The 365 project is officially complete! I can't believe it's already been a year. This project has done nothing if not reinforce the fact that so much can change in just three-hundred and sixty-five days. One year ago, I was in a photographic rut and doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself. I was working a portrait studio job that I truly did not like, living back home in Ohio with my family, and feeling like all the hard work I had put towards getting a degree had been for nothing. I know, a bit overdramatic, but a rut is a rut is a rut.
I realized that if I wanted to get a job doing what I loved I needed to strengthen my portfolio. Working in a portrait studio that's main practice was taking pictures of children in between tantrums and dealing with rude parents was not going to do anything for my photojournalism and documentary portfolios. So I sucked it up and made myself commit to recording something new every day, whether it was a photograph, a video segment, or a piece of audio. Admittedly, I've taken far more photos than I have recorded audio or shot video for this project, but I digress.
That choice to not settle, to stop feeling sorry for myself when there was so much more I could be doing, has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. My mood improved considerably, I had a much higher tolerance for my portrait studio job, and I think my mother had less of a desire to smack me. It inspired me to go on a road trip out west like I've always talked about doing, and I got to see amazing things I'll never forget and make memories with one of my best friends that I'll always have. I could literally see my work and my portfolio strengthening every day, to the point that when I started applying for internships again, I finally got one.
Now, I have three months left in that internship. My portfolio has changed almost completely from what it was a year ago. While I have no idea what I'll be doing after my last day working for MLive up here in Michigan, things are looking up much more than they were a year ago. I've just started applying for other internships and jobs, and I'm attempting to save money to travel in the event that I don't have something else lined up when mid-June arrives.
365 days ago, things were looking a little bleak creatively. Now, 365 days later, things are great, and they can only get better. To those of you that have followed this project from the beginning, or have checked on it from time to time, or have just now randomly stumbled upon it, thank you for the support, and for coming with me. To show my appreciation, I'll now spam you with some of my favorite posts and some highlights from the past year.
For my last day of the challenge I got to hang out with some Saginaw elementary school students who are piloting an after-school fitness program called 'Kids Run the Nation.' I was having a pretty crappy day yesterday, so getting to hangout with them for a bit and seeing how much fun they were having did make me feel a bit better. It also finished this project off on a high note!
Yesterday/Saturday/day 362 I shot a high school girls basketball state championship game down at Michigan State University's Breslin Center in East Lansing. I shot plenty of photos during and after the game, but this one was by far my favorite. Nouvel Catholic Central unfortunately lost, but not for lack of trying. This team's been one of my favorites to photograph during this basketball season. They've given their all in every single game of theirs that I've seen, and Saturday's was no different. A senior and standout on the team is also the daughter of the team's head coach, so I knew going into this game that their reaction would be the one to watch for. The coach went and consoled every single member of her team, but those first few seconds following the final buzzer were just for her and her daughter. It was quite a moment to witness.
Friday/day 361 I covered a school assembly hosted for the Frankenmuth elementary, middle, and high schools. The assembly was held so that Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson could come and talk to the students about nutrition, and how important it is to make healthy choices, even when you're young. Hanson seemed like a pretty down-to-earth guy, making jokes about how he was sure he was boring everybody and making a point to get all of them involved.
Today was a big mix of different assignments. It started out with taking a picture of a pit bull mix that reportedly bit a 2-year-old girl. The dog's currently being held at the local pound, and there's a big debate storming about what should be done. The dog was supposedly left by a former roommate of the girl's family, and had bitten the girl before. The family supposedly couldn't get animal control to take the dog without paying $130, which they couldn't afford. The whole situation is just unfortunate from all points of view, to put it mildly.
After the dog photos a reporter and I worked on a project we've been building up, centered around the abundance of closed schools in Saginaw. I won't be putting any of those photos up yet since I haven't published them on MLive, but these are a few candids from some of the exploring we embarked on today. Some Simon and Garfunkel-inspired graffiti and some bullet holes.
To finish off the day, I shot a pretty serious car accident where all three people involved, (both drivers and one passenger), had to be rushed to the hospital. A bit of variety throughout the whole day, no?