Week 1: Self-Portrait | 2018 Project 52

First I want to say welcome to our new Project 52! It has been AWESOME to see photos posted to our Flickr group, some people returning from last year, some new folks too and even familiar faces from my everyday life. This project is a great way to learn more about yourself, about your camera and how to explore the world around you. So I’m very excited to see our member count go up and I hope that you guys enjoy what we have in store for you!

OK… so I take self-portraits often, but I know that most people hate them. And for the sake of defining it, I don’t consider a “selfie” a self-portrait; they have different reasons for existing in the world. But the logic behind why I started taking self-portraits is 1) to get in front of the camera more often, 2) control pictures of myself vs photos that others share, and 3) learn to be less self-conscious about the way I look. And it’s helped. I know I have one eye that opens more than the other, I hate my gummy, small tooth smile, I have baby hairs that I cannot control ever… but these are things I’ve noticed and am learning how to photograph better. Because I am known for having the goofiest face on the planet in pictures. That’s actually really annoying. Thus, self-portraits.

So I got to work on New Year’s Day. Found the place I wanted to shoot in, set up my tripod, grabbed the remote and my fancy paper crown…


Settings: f/4.0, 160 sec, 35mm, ISO 1000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

… and the puppy parade began. The dogs were in and out of the room, licking my ears, smelling the camera, hovering nearby, getting in each other’s faces. And it was so much fun! The number of outtakes I had… woof.

I chose this photo because I think it reflects my everyday life. The BDD is my shadow – she follows me all over the house, even into the bathroom, she has to lay on me in the bed, she bullies Chase out of the little dog bed even though she’s too big for it only because it’s closest to me. So it didn’t surprise me when she saw me sitting and decided to “sit in my lap.” And she really didn’t plan on moving. I pet her, rubbed her chest and… she stayed. This dog is a pain in the ass, but she makes me laugh regularly because of the silly stuff she does. Who knew she’d grow up to be a 10-year-old puppy. But here we are. With a doggin taking over my self-portrait.

Week 2: Circle
due 01.10.18

Let’s ease into our weekly photo project with finding some shapes. You’ll probably see these reoccur through the year, much like we did with colors in 2017. Remember that you can photograph shapes in different ways: positive vs negative, diagrammed within the photo itself, using them for composition, organic vs geometric… Look around you for inspiration and see if circles jump out at you. Or write down ideas to see if you can bring them to life. Don’t be afraid to try something that feels silly because we can’t see it until you share it with us – so experiment and get a little weird to see if something ordinary becomes magnificent!

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!

New Year – New Recommendations | Let’s Do This, 2018!

Dear 2017,

You weren’t a bad year. Better than 2016 in so many ways… but also tough and disappointing in other ways. But with that said, know that it was still a good year to be spent with those we love. And I’d like to do all of that again, but since we don’t “resolute” let’s do try to sprinkle in more “recommendations” for the New Year.

So in 2018… I want to be inspired by everything around me – every place, every person – and stay curious about what can be done with that inspiration. And I’d like to inspire others, whether it’s the new Project 52 or my art or my actions. And art… I want to make art. With my heart, deliberately, intentional or accidental, that I’m proud of. I want to keep the people I love most near me… the ones that support me and love me how I am, not how they want me to be… the ones that bring me joy and voice no harsh judgements… my tribe. I want to find more time to sing songs that make me happy, to dance and act silly with all the littles, and be in the moment instead of worrying what other people think. I plan to “let go” of more this year than last, not carry burdens I cannot remedy, and instead keep focusing on what good I can do. Patience and gratitude on are my practice list, as well as continuing my journey with yoga – it’s been quite transformational for me even in just a few weeks, both physically and mentally. Along with that, I want to be more aware of what I’m putting into my body – how much, how it makes me feel – and become smarter in that area of my life. And probably not lastly but the last thing I’ll write here, is I look forward to my future adventures with my husband. We have so much fun together, enjoy each other’s company and I’m very excited to explore new experiences and places with him in the New Year.

Like I said, you were good, 2017, but I know we can do better. I’ve already sensed a shift of change in myself since November and I know that only good can come from it. So let’s do this!

new year new recommendations

My Point of View | 4Q17

My last “photo dump” of the year. And thinking about what I’ve shot over the last three months… I was thinking it wasn’t very much. But looking back at my photos I did more shooting than I thought I did. Here are some of my favorite photographs that I haven’t shared on my blog – some are outtakes from the Project 52, some are of gatherings with friends (drag brunch is totally a thing!), and others are just me with my camera. But I like what I was able to walk away with this year. So many good photos to share with others and a few that I’m really proud of myself for too.

If you’d like to see my POV posts from the rest of the year, you can find them here: 1Q17, 2Q17 and 3Q17.

2018 Project 52 is Here!

2018 Project 52 is here! And we’re kicking it off today with our first prompt in hopes of having folks share their first photo next Wednesday – so we can have 52 photos in 2018. ;)

If you haven’t joined our 2018P52 Flickr group yet, please do. We have a healthy number of followers so far and I think we’ll see a few join us along the way, but I am excited to see new names as well as returning ones. And if Flickr isn’t your thing, share your images wherever you like; I post mine here on my blog and on Instagram and Facebook. Just use the hashtag #2018P52 so we can find you and give you some love.

OK, so this project means something different to everyone and I want to remind you that it is a personal challenge: there is no winner, there is no loser, and you’ll get out of it what you put into it. I host this project because it gives me what I need to keep moving forward. I love seeing everyone else’s photos, but I also like taking my own – learning a new technique, trying something way out of the box, revisiting something I’ve done before in a new way, pushing myself when I can and not beating myself up when I can’t. And I’d like you to approach it that way too.

Shoot for yourself, not for strangers on the Internet. If your goal is to learn your way around camera, then set it to manual and keep at it every week. If your goal is to keep your camera in your hands, this project may inspire you to do so each week. If your goal is to find who you are as a photographer and make art, then we’re in this together! But take time for yourself, pause when something catches your eye, shoot with intention and don’t be afraid to fail – because what you consider a failure might inspire someone else.

We have a lot of interesting stuff in our hat for this year’s project! My friends from last year’s P52 said they wanted to experiment with more techniques, so we have those. And some composition prompts to keep us working those muscles. And some “seek and find” prompts. And some that are open to interpretation. So let’s get this thing started!!!

OK, so are you ready?!?!

Week 1: Self-portrait
due 01.03.18

This shouldn’t surprise you. ;) Since there are a lot people in our Flickr group who don’t know one each other, let’s introduce ourselves with a self-portrait.

A self-portrait is to be created by the photographer themselves, not a second person, but there are many ways to take a picture of yourself when you don’t like being in front of the camera. If the camera’s timer isn’t your thing, look around you for inspiration. Find your reflection in your surroundings. Or make it anonymous by hiding your identity; use light or props to disguise your face, focus on a body part like your hands or feet or discover your silhouette. (I do ask that we keep it clean. We have a “safe” rating on Flickr and unsavory images will be removed.)

When you post your image to the group (select our group when uploading to Flickr), feel free to tell us a little about yourself – one of the great things about doing a project with a group of people is meeting new folks and learning from one another. And be sure to tell us where you live! That has been my favorite part of this project, to see all around the world through another person’s eyes.

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera.

New Year, New Plan – 2018 | Welcome to my life … - […] 52 Frames and Brooke Murphy’s Project 52 […]

Week 52: Photographer’s Choice | 2017 Project 52

And we made it to 52 weeks. I don’t know it goes for others, but having a weekly project actually makes the year go by faster for some reason. Even so, I can’t believe 2018 is right around the corner… and with a new Project 52 to boot!

But this last week of 2017 I wasn’t feeling to great. I caught Mike’s cold and it’s lingering. With a few days off from work and an extended holiday, I spent most of it in my pajamas asleep, or otherwise prone watching television or reading. I can’t seem to kick the cough, but I feel fine otherwise. Except for tired. So I figured it was fitting to have my last photo of the year start off much like my first photo of the year… of me on my  bed.

sick in bed

Settings: f/4.0, 100 sec, 35mm, ISO 2000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

To be honest, the days around Christmas flew past… probably because I slept through most of them. But Tuesday afternoon I realized I hadn’t even tried to take my photo this week. I hadn’t even left the house since Friday night. (I enjoy being a homebody. It drove Mike nuts and he had to break out on Tuesday.) But I grabbed my camera, set it up and crawled right back into bed. I had my cuddlebug Chase, my book and this is probably the most real self-portrait I’ve ever taken. I’m in still in pajamas, I’m curled up and comfy in our wreck of a bed… this is Brooke. And this probably ain’t going to change any time soon.

Week 1… we’re kicking off Week 1 of 2018’s Project 52!

You can find our first prompt on our Flickr Group discussions — join us at #2018P52 if you haven’t yet! Or you can click over to our kickoff post for the new project. I hope you can join us because we’ll be experimenting with new weekly themes and I think we’ll see some newcomers that are wanting to learn more about their cameras and their style. So visit the post, go to Flickr, sign up and let’s start the New Year off with a click!