Hello, 2016!

Happy (belated) new year!

We are over ten days into 2016, and doesn’t it feel good to start a new year? It’s like the first page in a new notebook…clean, crisp, and ready for another chapter of the story that each one of us is writing.

Happy 2016 from Barbara Bell Photography! What will you do this year to write your story?

I’ve been quiet on the blog as I finished up year-end projects and photo shoots, not to mention adjusting to life with a dog in the house.

Last year, I did a photo-a-day project (#shoesforayear) that I posted to Instagram and occasionally here and on my FB page. I LOVED doing that project. My motivation was that I wanted to photograph something every day that would make me take notice of the ordinary moments in my life. It’s so easy to take those moments for granted, but they are the components that make us who we are. Whether it was having dinner with a friend, making meatballs with my mom, or spending the evening in with my love, it reminded me that photography allows us to be a witness … to the mundane and the extraordinary.

#shoesforayear made me pay attention to the simple, everyday things in my life

Why shoes, you ask? I needed an anchor – something that I was genuinely interested in and something that would be fun. Most of the time we take our shoes for granted, but shoes help to define our identity. We – consciously and unconsciously – choose our shoes and our identity every day. When we want to get dressed up, we choose different shoes than our everyday shoes. When we want to be comfy, we choose the best shoes (or slippers) for the job. When we want to be active, we choose the shoes that will allow us to run, hike, and scale to our dreams. In my case of swimming in the morning, no shoes worked best.

Doing #shoesforayear really made me pay attention to how people were feeling, how I was feeling, and pushed me to capture an image every single day. What I loved best about this project was how other people shared the shoes in their lives. Some shared their shoes from their workday, from their date night outfit, from a Saturday they spent with their daughters, from their son’s first steps, and so much more. I am so grateful for the people who joined me on this journey.

When it came to the close of 2015, I got a lot of asks about what my 2016 project would be, as well as suggestions. My top 10 that I heard from my peeps who followed this project:

  1. Continue with shoes
  2. Home
  3. Homesteading
  4. Bees (I LOVED this idea)
  5. Babies
  6. Whitby (our black lab)
  7. Hearts
  8. Food
  9. Restrooms (Don’t wrinkle your news – some are very interesting in their decor)
  10. Travels

I loved every single suggestion because I could see the possibility. Alas, in the end, I chose not to do a photo-a-day project this year. I’ll take a break for 2016, but would love to continue to hear your suggestions, as I see a return in coming years.

If you are interested in doing your own photo-a-day project, look to Karthika Gupta’s article on 6 Tips for Doing a Successful 365 Photo Project. Her #3 opened my world – there is a 365 Project website out there! What a fab way to create community!

Whatever your reasons, whatever your anchor, it’s a great way to keep you capturing images every single day.


Here’s to a fab 2016!


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