Day 24 and I’m feeling the Love…

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

          ~  Mary Oliver

For the past 24 days I’ve been going to bed with a smile on my face, switching off all my social media apps, turning off the light, feeling peaceful, thoughtful, and grateful.  For the last 24 days I’ve been waking up with a feeling of anticipation – switching on my social media apps and waiting for the pings of notifications…

And those pings of notifications have been constant – and it has brought a permanent smile to my face.  From ear to ear my face has been brimming with happiness and my heart full of pride.

You see, 24 days ago, I set our Academy Members a bit of a Challenge – to take a photo a day that describes/shows/depicts a certain word.  There were no “Camera / Photography” rules, no set-in-stone direction or guidelines in regards to techniques, skill or post processing – All that was needed for those taking part was to take a picture and upload it to our Welshot forum on a daily basis.  Welshot Academy Members would have a chance to win the prize bundle because they completed the challenge – not on the standard of photograph taken. The main aim was to get Welshotters taking a photo, every day, for 31 days.

I will be honest here, on two fronts:  1.  I didn’t choose the words – I swiped them from a challenge I was supposed to do in January on Instagram – a Mindfulness challenge to make me think, relax and take some time out, even if just for 15 minutes a day – I. Failed. Miserably.  Not even two days in and it was pushed aside like an unwanted toy.  2.  I really didn’t hold out much hope that anyone would take up the challenge.

Right from the beginning I’d decided that we would give an amazing prize to a number of Members who did accomplish this challenge – and my thought process was if they did achieve the task of uploading an image, depicting a certain word each day then they jolly well deserved that huge prize bundle…

Now, the reason(s) I didn’t hold out much hope were: 1 – We’ve had challenges before – usually based around photography or specific photographic genres, or what we know Members have been able to capture at our Welshot Academy Events and I think it is fair to say, they have always been a bit hit and miss and definitely not consistent.  2 – Mindfulness Words?  Really?  Some really tough words were in that mix and it was going to require a think-outside-the-box mentality.  3 – It. Was. A. Photo. A. Day – it requires commitment, dedication and sometimes a notification on your phone to remind you to take and upload the image before the clock strikes midnight.

To say I have been blown away is an understatement, I’ve been bowled over with the response and I’ve looked at EVERY image at the time of upload and I’ve loved them all – each and every photo has brought a smile to my face.  I am in awe of those who have taken part, every day, the thought that has gone into this challenge has been incredible and even some of the hardest words have created some original, fun. thought provoking and, in a lot of cases, some really good photography – to be used as art on the wall or stock images.  Seriously – those photos are something to be proud of in more ways than one.

My smiles have also come from those Welshotters who have just dipped their toes in – occasionally offering an image or two every now and again – it has not been motivated by the prize haul but that of wanting to take part, to belong to a community of like-minded people, to join in and create or maybe just because they fancied a specific word.  Those Academy Members are to be congratulated too – they’ve done something new, they’ve maybe learned something and most definitely they have used their camera – whether it is a DSLR, CSC or a phone – they’ve created.

You can see the Challenge here:  Capturing July in Photography Challenge

Every Welshot Photographic Academy Member who has taken part in this challenge should give themselves a BIG pat on the back, they’ve stepped up to the plate, they’ve created, they’ve challenged themselves and instead of “Wishing” they could do create something they’ve just gone right ahead and done it…

Wonder what they’d say if I was to give them another challenge for August?

Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to be challenged in August – Also, what’s your fave photo so far – we might do a spot prize with the most popular.

lee x

Featured Image Credit:  Academy Member Louisa Crossley.

7 thoughts on “Day 24 and I’m feeling the Love…

  1. Lyndsey says:

    Glad you’re feeling the love.

    I’ve thought about doing a photo a day challenge for years, normally in January. In January there is so much other stuff going on that I’ve never prioritised it, so July was great timing. It also came about at a great time when I was thinking about how to get the most out of my Welshot membership while not living locally anymore.

    I’ve really enjoyed doing the challenge, but have learnt I’m definitely not cut out to do photo a day challenges long term. I’ve developed a new respect for those who manage to keep it up for a year or longer. Some days I have leapt out of bed looking for inspiration for that day’s photo, but that majority have been a what can I take a snap of before falling asleep. This challenged my creativity though, looking for what I can quickly capture whilst not moving too far from bed!

    For me, the most valuable thing to come from the challenge has been the thinking I’ve done about how I take my best photos. I think if I was to do something similar in the future I would challenge myself to take a photo every other week and focus on the quality rather than the quantity of images. This would give me more time to think/read around the subject, plan the photo in my head, get the bits I needed together, take the photo and process and upload it afterwards.

    I love having different themes, and topics I wouldn’t normally take photos of, and would definitely do more of this. The mindfulness words have been really tough some days, and I might be tempted to mix them up with some more concrete words, perhaps ones which would require specific skills. Or I might create a list of abstract words (e.g. old, soft, dream) and a list of skills (e.g. motion blur, composite, shallow depth of field) and randomly pick one from each list and use the pair to create the theme for that fortnight (e.g. old & motion blur).

    8 days to go, and I might even start planning my next challenge in that time!

  2. Lowri Smith says:

    An August challenge would be good. Sooo many great photos I cants decide which is my favourite. Some really creative minds out there x

  3. Louisa Crossley says:

    Aw, our pandas 🙂

    I’m away in the mountains in Austria for most of August so I might struggle to do a challenge that month, especially if it involves using wifi to upload images regularly. However, I would be interested in another challenge, and I’ll have a go if I can. I will be using my camera a lot on holiday, and I intend to write my blog too. Favourite photo… tough one! I’ll have another look through them

  4. Sue Mannings says:

    I’d love to do an August challenge. I’m loving doing this as it makes me think outside that box I like to shelter in most of the time. I love seeing the other contributions which have been so varied and brilliant. It is mindfulness – sometimes it’s never-out-of-my-mindfulness – as we discovered at Ty Croes when we were taking about the times we had nearly gone to bed and, like Lyndsey, remembered we still needed to get that image up! I reckon a collage at the end would be good but then I’d have to remember to take them all portrait, landscape or square. Perhaps that’s an idea for a challenge, too – a collage with a specified format and / or theme and number of images. Love it. Thank you, Lee – and well done, everyone. We’re nearly there!!! cue- Celebration.

  5. Adi Benson says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying getting my head round the challenge and have been very careful to only look at the list each day for the day’s word. This is to stop me trying to plan ahead. It’s the spontaneity of the thing that makes it so good. It hasn’t been easy though. Last week I was flat out virtually unable to speak, move, eat or sleep for three days but I was able to use my phone from a prone position and still manage to post each day. My heart says an August Challenge would be good but my head says that this month’s success lies in the novelty of the format. There is a great risk that it could become mundane with over use.

  6. Dilys Thompson says:

    Fabulous blog Lee .. fabulous images folks. I’ve had a hectic few weeks but really wish now I’d got involved more. Yes, definitely up for an August challenge 👍🏼😊

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