The 365 Project {2019} | Maine Childrens, Family, and Lifestyle Photographer

The past three days have been a whirlwind. It’s always so exciting and fun to pick favorites from the year, both personally and professionally, and then to share them and give thanks to everyone (my family included!) who allow me the honor of photographing them. If you’ve been following me throughout 2019, you know I also completed a huge personal project this year – my second 365 Day Project – where I photographed my own life each and every day of the year. This was the second time I participated in a 365, with the first being in 2017. Completing the first was totally mind-blowing for me in emotional, professional, and self-assuring ways, and as I sit here excited to share the final project for the second time, I feel similar emotions. My goal for 2017 was to do it – make it happen, get the photos, complete the project, and hopefully become a better photographer while getting it done. My goal for 2019 was to kick total butt. I wanted this project to change me – to change my work; to not only make me a better photographer, but to make me a MUCH better photographer. While 2017 was focused mostly on everyday moments, 2019 had a lot of that as well, but also big adventures, a little more direction, and more awareness of light, moments, and editing. While not every picture is perfect (not even close on a lot of them), I can say I didn’t really “phone it in” on the tough days this year, and I feel so incredibly proud of this collection in the technical sense, as well as the personal and emotional ones.

This was a tough year for my family. We suffered a lot of loss. Within the span of weeks we lost my aunt and my grandmother, and my husband’s uncle and great aunt. The day before my grandmother’s funeral we said goodbye to our beloved chocolate lab, Rowdy. There were a lot of tears this year. There was also a lot of family time, and laughter through the tears as we shared memories and stories. I thought for sure I’d look back at 2019 as the worst year ever, but even in the midst of the loss there were beautiful and wonderful moments and successes. I had my biggest year ever in photography, and my first full year of being full time. I also hit my 10th anniversary as a professional photographer. I took my first solo trip to the west coast to see my post-college roommate get married, and traveled solo again in November to meet my brand new niece. FYI – traveling alone is pretty damn amazing, and you should make it happen in 2020. My daughter grew grew grew this year, physically, as you’ll see in the photos, but also emotionally, as she learned about life and death, and navigated the world of friendships in the third and fourth grade. She became my best assistant, traveling with me to more sessions that I can count, each time without complaint, and each time happy to create a photo together of our post-session dips in the ocean, usually fully clothed. My husband’s business grew this year, and he began his own journey of personal health and growth. We are entering 2020 stronger than we’ve ever been.

To have this all documented means more than words can say, and I could not be more grateful to my family for being so wonderful about the camera being in their faces, for giving me space and time to upload and pick photos every day, and for allowing me to capture our life together in a very public way. When I mentioned to my daughter last week that our project was coming to a close, she became unexpectedly upset, sad that it was ending, and so we’ve decided to keep going and do project #3 in 2020. I know if I didn’t, I’d regret it, and I am already looking forward to sitting with her and my husband on our couch next January first, and watching our entire year unfold in front of us.

There were 365 days in 2019. This is our 2019. Thank you for watching!

Click here to see the full project as one webpage.

Capturing Maine & Beyond
Copyright: Kristina O'Brien