Personal Project, Photography, The 100 Days Challenge

025/100 Days Project: Self Portrait Photography

Last night, I downloaded Rich Armstrong’s (TapTapKaBoom) “Your 100 Days Project Tracker”. and it has a very interesting format. Rich writes:

You can track your 100 Day Project here and get things to consider and think about every few days and write short journal entries—thoughts, ideas, feelings, questions, answers.

If you want to fill in the dates you can. If you want to note where you missed or skipped days you can. And if you want to write more, make a note of it and resume writing at the end of this tracker—there are a bunch of blank pages.

If you only want to mark days off go for it. If you only want to answer the journal prompts, go for it. If you feel like answering questions from other days, go for it. This is 100% your project— do what you like.

I wish I had found this tracker at the beginning of my own 100 Days Project 2022. But again, it’s already so overwhelming to tackle a day job, doing the project and blogging about it. But, I am excited to have found this now. I believe it will make the blogging process a bit easier.

One of the journal-prompts is: How can you make it quicker and easier to begin working on your project each day?

Well, I guess I can make a dedicated time slab during or after lunch to work on this project and not wait to do it at the end of my day when my energy is already depleted and I can’t do any kind of creative thinking. But, I have been feeling guilty lately trying to prioritize this project over the commitments of my new day job. I am still new in this job, and I am learning as well. I am always bombarded with the feeling that maybe I should focus more on the job, and when I finally get a hang of my day-job then I will be able to clear my schedule and start prioritizing this project.

Remembering about the FIMO app on my phone has already made it a bit easier. I wrote about this in last day’s post. But, It would be really easier to create regularly if these three things change:

  1. Me worrying that if I prioritize my 100 Day Project over my new day-job, I will fall behind in my job and never be able to catch-up, and eventually be sacked.
  2. Me worrying that people think my photos are weird and lame and that they didn’t sign up for these photos when I started to follow me on social media.
  3. Not having all the props and lights already arranged in a corner of my house such that I can just pick up and start creating.

The next journal-prompt is: Is the time of the day working for you?

I honestly don’t have a specific time of the day dedicated for working on my 100 Days Project. My energy levels keep fluctuating, and some random “supposedly urgent” deadlines keep popping up. But, maybe scheduling to work on this project will help me stay more consistent.

© Sanchari Sen

Next question: How are you feeling about doing another 75 days of this?

I am feeling a lot of things to be honest – curious as to what shape this project will finally take (I should probably experiment more with wide-angle environmental shots rather than close-ups), a bit overwhelmed as to how I can manage doing so many things at the same time without making a disaster or burning myself out, and something like a homogenous mixture of fear, anxiety and excitement.

The next journal-prompt by Rich is: Are you spending a Goldilocks amount of time on your project each day?

Okay, so I just had to google what “Goldilocks amount of time means, and I came across the Goldilocks therory:

The Goldilocks principle is named by analogy to the children’s story “The Three Bears“, in which a young girl named Goldilocks tastes three different bowls of porridge and finds she prefers porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold, but has just the right temperature. The concept of “just the right amount” is easily understood and applied to a wide range of disciplines, including developmental psychologybiology, astronomy, economics and engineering.

Source: Wikipedia.

Well, this is tthe part I am most struggling with. I sometimes obsess over inspiration for my project, looking at hundreds of images on Instagram or Pinterest, and quickly realise that such levels of enthusiasm can’t be sustained. That is when I feel like I don’t even have enough motivation to even make a single photo. Logically, I know that it will be rare that I will have such an intense level of enthusiasm, and must not rely on that state to create. This reminds me of a diagram Austin Kleon repeatedly shares – “The Life Of A Project”:

Coming back to the original question – no, I am nowhere close to spending a “Goldilocks amount of time” on my project daily.

Next question: What is the WORST thing about your project?

Well, the quality of work that I am producing. I rarely have the patience or the time to work up to the compositions I start with in my head. I just produce a substandard version of the frame I have in mind, call it a day, and move on with my life. The frames that I “want” to create will take a significant amout of time to make.

Next question: What are you absolutely-forking-loving about your project?

I am loving the shift I am having in my body-image. That was the primary reason to begin this project: to deal with the negative perception I have of my body. I aimed to reached a place of neutrality regarding my body – “loving” my body sounded too far fetched and I was okay with being “neutral”. I told myself, if I can make something good, some good photographs of my own body, then it will be a disconfirming experience to my brain that in fact my body is not “ugly”.

And, in these 25+ days since the onset of this 100 Days Project, I have started to feel a shift. One day I was casually scrolling through my gallery to look at all the photos I have taken for this project, hoping to find a goot shot which I may have overlooked earlier, and as I opened a photo of my left hand, a voice came from inside me (very intuitively) which sounded like: “Oh, that’s a very beautiful hand”.

I took that as a win!

Rich writes in his tracker, after the 21 Day mark:

Take a quick look back at the last 21 days and see what you’ve done!

When you begin to see what you’ve done, and see how you’ve progressed, you begin to gather momentum. And momentum is infectious. Contagious. Glorious. Hella-good-feeling. It helps us keep going.

But there’s normally room for change. Small. Big. You’ll know. You don’t have to suck it up for another 79 days. You can change things now—on day 21. Because you’re still figuring your project out. You’re changing. You’re learning. You’re growing. So reflect a bit. Be honest. Take stock. Be grateful.

The last question after the 25 Day mark is: What could make your project funner?

I guess I can try making goofier images of myself, and not really aesthetic one. That could be a fun experiment!

© Sanchari Sen