Month On Film - January 2024

Back in January I hosted another round of Month On Film, my month long personal project that I open up for others to join in on the project. It consists of a prompt per day (31 for January), one shot per prompt, allowing to easily do one roll of film through the month to complete the project. Of course, these rules can be flexible and broken if needed to better accommodate a participant, but the goal remains the same. A month-long project meant to challenge each photographer and the way they take pictures.

For me personally, I've used this project at different times for different reasons, such as getting me to pick my camera back up after a hiatus, helping me document a certain time in life, challenging me to use different perspectives when taking images. For this time with the project, I went in with a goal of using each prompt to help dictate a self portrait of myself. I wanted to be in each image, which was truly a challenge. As I started out, I did a day here, a day there, I missed a few, and then I was left with a catch up day to do six or so I had missed. In that catch up day, the project pivoted for me. I still wanted to do the self portraits, but I wanted to challenge myself further, creating the stage for each self-portrait in my studio space in downtown Des Moines.

Instead of taking a more documentary style approach to the project as I always have in the past, I instead took a storytelling style, setting a scene for each prompt and forcing myself to explore ways to use my studio space beyond the bounds I had set for myself. The results were a mix bag for me (self portraits can be so tricky with focus and timers!), I didn't just love everything I captured, but the project, especially this time around, was truly more about the act of capturing the images and less about the results. More than ever before with the project, I gave myself room to "fail", knowing that there really was no failing if I had been fully challenged while taking the images.

Have you ever done a Month On Film project before? I would love to hear about it!