Why I started a 365 day project

My name is Travis Ennis and I'm a photographer living in Jasper, Indiana. I say I'm a photographer even though I spend my days working as a software engineer because I became tired of being identified by what I do to make money instead of what I do to make myself happy.


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I got started as a photographer because it was one of many things I've tried throughout my life as a creative outlet. And, out of all of those things, photography has stuck with me.


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I started my 365 project because I felt it was hard to identity myself as a photographer when I was infrequently making images and that is the position I found myself in late last Fall.


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Before that I had mostly focused on doing photoshoots with models I met on Facebook or Model Mayhem. For awhile I was scheduling a shoot every other weekend.


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Considering I work full-time, am married, and have a family, that pace was keeping me busy. But, it started to slow down. Instead of every other week, it was once a month, then every other month, until one day I realized I hadn't made a single image in over three months.


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I became a bit introspective when that realization hit me. I had lost interest in what I was doing, but it wasn't photography that I had lost interest in, just that kind of photography.


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My 365 project was designed to get me shooting again and to figure out what it was that I wanted to do going forward. I'm 21 weeks into the project at this point.


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There are days when I get ready for bed and realize I haven't taken a picture that day, but those are pretty rare and easily solved. Bathroom mirror portraits are unoriginal, but still satisfy the requirement of an image a day.


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Fortunately, most days I'm taking pictures all day long. The way I found to do that is to throw out any preconceptions one might have as to what is photogenic.


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If it catches your eye, holds your interest for even a split second, then click the shutter. Leave the editing for afterwards. In the moment, I don't think or make any judgements about whether to make the image. I just go off instinct.


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That's been a very freeing experience for me. It's removed the shackles of doubt that I think most people put on themselves when they hesitate trying to decide if something they see before them is worth making an image of.


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That kind of stuff should be left for later (I will admit that digital makes this snap-happy technique a lot easier). Pretty soon I'll be half way done with this project. I'm already starting to feel like I want to move on.


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Somedays it becomes tedious, but I'm going to keep pushing myself to finish. Being able to work on a project from beginning to end, even when it starts to lose its momentum, is a good thing you can prove to yourself that you can do.


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Plus I think the desire to move on to something else is a direct result of this project giving me ideas and inspiring me, which was the whole point from the beginning.


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About the author

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5 thoughts on “Why I started a 365 day project”

  1. Pingback: 5 peculiar principles for photographers - INSPIRED EYE

  2. Pingback: 5 Peculiar Principles to Live By as a Photographer – Photohangout

  3. Pingback: 5 Peculiar Principles to Live By as a Photographer – PetaPixel (blog) | Deals to find

  4. Hey Travis, great work you have there – i like the style of your shots – definitely been worth your efforts. Thanks for sharing what you are doing – it’s a good inspiration to me.

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