It did not start well.
My first portrait subject of the year was stuck on the road because of snow and I had to do a self-portrait. From then on, lots of challenges piled up, day after day, night after night.
Fast forward: I changed my routine to make my personal project happen. Every day. No, I have not been to the movies this year. And a few friends have not seen me as often. But I did learn my way through different neighborhoods, met interesting people every day and I feel like I can accomplish much more.
Six months from now, I am sure I am going to say "what a blessed year".
The world is getting smaller. I photographed sushi for the Sushi Ring II restaurant and the bartenders of Amanda's Fonda were friends with Miss Lori's son, from the sushi restaurant. I photographed Bayne in a baseball field and he knew Anthony Byrd from the school he used to work at. I photographed Julie Smith and learned she coaches Current, Peggy's daughter.
The net starts connecting. Still lots of loose ends, but wonderful new beginnings in the relationships I am creating.
Vera, diagnosed with cancer, met me the other day to say her hair is now growing back and she is cancer free now. A beautiful story.
Today I am hitting the milestone: half way done. So far, I have photographed 183 people for A Portrait a Day project.
Never did I imagine I was going to want to meet everyone of you again. You, who kindly volunteered to have your portrait taken - or were "volunteered" by me in a short notice.
This is the year to get things done, as I said out loud in the beginning of the year.
Another half year and it will be done.
Now I need your help. If all of you whom I photographed refer one friend, or one co-worker, neighbor, spouse, I will schedule them all and will be done by the end of the year!
It is a looong project, really hard work. Some of you have not received your portrait yet. Keeping the workflow of tasks for this ongoing project is a challenge in itself.
Please ask me if you have not heard from me yet. I want you to have your portrait. I am working really hard to schedule, meet new people, load the car, drive, photograph the person of the day, load the car again, drive home, hear the voice messages, return the calls, check and answer the emails, spend an hour a day on the phone trying to confirm the next few appointments and find a replacement for the last minute cancelations. Then, download, back-up, sort, edit, process, crop, write the journal, refine, resize for web, post online, blog, upload to dropbox, and email each one of you. More work than i expected.
Some days it feels impossible. I forgive myself and and keep the workflow going. Other days it is 3 am and my better half comes down like "Are you still there? Do you intend to have any sleep tonight?" I do.
So, forgive me if you did not get your image yet. If you gave me your email, you will receive it.
Honestly, A Portrait a Day takes at least four hours a day of my time. The time you and I send together is the smallest (but the most fun and the best!) of my workflow. It takes time and energy to get things done.
Eventually, all will get done and the second part of the year will have a better workflow. Above all, I would never look back. This project is the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding endeavor I ever undertook.
Each and everyone of you touched my life in a way you can never imagine. when I wake up, I remember you. I talk about you and I look at you again, re-visiting the created portraits.
In my perfect world, I will see all of you again many times.