This last week I watched the documentary, ‘Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens.‘ It isn’t the first time I’ve seen it, in fact, I seem to view it every year in January. Even if you don’t know the name Annie Leibovitz, you know her work. Her stunning magazine covers, her classic images in the early editions of Rolling Stone. However, in viewing this biography of sorts, filmed by her sister Barbara, it is not her images of famous faces that strike me. It is her personal images. She shoots everyday, everyday. The pictures of her family and children take my breath away. In the film we see her following her family around, snapping away. Her images are sharp and blurry, b&w and color, emotive and intimate.
January is the time of year when Project 52s and 365s are under way. I love seeing all the images people are capturing, all the moments. A few years ago, I tried a 365 project myself and failed miserably. The timing wasn’t right and everything felt…forced. I gave up after six months, but there were things I learned along the way. For example, I knew my camera, (a Nikon D80 at the time) inside and out. My fingers would fly over the buttons without even looking. I haven’t felt that in tune with a camera since. The bigger lesson came in learning to see the beauty in every day, in details, both big and small, those untouched or manipulated. The moments I recorded were not perfect, but they were our everyday. Perfection is so highly overrated, real moments are so much better, so much more fun. Messiness and all.
Ultimately it’s those lessons that have led me to shoot everyday. Picking up the camera has become as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth or going for a run. I need it, learn from it, and along the way make a record of our days. And to be honest…I just want to be a really good photographer. We all have dreams, right?
The images here are from last Friday. My kitchen helpers making their own pizza rolls. Yes, it was messy, but they could not have been more pleased with the results of their efforts. Nor could I, and I have the flour on my camera and these images to prove it. Just another day in our life…
Are you doing a Project 366 or 52? Share your links below…I’d love to follow along!