November 2016 52 Week Photo Adventure

The Beginning

I have been craving a photography project all year. My mind kept churning over different possibilities. Finally,inspired by David duChemin's book Within The Frame, but unable to travel to exotic locations, I was challenged to look at the everyday with fresh eyes.

Halloween treats and seasonal drinks

I am not one to start things traditionally, like at the beginning of a new year. I decided to start this project on Halloween.

It took courage to pull my Canon dSLR out of my purse at the grocery store, opening myself up to the scrutiny and inquisitivenes of strangers. But my desire for creative growth is so much stronger than the worry of being pegged as different. I already knew I was different.

Week 2 - Time

For me time is not to be wasted, so early to the grocery store I must go, before the moms and screaming toddlers arrive.

Always good to check the expiration dates.

Time to find some courage and ask these ladies if they would be willing to pose for my project.

Home from a successful morning of grocery store adventures, now it's time for tea and a pumpkin muffin.

Week 3 - Macro

My creative muse and I had differing opinions about what the prompt would be this week. I wanted apples. I know that apple season is over, but I also know the Farmers Market is still selling apples. I drove to this market hopeful to find some aged apples still hanging on the trees, or at least some discarded ones laying on the ground.

Instead I found empty trees, empty ground, and atmospheric air.

My creative muse wanted macro. It was my last day with the 100mm macro lens I had rented. In the two weeks that I had had the lens I determined that I was no longer a macro girl. My muse had other ideas.

There is a vintage playground at the market. You know, the kind of playground that still has metal toys instead of plastic.

Since the trees weren't bearing any fruit, I figured I still needed to make the most of the journey through the fog to get there.

I wasn't disappointed when I got home and loaded the photos into my computer. My only disappointment came in wishing that I had taken more.

The muse is usually right. Apples may have to wait until next fall.

Week 4 - Preparations

I have always been interested in documentary photography. Besides capturing memories of my daughter growing up, that documenting is probably the reason why I began to create scrapbooks. Now that I have the skills and abilities to capture the shots I always envisioned, my daughter is no longer a child but a grown woman. I no longer scrapbook, but thankfully there are amazing formats like Adobe Spark to take the vision, the skills and the fleeting opportunities and continue the story.

Irish Coffee Cake

I have never documented Thanksgiving before, maybe because I am usually the one cooking the meal, and that takes all my concentration. This year my sister-in-law offered to prepare and host the meal. Inspired by an e-book I am reading, Stories of Home - The Art of Photographing Family by Kate Densmore, I brought my camera along to capture the preparations before the meal.

Something about this shot of my brother carving the turkey spoke to me. I have another shot similar to this but without his wedding ring in it, to me the wedding ring seemed the pivotal piece.


The preparations are done. It is time to gather around the table, share a meal, and share our lives.

Week 5 - Connections

PROJECT: A school assignment undertaken by a student or group of students, typically as a long-term task that requires independent research.

It becomes more apparent each week how much I needed this photography project. In five weeks I have seen and felt a tremendous amount of growth in both skill and in courage. I feel a connection to my work again. What started as 52 weeks of photographing at the grocery store has quickly morphed into themes of exploring different locations and examining everyday life. The grocery store would have been a challenge for sure, but I think I would have quickly become bored with it and quit the whole project. Being open to change is essential to growth.

Encouraged by the success I had last week with getting my daughter to pose for one of my photos, I bribed her with lunch out and asked her if she would be willing to be my model again. She agreed.


My proposed theme for this week was books, so my idea was to go to the library and have her look at books while I photographed her. As I looked at the photo review on the back of my camera, I could see my idea was falling flat. There was no connection between her and the books, even though she loves to read.

My grandfather

Frustrated, but unwilling to give up, we wandered to the other side of the library where the light was better. There we encountered these old card catalog trays. Now, instead of holding information on books, they hold newspaper clippings of obituaries. Forgetting about my camera for a moment, I began to look for my grandparents' cards.

My daughter, a history major, quickly joined in the search. She never met any of her great-grandparents on my side, they had all passed away before she was born, so she was just as curious as I was about the information the cards held.

My grandfather
My grandmother

Ancestry research could be another long-term task to be explored.

Created By
Sarah Huizenga


All photographs are my own and copyrighted by me, Sarah Huizenga

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