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!

Kelly Moore’s Luna Camera Bag

I found it. I finally found a camera bag that is exactly what I want for everyday use. It isn’t too big, it isn’t too small… it’s just right. And her name is Luna.

I took matters into my own hands earlier this year and decided to make my own camera purse, but realized that the purse wasn’t made to carry such heavy objects. But I really wanted an everyday camera bag, one that did not look like a camera bag and was easy to walk to and from the office building without being harassed. And this camera purse fit the bill in more ways than one.

Luna camera bag

I had my eye on this Kelly Moore camera bag for a few weeks and when I finally decided she was it, they were out of stock. Big time out of stock. And I waited… and waited… for about four months until the color I wanted was available and I pounced on it! The tri-colored bone/walnut/black goes with everything I own (and with having a black back, I don’t have to worry about my denim rubbing color onto the bag).

I was still nervous about the size (even after watching videos multiple times), but the size was just right — big enough to hold my Mark iii fitted with a prime lens and still be able to fit my wallet and keys. With extra pockets in and out, I can slide in random things and my phone sits comfortably in the front pocket. The strap has a shoulder pad that isn’t bulky and ugly. Cross-body bags are my go-go, so no surprise I wanted one for my camera too.

Luna camera bag

Like most of Kelly Moore’s bags these days, it has a removable basket, which is actually a nice feature — if I wanted to use the purse and not carry my camera I totally could. (Like that’s going to happen though.) The fit is tight when I have my 35mm on the camera… and is the lens I use about 90% of the time. But it works. And it makes me happy to know that my camera is protected in the bag and unassuming from the outside. I think it would be good to travel with as it’s more comfortable and easy to get into than my other options.

Luna camera bag

This is my third Kelly Moore bag. I bought one years ago that was sadly stolen in Atlanta. (I’m still bitter about it.) And then I had a large messenger bag that I barely used but now it’s making its way around Baltimore on a daily basis. And now Luna, who is going to stick with me for a while. They’re good quality, built to handle the weight of camera equipment… but they do wear out like any bag would and the bags themselves tend to be on the heavy side. But they protect your gear and they look great. And I’m all about a good-looking camera purse.