What You Learn In A Month / by chris miele

It was time for a personal challenge.  SHOOT AN IMAGE A DAY.  Not an instagram image, not a random image, but an image that holds true to my aesthetic, topics, and brand.  For much of my career I've reveled at how I've treated my camera.  A specific tool for specific images.  It was a philosophy that helped me create a concise and visually intertwined portfolio, I had no regrets.  Shooting daily (or loosely as I considered) just had never been my approach. 

7/1/15.  What better way to start a month long project than on the night of a full moon?  Michigan Central looking better than ever, although this was one of the last days it would stand in it's full skeletal form. 

7/1/15.  What better way to start a month long project than on the night of a full moon?  Michigan Central looking better than ever, although this was one of the last days it would stand in it's full skeletal form. 

Since this frequency of photography had my comfort zone in a choke hold, I was afraid.  Afraid of not getting a "good" photo each day.  Afraid of straying from my style, watering down my portfolio, and distilling the self editing habits I considered so valuable.  I decided this 31 day project was the perfect challenge to break those mental roadblocks and consciously set out to make a great photo each day.

While there were a few days of slight complacency (and one missed day), most of the month reignited my urge to explore the city and find different ways to portray it.  Some images were spontaneous, several were scouting missions, and some were re-shoots.  I did my best to continue adding images to my Detroit project "RUMORS," but other days I had to switch gears and work within different settings.  Several of the images were reflections my day being filled with personal obligations, leaving nearly no time to shoot.  Throughout the month I chased and followed developing storylines within the city.  Part of the month saw me breaking into entirely new realms of photography, interior real estate and and aerial images.  It's a format that spread out over 31 images tells a story of place, process, and experimentation.

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

WEEK 5

After reflecting on the project, I have a new metric for understanding progress.  I learned that this shooting frequency really strengthens the storytelling muscle..  The thought "what am I going to shoot today" is now weaving through my mind by the time I pour my coffee in the morning.  It's a way to alter patterns, create new habits, and revise the ritual of creating.  After these 31 days, I'm already thinking about next month, and all of them after that. 

7/31/15.  From the stoop of our home, Eldorado General Store, a full moon rises to close out the month long project. 

7/31/15.  From the stoop of our home, Eldorado General Store, a full moon rises to close out the month long project.