Project 365 | A Look Back


Four years ago, I started the photography Project 365. The idea was simple, if difficult to commit to: take one photo every single day for 365 days. Sharing the project online would hold me accountable, I figured, and it worked. I photographed, stored, post processed and posted all 365.

That was 2013. Fast forward four years, bluish glow illuminating from my screen. I’m on a flight next to, presumably, a Statistics teacher, who is raving on about his students. Low whir of plane engine–here goes, nostalgia lane, and I scroll through the album.


Photos depicted the expected. Essays, tests, new friends, old friends. People I quit talking to. People I started talking to. The dance, the trips, the endless summer drives. Relief, happiness, irritation, impatience, excitement, all rolled into one visual lump.

It felt strange looking back. Had me and xyz really been that close? Realization that things–images– aren’t always what they seem. My diary entries were angstier. Then a light wash of guilt that, over time, I’d lost touch with certain friends. But, well, people come and go, and they’re supposed to.

Still. It felt odd seeing our goofy faces, old friends, heaps of inside jokes. Regardless, this Project 365 brings me a sort of happiness in it of itself. Cue: flickers of nostalgia, fade to black.



La Vie Este Belle| Photo Diary

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When I was five I’d collect little bugs outside for recess, then, much to my parents’ dismay, make a home for them in the deep-sewn pockets of my green plaid jumper. I thought they were cute. The fear of insects is taught, not ingrained. In some countries, insects are food; people’ll fry bugs on a stick and sell them in the streets.

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Bugs on a stick. Two days before New Years my friend and I ventured into the closest-to-hipster part of town, where my boyfriend and I watched a comedy show over quesadillas and orangey drinks. We found a little shop harkening back to the 60’s, where they sold pop sodas in glass bottles of every flavor imaginable–coffee pop! mayo soda! blueberry pie pop!–as well as ant candies. There was even an open flap on the top and I ran my fingers over the pink sugary glaze, lumpy dead ants like roadbumps in the street.

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We skirted around the city, from a cafe to the contemporary museum to the design district to the art museum, where a stolid quiet leftover Frida sat staring out at the viewer. My friend swiped tirelessly across the orange wall. Left swipe, right right, left swipe, left swipe. Relentless Tindering!

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On another note, do you ever wonder if so-or-so–say, the quiet girl in middle school gym class whom you never spoke to and suspected didn’t like you but was generally indifferent towards and had never had a boyfriend–ever got a boyfriend?

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Return To Photojournalism

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It’s been about a year since I’ve done photojournalism, picked up an assignment at the newspaper. So it felt like relief/excitement/exhilaration (or all!) to photograph tonight’s candlelight vigil. I tag-teamed the assignment with JS, another Associate Photo Editor from way back in the day. Got to know the new editors a bit better, too, and when we pulled up Notes to write a caption, the last post had been mine–written in November 2015!

All of this is just one convoluted way of saying: it feels good to be photographing again, and to be at the newspaper.

1.15.18 | Daily Art

Sanguine, Home | Photo Diary

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Home: a place in your heart you carve out for yourself, or others, or maybe both. A feeling, sweet familiarity, dirty laundry strewn on your closet floor. Taut–a rubber band–tension stretches and snaps, never breaks.

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The sky doesn’t look blue enough for Home to exist as an ideal.

And the windshield filter, fade to cyan, isn’t convincing enough. The air outside is dry and greyish, the space too dullish, save for the heaps of redhead leaves on the lawn, piled like p-u-d-d-i-n-g for the mice to run through.

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I tried to make lemon pudding after reading a children’s book on lemon pudding (fluffy and light as the seas, I think), except I left the heavy cream unstirred for too long and I think it may have curdled. So two days later I scooped the globbish lemony attempt out furtively into the trash. When I made coconut milk rice a week later–mango sticky rice, to be exact, and a restaurant’s spitting mimicry–I made sure to stir continuously this time.

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Vacillation between ambivalence, between remembering the past and barging towards the future. The sky is simple in its beauty above the loud hacking of machines and construction.

Tail-End of 2017

happy new years.jpgThe year’s winding down to an end. 2018 peeks from behind the heavy mahogany curtain: is it her turn to shine yet?

For others, it seems like every year was a salad’s mix of highlights and shit-shows. But for me, 2017 might have been one of the best. Instead of slaving away to social expectations, I did my own thing, carved out time for myself, landed a paid writing internship, visited six cities–including a beachy vacation with family, roadtrip with le beau—started seeing le beau, hit the one year blog mark, did well in my last batch of classes (all A’s so far, yay) etc. Life hath been good; I art grateful.

My favorite New Year’s WP posts that I’ve stumbled upon so far have been imbued in wisdom: what I learned this past year, what I grew to appreciate. Yet the year went by so quickly that I haven’t had the time to contemplate lessons learned or gratitude boxes checked. If anything, it seemed to be a fairly calm year, one in which the 2017 flower grew as expected, bloomed with surprising quickness, fluttered with patches of vibrancy. That, as opposed to running headlong into concrete blocks, dealing with abnormally dreary weather, or facing a lack of floral nutrients. In other words, the year somehow sidestepped the usual tricky roadblocks. For that, I am appreciative– 2014 and 2015 were growth-spurt years, awkward and painful and hasty, whereas 2016 was pinkishly aimless.

2017 was a good year, a mellow year. As of now, 2018’s just rounded about vague goals, semi-forming and morphing–I’m not really one for resolutions. I’ll soon flesh said goals out, jot them down on paper, work towards them. The only “creative” goal I have so far is to make more art, several pieces a week. I’m considering starting up my daily drawing project again (which didn’t get terribly far in the start of the year). I’m looking for some way to consistently commit myself to fine arts, even though I’m not required to. Otherwise, in looking ahead, I’ve been told that this pocket of Youth will be a time of exploration, loneliness, uncertainty, excitement. Ah. We’ll see what it has in store.

In looking back at the year, I’d be remiss not to note how grateful I am for you, reader. Thank you for taking the time to click, like, read or comment on any posts, for being a part of 2017. If you’re reading this (as Drake scribbled on his album cover), thank you, and happy New Years. 🙂

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Things That Aren’t | Photo Diary

a street in ny you’ll pretend to recognize
used auto parts

I’ll oft take lots of mediocre photos that never see the light of its day. They aren’t “aesthetically pleasing” or, at least, worthy-of-the-gram–they’re usually a little weird or off-centered or discolored or blurry. Or, more frequently, mundane. There’s nothing breath-taking about them, no famous mountains or monuments grandly displayed in the background, just streets and lights and angles and figures, sometimes empty space.

drenched in pink
i couldn’t stop listening to taylor swift and having weird existentialist thoughts

Even so, these images bring me a sort of quiet pleasure in their dullness/mundaneness, in their unassumingness, and there’s nothing about them that asks to be ‘liked’.

Don’t get me wrong, I love typically beautiful Instagram-mable images as much as the next person, but sometimes I don’t want to produce merely beautiful photos. At the same time, daily mediocre-ish photos, depicting the quotidian, scream to breathe instead of being buried in Camera Roll.

lego-like, sublime
it was always you

That being said, I might just carve out a corner of this blog–which I already word-vomit and art-chuck onto–for photo diary entries.

So here’s my first batch of photo diary photos, which I’ll call Things That Aren’t, just because the phrase was marqueeing through my head this evening, 7:03 PM.

a quintessential christmas, lone flickering bulbs in the night
lost cat: i’m sorry if i startled you