Archive for '365'


I am over the hundred picture marker in my second 365 project, and have really, really been so excited this time around. Last time, having no idea what to expect, I found it much harder and was “running out of ideas” by this time. Of course I didn’t run out of ideas; they aren’t finite. What I did learn is that with any project, there is a ebb and a tide. As a creative, you have to learn to ride that wave and have faith you will make it through. Even if you “fail”, you have to believe enough in your vision and your path to pick yourself up and get back out there. If you are taking any risks or chances with your work, you are going to fail are – I guarantee it. But you are also going to experience some pretty amazing stuff by getting out there and doing the work. For me, the three most important lessons I’ve learned through all my personal projects are….

3) You’ll Get Bored

Really, really bored. Bored of the same angles. Same set ups. Same light. Same. Same. Same. And thats a really good thing, because then you will want to try different. You’ll push yourself. Different angles, lighting, techniques…anything to start to fight the sameness. I couldn’t see that in my first 365 project.  It was really, really hard work. This time, I know it means I have to push myself more. To get out there, and try new things, even if its hard or risky. Even if I might fail. It doesn’t matter what the project, chances are at some point you’ll feel stagnate and want to try something new.

My subjects for my 365  are of my family and my daily life. I made a decision that subject worked the best for me and set me up the best for success in completing my 365.  It’s “why” I chose to do another, for the memories for my children after they enjoyed the book I made for them after the last one. The challenge is:  how do you shoot the same subjects differently? For me some of the advantages of getting bored are…

You’ll get better at different techniques (freelensing is one of my favourites):

he waited all winter for this


wrinkled sheets (1 of 1)


Be challenged to take on different perspectives:



lake ice (1 of 1)

Maybe you even get in front of the camera:


Why would you want to do any of that? Well, regardless of your niche as a creative, you can bring back what you’ve learned and apply it to anything else. I believe those sorts of lessons are transferrable and for you to take with you on your journey. Pack wisely.

2) Know Your Gear

A really great by product of getting bored on a budget and being committed to personal projects for growth, is that you will get familiar with all of your gear, including stuff you don’t always work with.  Using the same gear in different situations means you will know the imitations, the workarounds and what choice to make in terms of lenses, settings, etc to get what you want. Less time focusing on gear, but on “why” you are taking the picture will help you to get clearer on what you are trying to say. Committing to a personal project allows you to know your gear so well that you are freed from it and its “limitations”, because you realize it’s not about the gear after all….

For me, I have learned to work with the same lens in low light:

still his favourite stuffy (1 of 1)

or with lots of light:

paralell sons_

I dusted it off and worked, and worked and worked with gear I don’t use all the time, but tried to use it differently.

From using my lights differently:


To committing to a personal project using my underwater housing to try to see my subjects differently:


To participating in a group focused on concept shoots and learning to use my editing tools differently to really be able to convey a personal message about bullying:


1) Flow

If there is one thing to take away, this would be it. Working on your craft as an artist means you have ebbs and flows to that creativity and when it flows, it’s magic. It’s hard to explain, but I have found it happens when you push yourself, when you take risks, when you’ve done the hard work of silencing your inner critic and gear is no longer a distracton. When I named one of my personal projects In The Flow, I was trying to capture that “oneness” feeling I get when I am in the water shooting. Its when your vision and your voice is there. I had no idea that this video existed until today, but it really resonated with me. I hope it does the same for you – “How Flow Drives Creative Genius – The Rise of Superman”

Those are my observations about working on personal projects and making the commitment to them and being determined to see them to completion, through all the ebbs and flows.

What projects are you working on and what are your biggest learnings?  I would love to hear from you :)

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It was a very busy end of January for us here!  I went to Whistler for the fabulous National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP)retreat, which I highly recommend if you are looking to invest in your photography. I met up with my sweet friend Barb, who attended all the way from Maui, from Endless Summer Photography (you can see the article she did for NAPCP on vacation photos here – and yes thats my family!), and while I learned a lot, and made new friends (check out the fabulous Mandy from Flow for Photographers and her incredible skills), I was glad to be home and start to prep for the Exposure Photography Festival show I participated in.  More to come in the next blog post on that!

A shout out to Framed on Fifth for their incredible job in framing my prints for the festival – they turned out amazing and I couldn’t be happier!

Here is what my favs from Week 5 looked like…

Week 5




And Week 6…

Fianl Week 6


Looking forward to getting caught up soon!

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It’s been a busy busy February here as I participated in the Exposure Photography Festival, which I will be blogging about soon,  and I haven’t been active much on the blog!  I decided to try to get caught up a little on my 365 project (which I am still doing!!) and post week 3 and 4 (finally!).  Here is a little of what our January looked like…

Week 3

Week 3


Week 4




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I am a little late getting to this, but I wanted to share the news!  Late last fall, I was acknowledged by the photography community at the 9th Annual Black & White Spider Awards. Judged by some of the industries top professionals and with over 8500 entries this year, I was pretty thrilled with the results!

I love this image for so many reasons. For me it’s both about the power of observation and executing a vision and the result of my first personal 365 project. These are topics I will be speaking about in my “Artists Talks” at the Exposure Photography Festival.  Be sure to come and check out the gallery where my work, and the work of other local photographers, will be featured. Details and information on special events and artists talks can be found here.

Only One You


Press Release:


LOS ANGELES  – Professional photographer Jennifer Kapala from Canada was presented with the 9th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee in the category of  People at a prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow webcast Saturday, October 18, 2014.

The live online gala was attended by photography fans around the globe who logged on to see the climax of the industry’s most important event for black and white photography.

The awards international Jury included captains of the industry from The Royal Photographic Society, FoMu Fotomuseum, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Torch Gallery, Stockholm City Museum to Fratelli Alinari in Florence who honored Spider Fellows with 298 coveted title awards and 957 nominees in 14 categories.

“It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 8,508 entries from 73 countries that we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. ” Jennifer Kapala’s “Only One You,” an exceptional image entered in the People category, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present her with the title of Nominee.”

You can view the 9th Annual Winners Gallery at

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.

Contact: Jennifer Kapala



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I am embarking on another 365 personal project.  For those who may not have been following me, I did one in 2013, and when I finished never thought I’d do another one. Ever. But, I printed them, my kids loved looking at the photos, we moved houses, they grew up a bit more, and I was feeling the need to make sure I was getting these changes. I can’t stop time, but I can freeze a moment, create art from the everyday, and leave behind something for my kids to look back on. I learned a lot from my last 365 project, which I may share in a blog post soon if there is enough interest. I hope to learn as much, if not more, as I did last time.

I didn’t start January 1, as most do, as I truly believe you can start a personal project whenever you feel like it, and a year is a year wherever you start it from.  So, if you haven’t started yet, but want to, please don’t wait a whole year for an arbitrary date. There is as much power in the NOW as there is in January 1 2016…maybe a bit more ;).

I’d love to hear what personal projects you are working on now. Whether it’s a 365, a 52 week, or some other project, I truly believe personal projects do much to recharge your creativity, challenge your skills and add to your growth in so many different ways. I hope you’ll join me on mine.

Here’s what the first two weeks of 365 days looked like for me…

Week 1


Week 2

Week 2



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