Showing posts with label 365. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 365. Show all posts

Saturday, February 9, 2013

365 Gallery Show

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted much this week, but I'm actually not that sorry because I've been busy with something really awesome. A couple weeks ago I was talking with my friend Ben, who encouraged me to show all of my 365 photos in a gallery on campus. Then fast forward to Tuesday when I casually went in to the Art Department (where Ben was conveniently the secretary at the time), and then three minutes later casually walked out with a two week show time starting this Saturday (yes, today). So my entire week has been consumed with putting this show together, skipping going to meals to eat in my room and work, staying up extra late to file photos and label and cut out things, and finally putting them all up one by one on display. Yesterday was the day to set up, and my friends and I spent about five hours in the gallery, but it was well worth it!

Before, with sad bare walls, taylor resting her legs before we even start, and Ivy modeling the gopro that was so elegantly taped to my tripod to film our endeavour.

Wall one, two, and three. It was completely surreal to see a year's worth of work all up on the wall. If I had known that all these photos would have eventually been shown in a gallery, I might have tried harder on the project, but I still am really proud of all of them as a whole. I love how you can see my progress from day one to day three hundred and sixty five, and how my style developed and changed, and I love how each photo has a unique story about it. Today I'll be hanging out at the gallery and hopefully people ask a lot of questions, because this is one thing that I am incredibly passionate about and I love being able to share it with other people.

And finally, here is a timelaps video of my day yesterday! Thank you to everyone who helped me in any way with this project, from finding materials for me to putting all the photos together, from lending supplies and bringing me food while I was working to coming and hanging out during set up, and thank you to all the people who have and will show up for the show. Photography is meant to be shared so I am incredibly thankful for everyone who allows me to share this little piece of me with them.

365 Art Gallery Show 2013 from Lauren Parker on Vimeo.

Friday, January 4, 2013

tips to begin (and finish!) a 365 project

After finishing my first 365 project in 2010, I had discovered a new love for photography and my eyes had been opened to a world I never knew existed. After finishing my second 365 project this year, I've learned a lot more about photography and how to be successful at the 365. I wanted to share with you some of the things I've learned from this project so that you can get the most out of yours! I think everyone should do a 365, despite whether they are a photographer or not. It's a wonderful way to look back on a year and see just how much you've grown.

1. Decide right off the bat what kind of project you want the 365 to be. My first one had strict guidelines: I was only allowed to take self portraits. This stretched me to produce creative images and explore myself and learn a lot about who I was. The second time around, I gave myself no guidelines, which caused me to be lazy and not grow as much as I could have. So decide right away what you want to gain from the project. Do you just want documentation of a year, or do you want to learn more about your camera, or do you want to create 365 pieces of art? If I had a chance to do my second 365 over again, I would have constrained myself to only shooting portraits, mostly conceptual, so that I couldn't be lazy and take photos of random objects, and so that I could also branch out from self portraiture and into the modeling world. (Also, some photographers, when they skip days, continue numbering their photos as if they didn't, so they finish their project several days or weeks past the literal year mark. For me, when I skipped days--which I don't suggest doing--I skipped numbers, because I was more concerned about finishing in a year than necessarily producing 365 images. So decide which approach to numbering your photos you want to take.)

2. Don't underestimate yourself. You've really got to believe that the photos you take are amazing. If you continually mope around thinking that your photos are no good, then you'll eventually become so discouraged you'll quit. There's a fine line between not liking your images because you're no good and not liking your images because you want to improve. There's always room for improvement and you have to be pleased with what you produce, but also be looking for those ways to improve.

3. Post your photos online. Be it via flickr or facebook, post your photos somewhere so that others can hold you accountable. If you're wanting to become a better photographer, I HIGHLY suggest you join flickr. I didn't join flickr until halfway through my first 365 and I wish I had done it at the beginning. Flickr is a wonderful community of photographers that are there to encourage you along the way. If you join, I guarantee you will make some amazing friends and gain a ton of inspiration which will in turn help you move forward with your own 365.

4. Don't let your limitations be limitations. I completed my first 365 using a $75 point and shoot camera and old photoshop software I found in a box. My very first photos were shot with a camera that only shot video, which I print screened on the computer and edited in paint and I was doing the most primitive things when I did my first 365 and I didn't let them limit me. I instead used them to my advantage, to create things people didn't think were possible to create with the tools I had. Never think the camera makes the photographer. The photographer makes the camera. I've seen awful photos shot with fancy DSLR cameras, and fantastic photos with point and shoots. Don't think you have to purchase tons of equipment in order to be a good photographer. (But at the same time, if you are serious about it, there comes a point where your skill exceeds your equipment, in which case you should invest. But my point is that equipment doesn't equate to talent.)

5. Don't give up. This is obvious, but trust me, there will be days or weeks or months where you'll want to give the 365 project up, I guarantee it. DON'T DO IT. You'll be too tired, too busy, too uninspired to do anything. But take a photo anyways. There were days where I hated my camera and I didn't ever want to think about touching photography again. But you just have to fight through those feelings. It's okay to create images that you hate. It's okay that you're too busy to take a decent photo. When I finished my first 365, after two weeks I went back and put all the photos I didn't like on private. The important thing is that I took those photos. It was in the failures that I grew the most. And the important thing is to recognize what you don't like about a photo and then fix it. Just don't give up. Even when there are photos you don't like, when you look back at the end of the year, you'll be proud of the entire project.

As for the technical side of the 365 (ie, editing and whatnot) I am completely self taught. I learned everything I know from pushing random buttons and looking things up on the internet. A really awesome resource for anyone who takes photos would be They make awesome tutorials that I often go to and there is a lot that they teach in their episodes. Definitely go check them out.

I hope these tips will help you out a little bit. If you are doing a 365 project for 2013, let me know! I would love to be your cheerleader. And whenever you hit that bump and want to quit, seriously don't be afraid to talk to me. You will not regret doing a 365. Even though it is a challenge at times, it's one of the most gratifying feelings to look back on a year's worth of images and be proud of who you became.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

to enter the light

day 365

Counting down to the new year always makes me emotional. A year's worth of pain, struggle, happiness, success; a thousand actions, a million thoughts, a billion memories, all finally fall behind my back as fireworks ring in a fresh beginning. I'm starting to think that New Years is my favorite holiday because it holds the greatest emotion for me. It's just so monumental to put another milestone in your life. I knew 2012 would be a roller coaster year, and it definitely did not disappoint. Tomorrow I'm doing a big year in review post, so I won't talk about all the things that happened in 2012 right now, but even just looking back through my memory, this year has been so insane. And to think that I was able to document it with (nearly) 365 photos is equally as insane.

You may or may not have noticed that I had a series going on within my 365 project, and this photo is the final image in the series. At first I was really frustrated that I would have to shoot in an unknown location with no internet for my last photo, but this one ended up even better than I could have imagined.

day one: to leave the atmosphere
day one hundred: tearing down our foundations
day two hundred: halfway home
day three hundred: and as the fog clears

Day one I wasn't in love with photography any longer and I didn't really know what I was doing with the 365 project. I felt like I was in a fog and couldn't see where I was going or what I was supposed to do. (I actually won a contest with that photo, which I find so ironic because I felt lost in regards to photography.) Day one hundred found me inspired again, thinking I could never top that photo at all. The fog was beginning to clear but I was still timid about what my personal style was and if I even had a place as a photographer. Day two hundred found me with my first wedding under my belt, with my first major photoshoot with miss alaska and miss teen alaska behind me. It found me searching and pushing through that fog. Day three hundred found me in a new place, a new state (state of mind and geographical state), with models and photographers and friends and a lot of growing up. I was trudging through the forest and I was starting to see things clearly. And day three hundred and sixty five has found me finally entering the light, finally feeling at peace with who I am currently, finding joy in pushing my boundaries and doing things I never thought I would do. I think if I were to redo this project, I would have worked even harder on it. I would have given myself more guidelines in what I could and could not create, because many days I was lazy and gave no effort, which left me frustrated and ready to quit. But now I know it is in doing the scary things that bring me the most joy. My favorite photo in the entire project would be this one, and not necessarily because it was the most well done or popular photo. It was because that photo was where I went against everything in me and did something I previously thought I would never have been able to do. I want every photo I take to make me feel the way this photo did: absolutely terrified but so so accomplished. I know that just because I write "day 365" doesn't mean my journey is done. But now I feel a little bit more enlightened and I am in love with photography again. And don't worry, I will be taking a lot of pictures in 2013.

And I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports me. I ended the year succeeding my goal of reaching 25,000 views on flickr and 365 likes on facebook. That to me is unbelievably amazing and I cannot thank you guys enough. You are the best ever. In a couple days I'm having a big huge print giveaway to say thank you, and in a few more days I'll pick up my camera again to make some more awesome images, but in the mean time, I'm taking a much needed break.

I just want to nod my head in the direction of the end of my first 365 project, because that was when I first fell in love with photography and my eyes were opened to this fantastic world of awesome people, many of which are my friends today. I still look on my first 365 with fondness, and it's great to see just how much I've improved. And let's not even try to imagine what I'm going to say at the end of 2013 that I thought I would never be able to do today! But let's make the end of 2013 be really proud and blown away by what we did in the year.

All I can say is thank you, and it's going to be awesome.

life in a frozen house

day 364

Hey everyone! I hope you had a wonderful new year. I just got back from no internet, so things shall resume around here as normal. I'll post day 365 in a few hours to give this one a little bit of time to shine. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the universe at my fingertips

day 363

my original idea for today failed as Alaska decided to have 45 degree weather today and 50 mph winds. Go home Alaska, you are drunk.

But I wanted to show off this gift my friend Jacob got for me! I built this baby myself. And we shall see in a few weeks when I'm done with the first roll of film if it actually works right, hah.

Also, I'm heading out of town for new years this year to a location that may or may not have internet, in which case if it doesn't, I'll post my last two 365 days whenever I get back, and will do all the sappy year end stuff then. And if I don't get to talk to you before the end of the year, have a wonderful time celebrating!

Friday, December 28, 2012

we dwell in stars

day 362

This photo goes quite nicely with this one and this one.

Have a marvelous day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

the apocalypse

day 361

This is totally inspired by a dream I had a few years ago. I don't remember most of it but the part I do remember involved a rainbow that when you stepped into it or even touched it, you would instantly die. There was a car that was completely upturned, sparkling inside the rainbow, with a corpse sitting in the drivers seat.

Yeah, I have weird dreams. Perhaps when I am better at compositing I'll turn them into photos. But until then, I should at least write down whenever I save the world from giants or go inside video games or get eaten by giant water snakes because people thought I lied about being a mermaid.

Hmm, I wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me.

before and after on my facebook page!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

in times of trouble a light shall come

day 359

This is directly inspired by my never ending love of Legend of Zelda. I love everything about it--the stories, the characters, the puzzles, and of course the sword fighting. My Christmas break has been filled with the latest game and I cannot get enough. I've been playing these games since I was in junior high and the legend will always hold a special place in my heart.

Also, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! I got a lot of wonderful things from even more wonderful people and my day was spent relaxing and eating yummy food and spending it with my awesome family.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

day 258

Something a little different for today! I spent my day doing some last minute Christmas shopping, listening to Christmas music, wrapping presents, and doing all sorts of Christmasy things! I haven't really been in the Christmas spirit, to be honest it kind of snuck up on me, so I've been doing everything I can to get in the mood. I think it worked!

I hope you have a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


day 356 & 357

90% of this photo was taken yesterday, and all of it was edited today, so it definitely counts for two days worth of photos.

Also you shouldn't actually try to pet a moose in real life. They're really dangerous, believe it or not.

And this isn't my favorite photo ever. It's really only cool because there's a moose in it. I had to shoot through our kitchen window since, ya know, I couldn't really go outside with a moose chilling in our yard, but if we lived in a perfect world I would have used my 50mm. But I'm rambling now.

Hope you have a great day! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

reaping in spring

day 355

Ten more days whaaaa? And in case anyone is curious, no, I'm not doing another year long photography project. I've about had all I can take with them and I'm ready to improve on the quality and not quantity of my images. I'm ready to do things that require a lot of bravery and sheer insanity, things that take me so out of my comfort zone I'll never look back. Because life is too short to live it in fear and safety and comfort.

In other news, my boyfriend comes back home today and I'm practically bouncing off the walls in anticipation of seeing him.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

how lovely are you now?

day 354

Reminder to myself to not paint my nails during the daylight, because then I run out of daylight to take pictures in, haha.

This photo is a bit different from what I usually do, but then again, I think I say that with all my photos so who knows what I "usually do" anyways.

And now I am off to play some Legend of Zelda and save the world!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



day 353

from my diary, July 30, 2011:
I used
I used to wonder.
I used to wonder what it would feel like to not exist.
I used to wonder what would happen if I just ceased to exist. Not really die, exactly, but just … disappear. Would I float? Swim? Blink until the tears came? Stare at light? Darkness? Would the people I left behind notice? Would they care? Or would it be as though I was never even a memory? Funny how once people move out of your life—or you move out of theirs—it’s as if you cease to exist. They forget about you. Everything you went through together. All the tears and laughter and memories. They all seem as though they never happened. That you never were a part of their life. But you have to stand on the edge of that light, floating, sinking, watching them live on without you, watching them find new friends, new family, while you yell and scream and cry for their attention, but all you receive is an ignoring glance. And they look at you as if they don’t even know your name.
I used
I used to wonder.
I used to wonder how hard it would be to not exist.
Would I really not want to exist? Would that really be what I wanted? How easy it would be …
But now.
But now I know that I could never want that. No matter how hard things get, I could never ever want that. Life is far too beautiful to not be able to exist in it. And it’s also funny, because the people who previously never existed, with no warning, come into your existence. And suddenly it’s like that bright light, but beautiful. It feels like you’re floating. And the people who never existed before become so real and so near and dear to your heart that it feels like it would stop beating if they ever disappeared. You never want to leave. You never will. Not for anything in the world. And you pray to God that they never wish that they didn’t exist, because without them you wouldn’t be a whole person … and that would be worse than not existing.
I used to wonder.
I used to wonder what it would feel like.
I used to wonder what if would feel like to love. And to be loved. And to know that no matter what happens, good or bad, no matter what life throws, no matter the mistakes or hardships, no matter the moments of joy or tears, that no one will leave. No one will forget about you. No one will push you out of their life. No one will call you your friend and then find someone else. Someone better.

I don’t wonder anymore.
Mine’s a beautiful existence with you in it.
And that’s all I want.

It's nice to see that I've improved at least a little bit since taking this photo. I'm always so nostalgic when I look back through my first 365, because there was nothing stopping me. I didn't let anything get in my way and this time around I've let a lot of things get in my way. But before I took this photo I thought to myself, "I need to start with the thought that I'm going to create something awesome instead of mope around thinking I'm not going to take a very good picture today." I've been thinking a lot about emotions and how they affect us and how we can control them, and I've decided to control my emotions and use that power to create happiness for myself and the world around me. That makes things much better anyways. I am very happy right now. I have been happy for a long time. College has been a very good thing for me and it's changed me for the better, and coming back home has caused me to realize that. I'm not the same person I was a year ago or a few months ago; I am much happier. And I plan to keep it that way. I'm going to fight for my happiness.

(For my own documentation purposes: today I got to hang out with Dayl and Kylie at coffee and I love them so much.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a midnight cry

a midnight cry

day 352

This photo is inspired by a series of music videos, this one being the first in the series. I love M83 and their videos are always stunning.

a before and after as well as a close up will be up on my facebook page momentarily!

Today I finally got to hang out with my two favorite guys (oh how I missed them so much), and then in a couple minutes I'll be off to play some video games with my family!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

no, no, no, no, no

day 349

oh whoops yet another hair flip with a crazy crop photo ... come on, Lauren ...

an old guy smoking a cigarette and contemplating life watched me take this.

Also today I got to see the Hobbit. You should drop what you're doing right now and go see it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

back in the last frontier

day 348

I'm finally back home in Alaska for a month. I forgot how cold it is here, and how quickly the sun rises and sets (only three hours of daylight). It's weird being home but it's a good weird. I can't wait to see all my friends here and take fun wintry photos and of course celebrate another Christmas and New Years.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the aftermath

the aftermath

day 346

this really looks a lot better on 500px

model is Jeremy (I think that's his name)

Today I did something I've never in a million years thought I would do. I actually asked a random person to model for a picture! Our beloved pet store caught on fire last night, which was super sad, and I still don't know many details but when I was looking around it seemed like there was a lot of damage inside. But I knew this was a rare opportunity to take some pictures, so Jenna came with me and we explored a bit. At first I was just taking pictures of myself by the fire truck, but it didn't look right at all. And I knew I would regret it if I didn't ask the group of fire fighters, sooo I did it! Big huge thanks to Jeremy for letting a random girl take his picture! I'm pretty sure after this, I can do anything.

He talked about how fire fighting was just his job just like me taking pictures. I hope to make as big of an impact through my pictures as he does with his job.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

sailing home

sailing home

day 345

Today was a marvelous day! Amy is sitting beside me right now, and she was the beautiful model for today's photo. My university always has crazy awesome displays, so of course I have to utilize them for my own selfish photographic purposes. This week has been filled with finals and lots of sleeping (yaaaaay sleeping!) and I cannot wait to return home, though I will be sad to leave my family here! They are just such a blessing to me. You guys are awesome!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2012

hey there bright eyes

hey there bright eyes

day 344

Because everyone needs at least one silly picture in their 365. And I want to remember how happy I am at the moment. I have awesome friends, an awesome boyfriend, an awesome family I'm coming back home to in less than a week, awesome supporters (that's you!), and I love everyone so much. Group hug!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

the secrets we keep

the secrets we keep

day 342

Today has been an incredibly long day, but one where a lot has been overcome. Who knew I could learn so much in one day? To borrow from my boyfriend's facebook status: "Sometimes we forget how damaged people are from things that happened before we even knew them. We assume that their life began when we met them. But they lived an entire life before we knew their name, and assuming otherwise is unbelievably dangerous. Everyone has scars, everyone was hurt in the past. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there. Always remember that. We'll never know the full story - so don't take it upon yourself to fill in the blanks."

That status goes perfectly with the meaning I had set up for this 365 photo, where title is actually from a popular song about a girl in prostitution and the song talks about the facade that people put up and even though people you see look like they have it all together, they are really falling apart on the inside. And I think that image really shows that a. you can't judge people by their appearance, and b. everyone has demons that they face and you should be kind and loving to everyone and smile at strangers that you pass on the street because they could be fighting a hard battle and you would never know it. I think it really shows that every person is more than just a passing face and they have a story and an entire past wrapped up into who they are and I purposely created the image to tell a story and to stir up emotion. (Mostly the emotion of compassion for the character because a lot of things in the photo imply that she is facing a hardship--downward gaze, the smoke that presents mystery, the tones of the photo, etc. and to get the viewer to want to help her.)

I think it takes a lifetime to not only learn about a person but it also takes a lifetime to realize that there are people other than you. What I mean is, that other people have thoughts and feelings and the things you do and say affect those feelings. I want to live a life where I only create positive feelings for others. Above all, I want to be a good friend.

Speaking of friends, today some of my friends and I celebrated the end of the semester by dressing up all fancy and going out for cheesecake. It was so so much fun and I am blessed beyond belief to have these girls in my life.

Today's 365 photo was an incredibly awesome accident. Ivy and I sat down by a mirror to wait for the other girls and we noticed it created an awesome effect. So right there Ivy modeled for me and I modeled for her, obviously:

Oh yeah. We're hot. The mirror loves us. ;) (But seriously my friends are so beautiful, inside and out.)