The Ten Photos Project: self-inflicted photojournalism.
Around Easter, when I first really started to get into Twitter, I noticed a hashtag that read ‘#10photos’. Hashtags, for those who don’t tweet yet, are words (or sometimes numerous words squished together) with a number sign in front of them. You can make anything you want into a hashtag on Twitter. The fun part is, it becomes a hyperlink that takes you to all the tweets with the same hashtag. Anyway, when I noticed this hashtag being used by a local Ottawa blogger named Andrea Tomkins from A Peek Inside the Fishbowl, I got curious. Turns out, #10photos is Andrea’s genius idea: she takes a picture every hour on the hour, posts it to twitter, and encourages others to do the same. You can read more about it on her blog.
When I discovered #10photos at Easter, it was well into the afternoon and I felt like I was too far behind to participate. I decided to give it a whirl this Thanksgiving weekend, though, when I saw that Andrea was back at it again. In my role as Tweeter for @usedottawa, I also ‘retweeted’ (reposted) a bunch of other people’s photos as they came up on Twitter. We immediately loved it here at Project: Priceless, for the sense of community it managed to create amongst total strangers. The pics posted here are from myself and Brian at Project: Priceless.
This was a really cool project, and it’s a great way to illustrate the coolness that is Twitter. Picture Facebook three years back, when it was primarily used to keep track of what your friends’ status updates were. Now imagine that, other than being able to post photos and links, no silly games, apps, or virtual farms could be added to the system. Twitter is deceptively simple, but don’t discount it, as I did for so long: it’s a fabulous networking tool, and a surprisingly fun way to keep in touch with your networks. I should note here that the Ten Photos project can also be done using other photosharing sites…but man alive, Twitter was the place to be for Ten Photos this Thanksgiving!
Because this is such a simple concept—set an alarm, take a photo, send the photo—I really didn’t expect it to be too engrossing. But I became fascinated, not only with seeing what everyone else was up to at the same moment of the day, but also with my own photos. So often a day can fly by without us really noticing what we’re doing or where we are, but this project made me stop, reflect, and ‘memorex’ ten separate moments in time. I feel like this is one Thanksgiving Day that I won’t soon forget; everything from the sun through my office window, to the guy roasting chestnuts in the market, to my sweetheart rubbing my feet, are all perfectly recorded in simple photojournalistic perfection. I may actually try this on all my future special days; I’m enamoured, in a time of digital cameras that take a thousand shots a minute, with the idea of going minimalist here. Ten shots, just ten shots, to tell a story…I love it.
You can see more by going to http://hashtags.org/10photos but hurry: tweets on Twitter don’t last forever, they eventually aren’t searchable. Here’s a few favourites that I retweeted from our @usedottawa Twitter account. The anatomy of a tweet: the word preceded by ‘@’ is the tweeter’s ‘name’; their comments follow that, with the #10photos hashtag, and then a link that will show you their photo. Enjoy…
Next time a holiday rolls around, consider giving this photo challenge a try, whether or not you share it with the world. It’s an exercise in mindfulness, and one you’ll remember forever. And hey, maybe it’s time to try Twitter, if you don’t already? ‘Follow’ @usedottawa and @projectpricelss, our twitter account for Project: Priceless…and say hello…I’ll say hello right back!