November 21, 2012

Zoée 101 - My 365 Project

As a part of getting to know each other, I thought I'd write a little bit about my 365 Days project that I did back in 2009/2010. It's quite hard to believe that it has already been almost 3 years since I completed the project! It remains to be one of the biggest accomplishments I have done so far. I usually post photography related stuff over at my personal photography facebook page, but I want this blog to also be about photography I do as it's such a big aspect of who I am.

[What's in a Name?]


I'm sure some of you have heard of the 365 project that a lot of people do. It can be about pretty much anything. Mine was about photography, or more specificially - self portraits. I started it on a whim, having no idea at all what I was getting myself into. I don't even remember wondering whether I'd actually finish it or not. I just pretty much dove right into it.

[The Mirror Series]

[What Lies Within]

At first it just was to inspire some creativity in me. At that time, I was working at a quilting shop, as a web admin. It was a great job and I got to have access to so many supplies, ideas, and creativity but I wasn't creating too much. I ended up purchasing a new camera (Nikon D40 that came with the kit 18-50mm lens) and thought, well why not?

[The Many Sides of Rory]

[Queer Greasers]

A few months into the project, I began to realize how much time I spent thinking about my project. Brainstorming new ideas. feeling constantly excited and inspired. Of course, I had some days where I was just not getting anything and became incredibly frustrated with myself. I think the hardest part of the project was pushing through the days where I just was simply getting nada. No ideas. Nothing looked good and I just had the hardest time letting myself post a simple portrait. The best part of the project was definitely seeing the entire process through, from brainstorming, to sketching, to shooting, to manipulating, and finally the final product. I still think back nostalgically about that time of my life. It was a really good time.



I did also use the project as therapy in a way. I would write about each portrait, which often was about something I was figuring out. You can see all the written pieces along with the pictures over at the flickr set. After the project was complete, I could see how various portraits were about gender identity, sexuality, deafness, and language. Another common theme was just imagination. Experimenting. Exploring.



I was fortunate enough to have a show for my 365 Days project, which I ended up naming it 365 Degrees. It was a weekend photography show on a little island where my dad lived. It was really awesome to connect with people through my work and I was proud of how the show was set up (many thanks to my partner and family for helping me set it all up!). I displayed various props I used in my project as well as a selection of portraits. It was so very me.

I often think about doing another one someday. I probably will as I feel like it's such a great way to remember your life later on. I've changed a bit in the last 3 years too so it would be cool to show that through new self portraits. If you're curious about my editing process, I will be posting a step-by step digital manipulation I did with one of my self portraits (after the 365 days project) tomorrow!

Have you done one? If so, I'd love to see a link to your 365 set!


  1. I remember your 365days project very fondly. I would wake up every morning to find a new photo from you. It was awesome! :)

    I remember my project fondly too. It wasn´t as elaborate as yours but very personal to me. I too just jumped into it without much thought and it was much harder than I initially thought but I am proud and happy that I did it. And I would like to do another one sometime too. But working full time now is just taking so much time!

    1. I remember yours too, it was great! I miss that connection that 365 project gave me, it was nice to watch friends post pictures everyday and hearing about their lives. One day we'll have to do one again and maybe it'll even be around the same time!