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Back in December 2011 we were living in Georgia out of necessity. The necessity was employment-related and we had just finished an all-too-brief Christmas visit “back home” to California. Feeling disconnected from the family, I decided to start a new photographic project to keep us in better touch with the relatives. For many years we did a Pierce Family Newsletter that contained photos and a rundown of what happened during the year. Facebook has made the newsletter less necessary since everybody already knew the big stuff and I made the decision to replace the newsletter with the new project.

Enter the Picture-A-Week Project. Starting in January 2012, I started choosing one picture every week (Monday through Sunday) that had some significance to our lives or evoked a story about its content. I started with brief, sometimes humorous comments when they were posted on Facebook and my photo sharing site but those have grown to more informational mini-stories over the years. At the end of 2012, I collected all the photos and formatted a self-published coffee table book with a two-page spread for each image.

The original reason for starting it disappeared in the middle of 2012 when we moved back to California with a new job but the die was cast. Year eight is now in process and I can say honestly that it has been the best photo “thing” I have ever done. Some weeks I have to cull through several images to find the one with a story attached. Sometimes the number is hundreds during a cruise week. Occasionally, I find myself prowling the back yard to find something to shoot on Sunday afternoon when the week has been too busy for the usual casual photo-ops. However I come up with a photo, the PAW Project makes sure that I keep in touch with the hobby that has been so satisfying, educational and therapeutic over the years.

You should try it. Easy to do and cheaper than a weekly hour on the Shrink’s couch!

Here’s a link to the current year. Here’s another to the archive. The last is to the galleries of the year-end books.


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