gratitude.2012 is an exclusive monthly online magazine with inspiration, creative prompts and shooting tips for developing a gratitude practice through photography.

gratitude.2012 will help you create your own visual gratitude journal, using photography. Each month, you will receive thoughts for meditation or reflection on subjects in your life that will inspire gratitude. In addition, you'll receive creative prompts and photography challenges, as well as tips and technical tricks that will help you take your best pictures possible.

But the best part? Forty percent of your subscription fee will be donated to help support Kiva, an organization that helps to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty around the world. You can learn more about Kiva here, and how your money will be used here.

(Total amount donated to Kiva: US$ 2,152 -- thank you so much to all who participated!)

the back story

Many years ago, when I was in my late 20′s, I found myself going through a really rough patch — I was in the throes of a divorce, I was studying for the bar exam, and I had just been laid off from my very first law job.  Life was incredibly bleak, and I was at the point of giving up.

One night, when I was at a particularly low point, I thought to myself, “if I can come up with just one good thing that happened today — just one good thing — I’ll consider life worth living another day.”

So I thought.

And I thought.

And finally, I remembered that I cooked myself a hard-boiled egg that morning for breakfast, and it was pretty near perfect.  That’s dumb, I argued with myself. You just said it had to be one good thing, you didn’t say it had to be awesome, I argued back.  And so, I counted it.

Since that night, in 16 years there hasn’t been a single night when I’ve not able to come up with one good thing.  Sometimes my Good Thing is relatively unimpressive — for example, I might note to myself that I uncharacteristically made my bed, and it felt good getting into a made bad that night — but sometimes, my One Good Thing is awesome, like going hot-air ballooning.  Nonetheless, what I’ve learned is that by developing a gratitude practice, my life, overall, has become more joyful, just because I stop to notice the things that are good.  And honestly, when things aren’t going so well, it has become a practice that has sustained me through the tough times.  In many ways, my gratitude practice is intricately tied with my photography practice: I shoot every day, as required for the upkeep of my blog. But there's a happy byproduct: by focusing on what is beautiful in my life, I am able to create a huge archive of subjects for which I am grateful -- in other words, tangible proof that there is so much for me to be thankful for.

the deets

When: The beginning of every month, starting on January 9th, throughout 2012.

Where: Notices of each new issue will be sent directly to your email box, right where it belongs.

How: On January 9th, and the first of every month thereafter throughout 2012, you'll receive notices of journaling prompts, exercises, lessons and meditations in your inbox, with a link to an online .pdf file, which you may read online, or download directly to your computer. In addition, if you're moved to share your images, you may upload them to a special Flickr group, share your thoughts and insights, while also getting inspiration from other participating subscribers.

Who: Anyone with an email account and a camera, who would like to create a practice of gratitude while learning how to take better photographs. Also, if you so desire, you might want a Flickr account, if you'd like to share your images. (You can get a free Flickr account here.)

Why: Because uncovering the beauty in your own life is an amazing thing.

Price: Only US$ 5 per month, of which 40% will be donated to Kiva.  You may start or cancel your subscription at any time.