Okay, friends, I've decided to do something to spark the creative juices:
Some of you may have heard of NaNoWriMo -- the international online community that is designed to encourage folks to write an entire novel in the month of November (NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month). This very cool group has been going for almost a decade at this point, I think, and is hotly anticipated by its members every year. The point isn't to write a book that will be an international best seller, so much as it is to simply get into the practice of writing, and create something within 30 days. I did it once -- it produced a truly horrifying piece of work -- but just doing the exercise taught me that I'm capable of writing a book (and honestly, it gave me the confidence to create The Beauty of Different, when the time came to do so).
With the success of NaNoWriMo came the inspiration NaBloPoMo -- National Blog Posting Month -- the brainchild of one of my favourite writers, Eden Kennedy. NaBloPoMo encouraged bloggers to blog every day for the month of November -- another challenge to push the habit of online creation, quantity-over-quality, just to develop the discipline of a creative practice.
My friends, the time has come for National* Photo Posting Month.
Every day, for the month of November, I'm going to take a photograph and post it here, supplementing my regular posting schedule. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons:
1. I love the idea of a daily challenge, but I love the idea of a daily challenge that has an end date even more. I like the idea of creating a body of work -- in this case, 30 successive images -- even though I have no real idea where this will take me.
2. I love the idea of taking a moment every day to work on my photography. Because I think no matter where any of us are in our photographic journey, practice always helps perfect, you know?
3. I love the idea of stopping and looking around me. While it's possible that some of my photos might be staged, my goal is that they're not -- that the 30 days becomes a gratitude practice of the beauty that organically exists around me. Because really that's what it's all about.
So, get ready: it's about to be all photographic up in here. And you should join me.
Starting today, keep your camera on you, and photograph something -- anything -- and save it somewhere. To be clear, you don't have to be a professional photographer to do this -- just have a camera (of whatever type), and a willingness to stop and take a photo every day.
And to make this fun, how about we do this:
If you upload any of your pictures online -- on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, whatever -- tag it #NaPhoPoMo -- that way, we can watch all of the amazing photographs as they come in. See? They're coming in already!
If you publish a collection of all of your images somewhere public (for example, on your blog, or in a Flickr set, or you create a special Pinterest board, that sort of thing), please leave the URL in the comments below. I'll update this post with links to your site, so we can all follow along. Also, I'd like to give prizes at the end of November -- I'm not sure what yet -- given randomly to those of you who manage to have images posted for all 30 days. On December 1st, I'll repost all the blogs/sites that have the 30 days of images up, and then we'll see where we are on prizes, etc. and go from there.
Are you guys in? Let's do this.
* Note that "National," in this case, means "any nation that you happen to be in." People from all over the world who have the capacity to take a photograph are welcome!
these fine folks are participating in NaPhoPoMo 2013:
T. LaShaun Wallace
Lola A. Åkerström
Mandi | No Apathy Allowed
Lily Lebawit Girma
Impressed, the awesome online company that can turn the photographs on your iPad magically into a beautiful photo book, want to encourage you to take those photographs every day this month -- so as some added inspiration, they've offered a special discount on their photobooks for NaPhoPoMo participants! Simply use the discount code NaPhoPoMo19 on check-out, and you'll receive your photobook for simply $19 (regularly $29). If you're in the US or Canada, this would be such a great way to memorialize all the shots you take for November, so be sure to check them out!
The very fabulous Rivet & Sway, purveyors of specs for women, is obviously all about "seeing" the beauty in your life -- so they'd like to be a part of this as well! If you happen to be in the market for a pair of prescription eyeglasses (or readers, as I wear), simply enter the code KARENSWAYS! (including the exclamation point) on check-out to receive a $50 discount (offer good until December 31, 2013, United States only). Personally, I have purchased several pairs of my own from Rivet & Sway. And I'm actually about to buy another pair. It's a sickness.
(If you'd like to be a sponsor of #NaPhoPoMo or would like to donate a photography-related prize, please feel free to contact me directly -- firstname.lastname@example.org!)