9 great things I realized when I took one photo every single day of the year

by Vaclav Kantor

A 365 photo project of the year 2015

I am not the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions, but it has been exactly 1 year since I decided to set a goal of documenting my everyday life by taking at least one photo every single day of the entire year — starting on January 1, 2015.

Why did I want to do it? Because documenting life is not only about capturing those big events such as birthdays and holidays, right? It is more about capturing those single everyday moments. And I just wanted to focus more on the joy of each day, like a gift that has been given to me.

It might sound like an easy thing to do, but it has not been easy at all.

Some days were full of new experiences when I took tons of pictures, but other days were just regular days when I managed only a quick snap while going to work. But looking back at all those pictures reminds me of exactly those little precious moments of the day which I would normally fail to remember.

Some people also say that taking a photo every day will make you a better photographer. I don’t know if that is true, but one thing is certain — you’ll capture great memories that would otherwise be forgotten.

Almost a year has passed, so I went through all those moments and found out that my life contains mainly the following 9 things. And this is what I realized:

1. Breakfast

I can remember this time exactly. In the Spring of 2014, I started to eat breakfast together with my girflriend on a regular basis. Every single morning. Day by day. This breakfast time when we eat together became an essential, and very important part of our day, and we both enjoy it a lot. These joint moments, when we both have time to talk and focus on each other, and slowly prepare for each new day is something which we don‘t plan to give up.

Try to wake up a bit earlier one day, give yourself enough time to prepare a fresh breakfast and spend some time with your partner. You will see how this can literally change your life.

2. Walking

They say that the average human being walks roughly between 1 095 000 and 1 825 000 steps in a year. In 2015 I walked around 1 610 000 steps, which ranks me as average. Even though I would like to increase this number, I did manage to look underneath my legs quite often to see where I was going and what I was doing, I was more aware of my steps this year.

My steps averaged 4410 steps a day, and that is only half of where I would like to be. Because studies suggest that walking 10000 steps a day is the ideal activity ball park to be in and has various health benefits. So walk. Use the stairs instead of the elevator and walk as much as you can. Your body will thank you.

3. Work

For most people, their job is just a neccessary obligation. But it does not have to be this way. I don‘t know if I am just lucky, or if I just have an overly positive approach to life, but for me my job is a hobby and just another thing that I like about my life. It‘s not only a place where I am every day, I look forward to going to work and facing new challenges, but mainly to see my awesome colleagues who I can rely on anytime.

I became conscious about our amazing company culture and the great value it has. If you don‘t like your job and your colleagues, quit. There is for sure a better company that is better suited for you. Don’t allow your fear of the unknown to stop you from doing what you really want to do in your life.

4. Pets

I would say that most people don‘t even realize it, because pets are part of our ordinary lives, but they are fun, indeed. Just try to recall some nice moments with your lovely cat sleeping in your lap, or your devoted dog fetching the ball you throw for him all the time. The fact that almost everyone around me has a cat or dog reminds me that the Czech Republic where I live is definitely one of the most pet friendly nations in the world.

Btw. did you know that cats are insanely afraid of cucumbers, and you can use them to easily scare the shit out of your feline friend? Check it out yourself by watching this video.

5. Friends

Everybody has some friends from school or work, but as time goes by, the range of your true friends reduces down to a few really close mates. One does not even become aware that you make your best friends usually by the time you turn twenty. And this year, I realized even more the fact of how lucky I am to be surrounded by all these brilliant people who I can rely on in any kind of situation. And honestly, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my friends in it.

But what matters the most is spending quality time together, so get up from your computer, grab your friends, and make fun plans to go out together. Life is short, and as the famous quote says, “Good friends make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live a little better”. Don’t forget that.

6. Traveling

It all started with the small expedition on boats that we took with Arthur to Mazura Lakes when I was 16. And my travels have continued up to the present by trips to Russia, Australia, Iran, Japan, Norway, Israel, Honduras, and Guatemala. The best thing about traveling is that it helps you to discover a lot about yourself. After all those adventures I became much more open-minded and appreciative of other cultures. Not to mention seeing all those awesome places, eating various new foods, and meeting great people on the way.

Traveling teaches tolerance, destroys prejudice, and as one quite good quote says, it “is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer”, which I totally agree with. And honestly, it’s one of the best things you can do in your life, so travel as much as you can.

7. Home

There is a saying that you can live in different houses but a true home is where people love you. And for me home is a place where I was born and raised by my immediate family and close relatives. It was only 3 years ago when I was pretty sure that I would never come back to this small and boring village. But nowadays, things have been changing and I am starting to feel a bit differently. Silence, forests, and mountains are everywhere around it. What a place!

“Home” has nothing to do with size of your house. Make your house a home, it really isn’t very expensive to do.

8. Girlfriend

Being in a relationship can truly be the most amazing thing ever. I would like to take a picture of her every day. She is absolutely beautiful when she wakes up and smiles. And the smile on her face makes the world a better place. We literally spend hours and hours talking and discussing things. We laugh at the same things and enjoy lots of things together.

No matter how badly I may sometimes feel, it only takes a conversation with her to make it all better. She listens to me and encourages me to do what I want to do. She makes me want to be a better person. And that is the moment when you know she is the one.

9. Family

When we went to visit our grandma recently, I found a big box full of old family photos. We all sat down and spent more than an hour looking at every single picture with true interest. Some photos were large black and whites, some were small and colored. Some of them were even wrinkled and none of them were lined up chronologicaly. But they did have one thing in common — all the pictures were able to bring back and help me recall beautiful and strong memories.

Family is truly one of the most important things we have. People who accept you for who you are, who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what you do.

And as the Wait But Why blog says “when you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.”
Please, keep that fact in the front of your mind.

Documenting my life through taking all those pictures has truly been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. And if there is anything that I have learned about photographing my daily life, it is the fact that life is too short to let the days go by unnoticed.

So enjoy every single moment of your life and spend more time with your loved ones.

Thank you all for this amazing year!

And whatever your photography or life ambitions are, now is the perfect time to start a #project365.

PS: If you want to look at all of my pictures, you will find them on my Instagram profile.