December 2014 - The Dainty Squid
tips and tutorials

Project 365 + why you should do one too!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

At the beginning of the year I made one of my goals to do a 365 photo project. Back in 2010 I completed one (but for some silly reasons didn't share it on the blog, just on flickr which I have since deleted. D'oh!) and since then I've been itching to do another but always made excuses until the beginning of this year. Even though I haven't taken my photo for the day yet, I'm fine counting my chickens before they hatch and saying this year's project 365 was a success!

I'm so happy with my project 365 that I'd like to encourage others to take on a year long project as well! Project 365 is a super simple concept - one photo a day for the whole year. Lets first get it out of the way that you don't need a fancy camera, the camera on your phone will work just fine. You don't have to be good at photography, and you can't use the excuse "my life isn't that exciting!"

Here are some reasons you should do Project 365 in 2015...
  • Everyone likes a challenge right? I like a project that I can do a little of each day for a long period of time. The feeling of accomplishment at the end of the year is great!
  • You'll get to know your camera better which in turn will make you a better photographer. You'll learn more about lighting, composing, and how to use your camera in just about every situation.
  • It's a great way to help remember all the little special moments in your life! At the end of the year you'll get to look back and see what you did that day, who your were with, what your hair looked like, what you were wearing, etc. It's a lot of fun looking back through the pictures, especially when you can look back and see things that you would have otherwise forgotten! Photos are awesome little triggers to other memories alongside what is captured. The photo below, in the box, of mine and Elycia's feet doesn't mean much to you but I can tell you so much about that day that I'm not really sure I would be able to remember otherwise. Nearly all of my photos spark lots of other little reminders about when it was taken.
  • You'll get less shy about taking pictures in public. This is something I've struggled with for a long time. I'm so weird about taking photos in public but forcing yourself to do it often is the only way to get over it. You'll become more calm in public with your camera and not feel so strange about pulling out your camera to snap that perfect picture! 

 Tips for a successful 365 project... 
  • Take your camera everywhere! Did you read that..? E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. Everywhere you look there is a photo opportunity! Have a really great meal at your favorite restaurant? Take a picture! Love the way the rain looks hitting your window? Take a picture! That squirrel that always hangs out in your yard? Take his picture!
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself. You'll have awesome days, and you'll have days you want to delete your photos. In my experience, I've found that even the photos I hate when I take them, I end up happy that I have them. 
  • Don't quit if you miss a day (or three!), it's not a huge deal in the long run!
  • Tell your friends and family you're doing it. It's a much easier project to complete when you have others supporting you. They'll be a great reminder especially in the beginning when forgetting you're doing the project just might happen! Setting a timer on your phone to go off until you get into the swing of things will help too.
  • Keep up on the project. Going to edit your photos? Do it the same day instead of letting them pile up. Staying on top of the project is one thing that I know helps me tremendously. I edit and add the photos to my 365 post every two or three days that way I never have a large backlog.
  • Keep a list of things you might possibly want to photograph so you never have a day where you say "there's nothing left to take pictures of!" 

I like blogging about my 365 project weekly just so I can easily look back on them. But there is lots you could do with your project even if you don't have a blog. Websites like Blurb, and Tiny Prints allow you to create your own photobooks! How awesome would it be to have years and years worth of these to look back on?! A 365 project means you'll have something everyday to upload to instagram. There are tons of groups on flickr to connect with others doing the same thing. There are even websites such as 365 Project, and Blipfoto where you can upload your photos daily. Basically what I'm saying is there is no reason not to do one! So, what's stopping you?


    Favorite 10 abandoned spots in 2014

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    Earlier in the week I was going through my posts from 2014 to make up a little list of my favorites from the past twelve months. It was a great year, so naturally I had a lot of favorites. I was trying to keep the list varied but kept finding I wanted to add posts about abandoned places. They just kept adding up so I thought it might be fun to do a little recap of my favorite abandoned spots I visited in 2014. Well, I should reword that, these aren't necessarily my favorite spots but ones that yielded the prettiest photos and my favorite blog posts.
    Cleveland, Abandoned, Observatory,
    Cleveland, Abandoned,
    Cleveland, Abandoned, rubber ducks
    salton sea,
    Cleveland, Abandoned, church, decay
    Cleveland, Abandoned,
    amusement park, roller coaster

    There is still so much to see in Cleveland but I'm hoping, in the new year, to make a few trips specifically to see some abandoned places I have my eye on. Here's to 2015, may it be chock-full of adventures.

    You can find the rest of my posts on abandoned places under the "abandoned" tag.

    daily life

    This year I...

    Monday, December 29, 2014

    became a city girl!
    got a cozy little place to call my own.

     traveled more than I've ever traveled before.
    fell madly in love.
    spent more money on photobooth pictures than I want to think about + managed to convince the lead singer of my favorite band to get in a photobooth with me.
     made one of my best purchases ever.
    explored oodles of forgotten structures.
    dyed my hair a bunch of beautiful colors.
     saw my city from vantage points most will never experience, some high...
    and others low...
    above photo by Jeff
    collected more and more plants.
    watched the sun rise in a ghost town in the middle of the desert.
    rode a jackalope. 
    above photo by Mickey
      ate more macarons than I'll admit to.
    saw wild horses for the first time ever.
    ran into dinosaurs just about everywhere I traveled. 
    made pretty pictures from trash.
    picked up a relaxing new hobby.
     rappelled in a cave!
     above photo by Jeff
    slept in a wigwam, more than once.
    swam in the ocean in February. 
    above photo by Mickey.
    started to get the hang of night photography.
    And oh so much more!

    For the past few years I've been doing a "This year I..." post. See 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 If you do a "This year I..." post, leave a link in the comments. I'd love to check it out. 


    project 365 // days 355 -360

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

    355 : 365 A cactus out in the wild in Cleveland. Heh!
    As well as a random cactus, the building we were in had a ton of Christmas decorations so we tried to take a nice Christmas themed photo. It was cold, we were rushing, and the photo kind ended looking like us just with a bunch of random stuff. But hey, we tried.
    356 : 365 I've been borrowing some of the cameras Jeff has for sale from his Polaroid collection to test them out. I'm so pleased with how these ones turned out, I really like this shot of my bike. You can find this camera and a bunch of others here.
    357 : 365 I hate adding an iPhone photo to this post, but look how cute! Klaus and Professor cuddling with me...AT THE SAME TIME. Still not to the point where I'd ever catch them cuddling with each other but baby steps.
    358 : 365 Mickey and I spent an afternoon building a fort at the beach...
    and waving at passing boats.
     359 : 365 The drive to my parent's house on Christmas Eve was super foggy. It was killing me that I couldn't pull over and take pictures.
    360 : 365 Merry Christmas!

    Hope you have a great day!

    Merry Christmas

    Thursday, December 25, 2014

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas from all of us over at The Dainty Squid! I'm taking the day off to relax (...errr holidays are never actually that relaxing, are they?) with my family. I'll be back tomorrow at least five pounds heavier, full of Christmas candies, and with your regularly scheduled post.

    Ps. If you forgot how to wrap your cat for Christmas, or just need a smile today, here's a video for ya!

    what i wore

    what I wore : plaid + polka dots

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    sweater - Modcloth (a few years back)
    jeans - Skinny jeans c/o Macy's
    camera bag - Jo Totes
    lapel pin - Pintrill

    I can't believe near the end of December this is what I'm wearing. Don't get me wrong, out on the pier it was COLD and windy - if you couldn't tell by my hair. But seriously, for this time of the year, this weather is amazing! As much as I've been sulking about it being cold, it could definitely be a lot worse. Snow has been few and far between this year. It's strange.

    I think this might be my new favorite outfit, at least for now. Ya know, until next week when I have a new favorite. Hah. These are the same jeans from this post, I kind of can't get enough of them. In high school I owned a ton of different colored jeans but really had no idea how to style them. In fact I probably just wore them exclusively with Nirvana tshirts. Eventually I wrote them off as something that were hard to wear. These are my first colored pair since then and I'm having way too much fun trying them with just about everything in my closet. I really like that the color is still kind of normal, it's not too outrageous but adds a touch of fun to an outfit. Must get more colorful pants!!

    On an unrelated note, I can't believe Christmas is at the end of this week. Guess who is 100% unprepared. ME. Whoops. Hope you have an awesome day, maybe one you don't spend stressing about the fact you need to shop for just about everyone still. 

    follow along @thedaintysquid.