Who is up (or down) for a minimalist photo challenge?
Pictured above is a fraction of the photos I’ve taken and shared this year. A small fraction. Tiny even. With exception of the people pics, all of these images have been brightened, softened or altered in some small way. I did experience all of the things pictured above (and made the vegan cupcakes myself!) but they didn’t appear exactly as they do here. I made them look better.
If we really want to live authentic lives, why do we try to enhance our realities through pretty pictures? It’s possible that we do it in the name of creativity, but I think it’s important to look at how it may be distracting us from really being ourselves.
Without the expense of film and processing, we are shooting more than ever before. The quantity of images is an issue, but the quality is a problem too. We edit, alter and then share images that are supposed to represent our life. Our pictures are becoming noise on Facebook and other social media sites and with filters and styling, they are becoming stories we tell about our life that aren’t really about our life.
As a photographer, I fully appreciate creative photo apps, but I also think these features may be a disservice to us. Sharing photos on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest or wherever is fun, but the more you share, the noisier it gets. Your image gets lost in a sea of highly-processed, unrealistic shots. Because we sometimes compare our insides to someone elses outsides, these manipulated photos can be deceiving. Not only that, but because memories change over time, you may look back at your bright beautiful images and wonder why your present isn’t as pretty as your past.
I might be wrong, but there is only one way to find out.
The One Photo Challenge
For 30 days, commit to taking and or sharing only one unedited image per day. If it makes you feel more comfortable, take a handful of shots and choose one at the end of the day. Delete or save the rest.
How this challenge may help you:
Creativity. By becoming more discerning in sharing your one image, you will look for something that really catches your eye or describes a moment in your day. You may take more time in framing your image and capturing the emotion or feeling that you want to share. Telling a story with one image is real art. It will fuel you creatively and give people you are sharing with something to look forward to.
If you regularly share images, this challenge may help you become more selective and intentional about your work. If you don’t take or share images, this challenge will help you to tap into creativity which will open the door to opportunities that you have yet to consider.
Simplicity. If your camera or camera phone only comes out for one shot a day or less, you can begin to simply enjoy your surroundings. Your social media feeds will become less cluttered and at the end of your challenge, you’ll have images that actually capture and represent moments of your life. Eliminating photo editing tools and apps will simplify your approach to photography too.
Connection. By sharing your images with the hashtag #onephotochallenge, you can connect with me and other people passionate about simplifying their lives and actions. I’ll be searching and sharing some of your images on the blog and on the Be More with Less Facebook page at the end of our challenge. If you want to keep an eye on the images I’m sharing, they will be:
Challenges and experiments are a great way to try something new and decide how best to move forward. After 30 days, decide if this was a successful experiment and continue your new photo sharing practice if it adds value to your life and those around you.
Quick One Photo Challenge Rule Recap
- Share one unedited photo per day (or less)
- Use hashtag #onephotochallenge
- Continue if you notice benefits
- Discontinue if you don’t
My hope for this challenge is that we enjoy more intention and creativity with less noise and distraction. When you speak softly, people listen more closely. When you share less, people notice more.
Are you in?