January 30 day Challenge: A photo a day

As mentioned in my previous article ‘2014 new year resolutions from architecture and design bloggers’, 2014 is about the sprint rather than the marathon. For those who don’t know I used to be a competitive long distance runner and as such the thought of anything that takes a long time kinda haunts me – I am the no lock in contracts type of girl.

My 2014 new year resolution is to try something new every 30 days, 2014 will be the year for growth, focus and fun! For January I set out to take a photo everyday. Easy you say? Not for me, I joined instagram in late 2013 via peer pressure, I avoid cameras like the plague (I am incredibly shy and its close to a life mission to shy away from photographic documentation), and from the ages of 16-26 I can be found in 10 photos at most.

Despite this, the challenge was indeed incredibly fun. All photos were taken on my smart phone, throughout my daily life and without any intention of doing something specifically for a photo opportunity. I don’t anticipate to draw great conclusions from these 30 day challenges but rather highlight some interesting observations. To document and share the challenges is more about sharing and connecting with those who read and to those with similar interests. Please take away what you like and to leave your comments in the section below.

I am also most importantly open to suggestions for 30 day challenges so please email any ideas to

January-Challange-30-photos Some observations:

1. No ‘selfies’: Why? I am insecure, simple as that; I could not imagine anyone wanting to look at a photo of me. I also attach the premise of ‘selfies’ with self obsession or over appreciation of self and a quality which I don’t necessarily find attractive in the human spirit. I have always thought that a more genuine and interesting manner for photo sharing is through the photographers perspective and therefore allows the recipient to experience the world through their eyes. I like photos that are honest and un-fabricated,  in photo 7  for example I lay under a tree on sunny day and its quite simply that experience which I share, allowing you to draw upon your own connotations and meaning.

2. Not Much Architecture: Wow, as an architect, I did not take many photos of buildings and when I did I was to highlight a particular part of a building. Throughout the challenge, I took photos of moments that created an immediate emotional response (all were through impulse) and it seems that architecture at large does not do this very well (not the places which I surrounded myself with during this particular 30 day period anyway). Is architecture simply too big to facilitate the human emotions that I am most drawn to capturing in a photo?

3. Trespassing: Clearly a fan of Guy Debord and the ‘theory of derive’ many of these photos were taken while trespassing and takes be back to my university days when the police were called to a street based performance assignment which I took to a whole new level. Should you tell me I can not do something or go somewhere and ill be more intrigued and determined do so. In photo 10 I broke into a private workshop, while in photo 17 I jumped a fence to access a private art installation….thats the way I roll.

4. Sharing creates the opportunity to meet likeminded people: When I shared photo 26 on instagram, it was seen by a friend of the person who built the car on the cover and introductions were made. He also happens to be an incredible artist. I never considered this challenge as an exercise of meeting new people with unique talents and for expanding networks.

5. Habits: Turns out like most people I am a highly habitual person. Many of the photos are taken of things that I do and bring happiness on a daily basis. Photo 16, the simple pleasure of peanut butter and honey on toast which occurs at least once a day…sometimes two or three. Its an addiction that could parallel any drug.

6. Its the simple things: I took photos of the things that made me happy, I realise that none of these are complex moments and can be experienced almost daily. Happiness is captured in photo 24 as I laze around in the back of my car on a warm morning or in photo 23 as I drink a tea (another of my daily rituals) and in photo 15 as I read a book in the grass.

7. I have way too much alone time: The majority of these photos were taken alone, I now recognise I spend way to much time alone! Some photos were taken when I came across something that I wanted to share with someone (a friend, a family member or just my social networks) but as such they recognise my desire to connect and share my life with other people, something I do very rarely in person or practice.

8. Heightened awareness: When looking back on each photo I can acutely remember where I was, what inspired me, how I felt, my mood and even the weather. To look over the past 30 days via photographic documentation, each moment becomes unlocked, distinguished and remembered with clarity set aside from the depth of those things that happen but are long forgotten.

9. Where are all the people at? When I am around other people the last thing that goes through my mind is to take a photo of them or of us, I am engaged in that moment with that person whatever it may be. This shows my ability to live in the present (something which I have great difficulty to do at times) but occurs much easier when in the company of others.

Hope you found this article interesting. If you have any comments, please leave them in the section below or email any suggestions for a challenge to 


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