Tuesday, January 5, 2016

month in objects: december

paper glasses: because sometimes a pop-up museum is just kinda meh / copa soaps and spices and tease: because christmas shopping at the holiday markets is one of my favorite things ever / fedex: because I took deep breaths / cork: because it's not new year's without a little bubbly / baggage claim: because home for the holidays / stamps: because who doesn't need a little charlie brown in their lives / cookies: because baking with the girls was a most wonderful time / ticket stub: because sometimes you see a show and it's truly awful / hair clip: because these clippys are my everything right now / key card: because I can't quit that place / plastic glasses and ticket stub: because the force awoke in 3d and it was really, really cool

So a year ago I decided to do this 2015 documentation system. I collected little items and remnants that reminded me of each month and put those things into 12 different collages over the course of the year, which I then photographed for posterity. The majority of the items went into the trash, allowing me to clean and declutter once a month. I actually completed this project in it's entirety - I never missed a month, I never had to backtrack and do two or three months at a time, and I was surprisingly consistent in my entire approach to the whole thing.

But now that 2015 has turned into 2016, I can say that I have mixed feelings about the project. While I truly did enjoy the collage-making and photographing process (it gave me an excuse to pull the tripod out way more than I normally do), I feel that the end results were fairly anti-climactic. Or maybe that's too strong of a word. I was looking to tell the story of my 2015 through images and items, and while I did just that, I am now realizing that what makes up a year is not the physical things you use each day - it's the emotions and feelings and people. And my collages don't indicate any one person or human encounter.

Sure, a ring box is a physical representation of an engagement - but what about the selfie I took minutes after he proposed? Surely that tells a much better story that a generic velvet box. And ticket stubs prove that I was at a particular event, but where is the energy and excitement that came with each concert and play? The irony, I'm discovering, is that within my 2D images are 3D emotions that are just screaming to be let out.

Again, I'm glad I did this project. I learned a whole lot about composition, white balance, and the power, or lack thereof, of pictures. But I won't be continuing my collages in 2016 - I miss the weekly pictures I took in 2014 and want to continue in that spirit. I'm really attracted to something like the my week in objects project from Reading my Tea Leaves, but I doubt my schedule will allow me enough good light on a weekly basis. So maybe I will go back to one picture each week. Or maybe just do selfies? Is that a terrible idea? As I write this, it's Monday morning of the first week of January - so I have approximately 6 more days to figure this out - and I know you can't wait to see what I come up with ;)

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