Monkey is Thirteen:: A Year Long Photo Project

13. A time to Dream Big.

This winter while I was having a blast at Inspire {a photo retreat for photographers} I realized I needed a personal project. The subject came up more than once, and I told myself I need to pay attention and do something.

I have always believed in personal projects, but the doesn’t mean I have always made the time to make them happen. What I knew was I needed to find a project, and put myself into it. Time to stretch the photo brain, work on some new ways of shooting, find ways to grow. I started thinking about ideas, and then kept narrowing things down (much like we do during the editing process..). I told myself to start small because right now over committing was not something I could do, for many reasons but mostly because LIFE. I thought about my nephew, about to turn 13, living just one town away from me. 13! Yikes. But wait, I could document that…

So I wrote down my ideas, shared them with his mom, she said yes, and we agreed I would then talk to him about it. Becoming a teenager is kind of a big deal, but I didn’t want to make it TOO big of a deal because it seems like only adults say things like ‘becoming a teenager is a big deal!’ So, we chatted, he said yes, and we agreed the project will go from birthday to birthday.

I thought a year in the life of a person, at a given point in their lives, is a good measure of time. It is also a good way to enter a project — having a start and end date. My plan was/is loose: Show up, hang out, document. Show who he is NOW, at this time in his life. At the end have a collection that tells a story – HIS story – and make a book of my favorites for his parents (and, really for him at some point down the road). Plan to repeat the process for his sister 9 years from now. Leave a piece of the family history for years to come. Extra added bonus: more hang time with this cool kid person I like a lot.

I made a list of things I thought would be good to cover. I asked him for some input. We agreed we will just keep checking in, and as things come up I will go if I can.

The other stuff I am not sure of yet. But I don’t think I need to be. Things will unfold as they will. I am not going to force things or create fake situations. I will show up and capture. Then see what comes together. So, here we go! It’s April and Max (aka Monkey — a name only I call him) is 13! Let’s see where this year takes him…

Max, at the start of our project. After celebrating his birthday with family. Let’s see where this year goes!


List of hashtags and some photos will be shared here throughout the year…

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