Hattiesburg American Column 1/5/2010

My column that appears in the Hattiesburg American today.

I HAVE A GOAL FOR 2011 — to take one photograph (at least one) every day for the entire 365 days of the year.

I’m reluctant to call this a resolution. I don’t want to feel like I’ve broken a promise if I don’t follow through.

I might miss some days. I might quit altogether.

And that won’t be so terrible. I’m doing this for me. I’ll only really fail if I don’t try.

I want to do this because I want to be a better photographer. I believe the daily practice will inspire me to accomplish that. I’ll probably experiment more with my camera, read more books about photography, and attempt shots I might not have otherwise tried in my efforts not to repeat myself too often.

As a bonus, I will have a visual record of my year when I am done.

I’m a big believer in daily practice. Whether you want to be a musician, a writer, an athlete or a chef, the only real way to develop and maintain skills is to work on them every day.

I’m not trying to become a professional photographer, though. This is my hobby. This is my personal outlet that gives me some relief from my work.

I don’t aspire to become better than “real” photographers. I just want to be the best I can be. That too is best achieved through daily attention to the craft.

365 projects appear to be popular New Year’s resolutions this year. “Take a picture every day” is currently #9 on the list of most popular resolutions at www.43things.com.

“Lose weight,” much to no one’s surprise, is #1.

Normally, I try to avoid resolutions. I don’t like setting myself up to fail. This year is different, though. I have something I really want to try.

If you, too, hate to let yourself down, don’t be so hard on yourself. Just pick something you want to accomplish and go for it.

I might not make it to day 3 of my 365 project without breaking my streak.

If I don’t, I’ll still have 2 more pictures than I had before. And if I pick back up again on day 4, I’ll have one more.

That’s more than I could say if I didn’t try at all.

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