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“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are.  You trade in your reality for a role.  You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.”  Jim Morrison

I was doing a bit of cleaning and organizing today.  I came across this mask.  It was gifted to me last year on my birthday.  I’ve always loved masks . . . the more ornate and fancy the better.  I had planned on doing one of my 365 shots with it . . . but never got around to it somehow.  This was just a quick shot with my iPhone4.  

I have spent years trying to remove the mask of what I think others expect from me.  It’s been a long process, and I’m still working on it.  

This 365 Project has been quite instrumental in helping me step out from behind the masks I’ve gotten so good at creating over the years.  We all have them.  Different masks suit different situations . . . help us cope all the different scenarios we face daily.  I’m really, really good at hiding.  Hiding, both physically and emotionally, protects me from “stuff”.  I learned from a very young age that being invisible was the best strategy.  

Well, I’m really out of hiding now!  I’m out in the open for all to see.  What you see is what you get.  

I am hiding no more.    

363-365

363-365

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”  Robert Frank

My 2012 365 is about to come to an end.  My last picture will be Day 366 because of the Leap Year – I started January 14th, 2012 so January 13th, 2013 will be my last day.  

I have not decided yet if I am going to repeat the 365.  I have learned so much about myself, and about Photography as an art and science.  I have so  much more to learn.  But I will say – the year of taking one picture every day of myself in some form or another has been transformational for me.  Not only have I learned how to manipulate my camera so I can create the vision I have in my head . . . I’ve learned to see the world differently.  Everything is a photo opportunity just waiting to happen.  The greatest satisfaction I get is recording the beauty that is my Grandchildren, Nephews, family members, friends . . . special events that will live on forever through the magic of digital images.  I can only encourage others to consider taking the same journey.  You don’t need a fancy camera or expensive equipment.  It’s not the camera that makes the picture . . . it’s the person who uses whatever device he has to capture the moment.  Cel Phones have gotten so advanced, and there are amazing point and shoots on the market as well.  

I also now have a wonderful extended family of like-minded souls.  We have supported and encouraged each other every step of the way this past year.  There have been times each one of us hit road blocks or obstacles that are just a part of every day life.  During those times – our “family” gathered around and provided the encouragement and motivation needed to continue.  Many of us were lucky enough to meet up in Las Vegas in November for a few days.  Michael the Maven joined us.  It was the highlight of my year to meet up with these amazing people.  

If you are at all interested in challenging yourself in a different way than you ever have before . . . if you want to create a snapshot of each day of your life over the next year . . . if you want to follow through on a commitment to something that can change your life . . . this challenge is for you.  

Check out Michael Andrew’s blog for further information, and updates on when the forums will be ready for posting.  

“It’s when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached.”  Mike Huckabee

Wow!  I can’t believe I have reached Day Three Hundred of this 365 Project!  There have been days when I really didn’t think I could come up with something to post . . . another photo much less another blog post!  Because I took on the task of not only doing a self portrait every day, but also doing a blog post about it ever day as well.  I have fallen behind a few times . . . but I have not neglected the actual taking of a photo every day.  It’s pretty incredible what I have learned through this process . . . one of which is Photography is most definitely where my passion lies.  There has been a thread of Photography throughout my entire life . . . I just didn’t pursue it as I am able to now because of where life took me.  I’m here now though, and so fortunate and blessed to be in a position to finally pursue my passion.  In fact – in a few days I will be meeting up with fellow 365’ers in Las Vegas for a weekend of shooting and camaraderie over our shared mutual passion.  Here I am perusing the 365 forums, amazed at the talent and friendships that we have formed even tho few of us have met in person.  Vegas . . . here we come!  

300-365

300-365

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