Closing doors (365/365)
The decision to start 365 was a total spur of the moment thing. I, as most of those who start 365, had seen people in Flickr doing it and thought it would be a great way to keep a daily journal and get better at photography in the mean time. I have been in Flickr for some years, which for most of the time has meant logging in once every couple of months to see if I had new comments (zero). I went to UK as an pair two three years ago and started getting more feedback on my pictures. I still feel it was the turning point, I got properly interested of photography and marveled other people's work more often. When you're a complete beginner who doesn't trust their skills at all getting feedback and encouragement from a real person standing next to you is SO important that I can't highlight it enough. Unfortunately I lost my enthusiasm for a year or so after I got back to Finland but at some point I picked up the camera again. I had decided to apply to an art school and while doing the photographic pre tasks I started taking all kind of pictures again. Soon after that I started the 365. It became more of a project of trying to find my own style instead of a documentation sort of thing and I'm kind of glad it did. I can't belive how much I've learnt this past year!
As you can see from here the beginning was not that great. ;) But every shot throughout the way means something to me, and looking at this first shot really reminds me of how quickly this year passed by even though it sometimes felt like it would never end.
A big thanks (accompanied with an even bigger IRL hug) to my boyfriend Niko for putting up with me and my project. Countless are the evenings and nights he had to witness me being glued to my chair, my ears closed from everything else except the soft lullaby like sound of the keyboard and eyes focused on my cheap laptop screen and the screen alone. At one point it even started to seem like my Flickr affair was starting to develope into a romance of a lifetime, but even then he stood by me regardless of my fidelity and let me keep my own thing because he knew it made me happy. And for that I am grateful! Niko also deserves the bonus marks for being such a champ and posing for me, especially when the poses in question were perhaps as boring as to walk as far away as possible and to stand there as long as I need him to and then to walk back. Or wearing angel wings in the graveyard which still makes his cheeks go red...and for that matter, mine as well. What was I thinking?
Thank you so much to every single one of you for sharing this year with me (or even a part of it!) I know I might not have always been there for you and that has sometimes made me sad. It's common knowledge I've got Flickr fatique more often than the word 'often' really even stands for. During these last few weeks and months it's been more of a rule than an exception that I've been very tired of carrying on with this project. But I am stubborn, what can I say! All you 365'ers know it's a love/hate relationship. The end part of the project has worn me down quite a lot, but I am ***so*** glad I made it to the end! :) Nothing feels better than setting a goal, reaching it and then being able to salute the freedom again.
From photography I have found the perfect medium to express myself and I am so happy about that. I've always felt artistically and creatively inclined but for a long time it seemed like I just didn't hold much talent in any particular area.
I'm not gonna say things that you usually say after projects like these. I haven't learnt to understand myself better. Instead I have learnt to accept the fact that I will probably never understand myself...always when I think I do, I'm in for a surprise the next day.
But I've decided to cherish the adventure from now on and open my eyes to new things. I've also understood I can't take as many things for granted as I have so far. It's time for me to be grateful about certain things, get more indipendent and get out of my little comfort zone that I sometimes also like to call as 'apartment'. I can't sit at home anymore and wait for the perfect opportunity to appear, I have to go out in search of it.
What will I do from now on? Some of you have asked if I'm gonna disappear from Flickr - worry not, you guys! I'm still gonna upload whenever I feel like it. Old shots, new shots, whatever strikes my fancy. At first I thought I would only upload 'great' shots once the project is over but now I've decided I'm just gonna do whatever feels good. If I take even Flickr too seriously the road ahead with everything else is gonna be very dark. So I'm planning to lighten up a little and not always see the negative side of everything. My god, how negative I've felt lately! Also I have been asked if I could do a second year of 365. I'm sorry to inform, but at the moment I don't see it as an option. I started to take this all too seriously as I already said, put it on a pedestal and felt lousy so often when I didn't reach my somewhat high standards. There are more important things than 365, Flickr or even photography - and I've been blind for too long now. It's time to have fun, reach out for things I really want and give real value to things I want to keep in my life.
I've got so much encouragement during this year, I never thought I would get to be in such a privileged spot.
All I can really say is...