Wow. This is gonna be a long one...really...
Where to start?
A year ago, I was posting random stuff on Flickr after Liina took an interest in Photography. As I perused through pages and pages of pictures in Explore, I began noticing lots of self-portraits tagged with "365". In particular, the shots of Rosie Hardy and ::Reflecting Truth:: caught my eye, and I began wondering if this was something I could do. So I decided that on my birthday, August 19th, I would begin my own project and see where it took me. For 2 weeks I took what one could argue to be some of the lamest 365 photos ever, lol...and then one day, a beam of light called FGR shone down from the heavens, and I was saved.
Having a theme every day changed everything. It gave me something to work for, and it brought out my creativity in a big way. But a funny thing happened when I got to FGR: I started getting comments from people I didn't know at all! I realized very quickly what a sense of community this group had, and for that I was truly grateful (no, not yet Clem, not yet). My 365 took on a whole new meaning.
Some time around November I did 2 weeks of a similar theme, and I realized that it really made things easy on my 365. So I started this tiny little group called Theme of The Week (TOTW) in order to see if anyone else might be helped by doing the same thing...960 members and over 8,600 photos in the pool later, I realized I'd created something similar, albeit very different, to FGR, and it has become it's own entity. I am constantly amazed at the artistry displayed in that group, and I am eternally grateful to all the members there for pouring their hearts into their photos.
This year has had a lot of ups and downs, including a difficult move to a smaller place, the death of my Grandmother, speaking to my father for the first time since 18 months ago, and many more moments that made this project what it was. It's truly changed me, and that's what this shot is about. However, the biggest "up" of them all was yesterday...so many of my friends, contacts, acquaintances and even complete strangers did tributes (over 70!!!) to my shots because Liina surprised me by starting a group for them and choosing it for FGR. The shots were amazing, but more importantly, the sentiments expressed there made me tear up more than once. It's amazing how much love there is in a website full of virtual strangers....
And now, speaking of love, I have to give some:
Liina - I can't say enough about my love for you. Thank you for all the incredible support, friendship and love over the year it took me to do this project. I could never have done it without you, and yesterday's picture is a testament to how much I love you.
Maite - You were my first. Comment, that is. And you've been there since
that day I posted my first shot in FGR. I've laughed with you and at
you, and I've cried when you cried. You're one of the most amazing
people I've never met. Thank you for everything...
Brooke - I have never laughed so hard in my life, I think, until I met you. Your videos, your photos, your off-the-wall sense of humor just cracks me up to no end...but it's your real-ness that makes me come around again and again. XoXoXo
Pete - Okay, now it's your turn ;) Dude, the Austin meetup was by far the highlight of my 365. If you hadn't made that trip, my journey would not be complete, and now, because of you, I have a polaroid of 2 of the most awesome muthafuckas ever to walk the planet: You and I. Thank you for creating the group that helped shape what I've done for the last year.
Steven - Ever since I saw your first entry into TOTW I've been blown away by your incredible creativity. But your dedication to your friends has blown me away even more. Thanks for always being the sarcastic, lovable goofball that you are, but for also being such a fantastic man-crush :)
Victor - We may truly be brothers from another mother. Everything you said in your shot yesterday about our similarities made me want to hang out with you even more than I already do. I appreciate you every day my man...
And in no particular order, the many, many other people who have made this project special in one way or another:
MC1, Rae, Carrie, Miss Kate, Big Daddy K, Tom, Bitca, Cakeybabes, ddiemont, emily christine, fountaincoke, gooner-licious, hurley83, jooboos, just.k, lookingsmug, lutman123, margauxV, Maryam S, MikeB, Nerboo, not siskel, perry j, pimpexposure, psychedelic tuna, ry-o-vision, sarahisbulletproof, Cause & Effect, Christine Huff, Chronic-shock, Cutiger, Dr.Brian2008, dyxie, iluvthe80s, ireland4517, sarahIU, scoutj, teerish, txallekat, TK, Photos by Chris, angelamarie, canadian chick, *narly, stacie, mrs.raggle, stellar, ::reflecting truth::, ellen, amadika, anna gay, anniekbananie, antijenx, aphro(astroblaque), arieseffects, artsyT, asicas, auntie shadrach, barbarianheiress, bethechange21, bonus living, boy wonder, camillesau, cbliss22, christina ina, cre8iveaddiction, crustydolphin, cubsfam, dave-t, dave77459, daz, dCapFoto, decembre71, dosgatos77478, dr. nik, dragonstixx, elaur, erik gustafson, ernie e, evil erin, eweliyi, gingerpig2000, gotti girl, heathre, heshta, hildog, hlngre23, hoggheff, hollandrayne, illuminau intanchly, inwaves, jcoyle, jeff the trojan, jen!, jennerator, jhscrapmom, jkingone, jlnewland, jlovely, jo's fo's, joerocketh, jryle79, junxs, justapeek, kezzaroo, kitty sanchez, libraryann, lidge34, lintmachine, london lens, loving earth, lucky-v, ludbah, mand-eye, marioSOTM, maxibell, minorthird, mogsterr, mr. moog, ms. m, nayshell64, pam.ela, pascale piratechickan, patchworkbunny, pichado photography, psub_eye, qt_pi, rebecca*, rebecca:), rebelshootsfan, red.dahlia, rhiannondaire, robczn, samboddy, shetha, shooterD, slightly amazing grace, sonriendo, springpeeper, teeth don't grind, terra924, that edit girl, The Andrea, the doctor, the flooz, the wee pixie, theamazingshrinkingman, thiswasmeantforyou, tom schaefer, tropical.pete, twnklmoon, txhippichic, tyla75, ukimmeru, volveta96maria, yoshiffles, pure essence gabriela, aspidistra, evelet, tabrel, freedom, nikki dee, olga_sgr, howthedevilareyou, breamarie, ryandevera, katie buttons, web god, little l*tje, the real estreya, faerie girl, alibubba, davidwesthouse, zee anna, and probably many others i may have forgotten!!!
Everyone who has touched my stream at any time has touched me as well, and obviously, this is long enough. Most of you, especially those who did shots yesterday dedicated to me, know how I feel about you already. My heart is warm and fuzzy because of you, and I can only say THANK YOU so many times before it gets old.
But for real...THANK YOU!
All my love,