My New Year’s challenge: A photo a day, documenting my life in Seychelles


My New Year’s challenge: A photo a day, documenting my life in Seychelles

Each year it seems many of us start brainstorming on our resolutions – eat healthier, lose that extra weight or move up the career ladder. My resolution for 2018 was to improve my photography skills. 
To do so, I started a photo blog which required me to take one photo a day for the whole year. Twelve months down the line, I can say I learned a lot about photography but also about seeing through a commitment even during the hardest emotional times of 2018.
My aim was to better know my camera, learn new techniques, styles and genre, and force myself out of the comfort zone I was in when it came to photography. Fast forward 365 days later, I have come to realize that I have not only attained my goals, but also found a coping mechanism for tough times.
I went into the whole project a little blind, no plan whatsoever, except for a calendar full of themes that I obtained from PhotoBlog. The calendar was prefilled with tons of photo ideas or themes for the entire 365 days of the year. This saved me the hassle of coming up with one but on days I couldn’t follow the theme written on the calendar, I chose my own.

Salifa’s aim was to better know her camera, learn new techniques, styles and genre, and force herself out of the comfort zone she was in when it came to photography (Salifa Magnan/facebook) Photo License: CC-BY
Many might think that it is just a matter of snapping a photo and posting it online but there is more to it. The whole project was a challenge in itself. I walked around with my camera most of the time, but when that wasn’t an option, my phone came to the rescue. Further, the time had to be found to take the photo during the day, edit it and post it on Facebook and Instagram. For quite a while I managed to do that but when life got busy, I stayed true only to capturing the one photo a day.
It had me tap into my creativity. In January, frosty was a theme, but where do you find frost in Seychelles – 115 islands in western Indian Ocean? The freezer held the answer – I froze a rose and took a photo of that. Another photo I enjoyed making was that of a feather with a drop of water on it, through which I emitted the light coming from my phone. The method was fairly simple, but looking at the photo itself, you can’t tell that it was taken on the wall of the veranda.

The young photographer said that the challenge had her tap into my creativity (Salifa Magnan/facebook) Photo License: CC-BY
All in all, the project was my way of dealing with depression, for 2018 was a rough year. PhotoBlog365, as I called it, helped me get through. There was this one theme, emotion, which captured the chaotic state I was in. It is an abstract self-portrait, capturing my ‘screams for help and frustrations’.
You might ask me, which, out of the 365 photos, is my favorite. Frankly, I have more than one even if some of these photos hold no meaning whatsoever. The ones that do, have a load of memories tied to them. PhotoBlog365 is a diary of the places I have been, the company I have kept and moments I will cherish forever. Many of these photos I’ll hold close to heart not because of what they showcase but the emotional attachments I have with them.

365 days later, Salifa said she has come to realize that she has not only attained her goals, but also found a coping mechanism for tough times.(Salifa Magnan/facebook) Photo License: CC-BY
There were many times when I wanted to give up as this was, and I won’t lie, a big commitment. But somehow, I made it, through sweat, tears, laughter and cheers. I also had the encouragement of some close friends and a few followers to push me through.
What happens now? I will take a break from the project as it requires time but photography will remain a focus for 2019. What will happen to the 365 photos? Well right now they are in an album on Facebook and on Instagram, but in the future, should my finances permit, I’d like to maybe publish some of them if not all.
Source: Seychelles News Agency