Joyce has just completed her 365 Project, and as it seemed like she had such a good time we thought we would find out more about her time as a 365er.
Tell us a bit about yourself…My name is Joyce Wells, and I live in New England, I am a fifth grade pubic schoolteacher. I live on the coast of Massachusetts, so I have ready access to the ocean, marshes, rivers and harbors. I’m also only 8 miles from Boston, which is a city rich in history going back to the 1600ʼs. This gives me a wealth of photo ops with great architectural sites - both old and new. In addition, there are many beautiful farms nearby, and the mountains are an easy two-hour drive.
What made you decide to take on the 365 Project?I’ve always taken photos of people - students at my school and photos when I go out with my friends. Last year, a new friend, Maura @mks, told me about this project. I had never heard of 365 before, but I looked it up and signed up.
How did the Project expand your knowledge, or teach you new things?While my prior photographic experience was basically taking fun shots, this project totally changed my style of photography. Outside of my school-based photography, I rarely take photos of people anymore. While I have dabbled in some “street photography”, I’ve found that I expanded my photography to include all the places around me - the ocean, marshes, rivers, the farms and the city - everything that has always been here, but I had never bother to document.
What kind of camera did you use, and would you recommend it?I think I’m one of the few people on this site who uses a point and shoot camera. I had just bought my Sony DSC- HX9V when I began this project last year. I love my camera and what it can do. It has a manual mode, which I’ve yet to learn to use, but I mostly shoot in Program mode. Hopefully, over the summer, I’ll be able to teach myself how to shoot in manual mode, and I also hope to learn some editing techniques in PS Elements.
You have mentioned ‘dreaded abstract shots’ is there a particular style of photography you enjoy the most?Through this project, I discovered that I enjoyed taking photographs of landscapes, architecture, anything to do with oceans, rivers, marshes, and animals. I did step outside my comfort zone and try some abstracts. Three of them made the Popular Page, and one was a top 5 finalist for “Abstract-Green”. I was a bit embarrassed by that one, because I’m just not an abstract person, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try them every now and then.
What kept you going throughout the Project?The project does get tough at times. Everyday “busyness”, jobs, sickness, and lack of inspiration hit us all. That’s when you turn to your 365 friends. You let them know what’s going on, and they all rally around with encouraging words and bits of advice, and they cheer you on. My 365 family became very important to me. Through the year, we’ve shared wonderful occasions like the birth of children and grandchildren, graduations, new home and new jobs. We’ve also shared the loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, and loss of homes. This is when the 365 community comes together to help each other out. We truly do care about each other.
What do you feel you got out of the Project?365 has given me a newfound appreciation for the world around me. I will never look at the world the same way again. It got me going to places that have always been around me, but I hadn’t been to in years. Now, I think nothing of getting up early to drive into Boston to get some building shots when the light is just right, or taking a detour on the way to work to get a perfect sunrise photo at the marsh. I never go anywhere without my camera, as I know something might come along that just might have, “Photo of the Day” written on it.
Can you share a few of your most popular shots, and your own personal favourite?Some of my most popular shots were “Snowy Walkway to the Beach”, “White on White”, which was #10 in the Top 20, “Marsh Sunrise”, and one of my first photos to make the Popular Page, “Are You Kidding Me?” (8-6-11). My own personal favorite is “Sea Grass Bending”.
Now you have completed your project, is there any thing or any person you would like to capture on camera?I want to continue what I’ve been doing - exploring both old and new places, trying new techniques, getting more comfortable taking photos of street people, and yes, continuing with the “dreaded abstracts”. I’ve learned that the power of photography allows us to find that singular moment in time where a person, place, emotion, or event can become a photograph that allows us to linger, study and savor that subject.
Any advice for budding 365ers?My advice for new 365ʼers is to become a part of the 365 community! Look on the Suggestions and Popular Pages. Find people to follow on the New Faces page - that’s how you get started. Be sure to comment on peoples work. They will usually comment back or comment or your photos. Ask questions - people are happy to tell you how they got a particular shot. Most importantly - get out every day and shoot! Your confidence will increase the more you practice. Get to know your camera, too. Most of all, have fun and enjoy your journey.
Thanks Joyce for sharing your 365 experience!