In the summer of 2019, I started walking. I mean, I’ve been walking most of my life, but I started walking for exercise.
I had always been a runner, but injury plagued me and I finally had to accept that my running days were over. So, I started walking; and it turns out, I just might like it more than running. Go figure.
Like most people, life had always been so fast-paced. Work, school, parenting, building a business, running said business, housekeeping, marriage- there was always something to do, and very little of it involved nature. But once I started walking, I found I noticed more of what was happening around me than I did when I was running. Even though I was a pretty slow runner, it seemed the scenery had always zoomed right past me.
I was also beginning to feel stale in my wedding photography and I really wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to try something new in photography and I wanted to become more in tune with nature. I felt like nature was all around me, but I wasn’t really experiencing it- it was just sort of happening and I was just catching little bits of it here and there.
So, in late winter of 2019, I decided that I would walk one route- from my home to our local park and back – about 3.25 total miles out and back (about 1 mile of that is a park) and photograph this one route… once a week… for an entire year. I wanted to see all of the changes in one space. I wanted to see how many different things I could capture in one area. I wanted to push myself to see more and more in the same boring route. Could I find something new each time?
The first few months were kind of rough. I started with my phone and then tried carrying my Nikon mirrorless with me- but neither of those were really working. So halfway through February 2020, I picked up a little Fuji from Service Photo, a backpack, and a pair of duck boots, and started my project in earnest.
Little did I know, that just a few short weeks later, the world would shut down and that this little project of mine, would be my only outlet- my sanity in a world of chaos. This year was rough for our family, and sometimes weeks passed where I didn’t walk at all, and other weeks where I walked for hours every day. This project allowed me to focus on not just photography, but on beauty, on solitude, on nature, and on myself. This project made me fall in love with photography all over again and grounded me in the world around me. This pandemic has taken so much from so many, but for this opportunity I’m incredibly grateful.
Are they the most amazing images? Not really- but they were a lot of fun to capture and I’m definitely looking forward to see where this new hobby goes. For the first time in my adult life, I’m taking photos just for me- and that is certainly a welcome addition. I have a few more projects in the works, but I figured I should start at the beginning.
So here you- one year, one route.