exciting. I look forward to participating and checking out your photos. I was thinking that I haven't done a fabulous fototgraphy friday post in a long time.

Kristin said...

I am definitely in!

Quiet Dreams said...

I LOVE this idea. Love it. I am so in. (Is it weird that I am nervous about it?)

Quiet Dreams said...

I LOVE this idea. Love it. I am so in. (Is it weird that I am nervous about it?)

Dave said...

Totally in.

JamieD said...

What a great idea! I may not share regularly but I look forward to seeing everyone else's contributions.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

You totally rock, my friend! I love this idea... I'm already pondering what I will use for my "strength" pic.

Claire said...

I've got a few ideas already, what a great idea! It's good to see YOU in this post!

Amy said...

I'm willing to give this a go!

[cre] said...

Oooh fun! I am an amateur photographer so this gives me an opportunity to get more of my work "out there" -- great idea :)

ICLW Hugs!

Cathy said...

I'm there too!(and you would be proud of me, figured out this blogging thing, lol)

Kymberli said...

I'll give it a try!

WiseGuy said...

Totally great idea....

So you would have linked post that includes everybody who participated in the particular photo challenge?