It’s a new year. Make it what it is.

Switchfoot, who I photographed at the 41st annual Ichthus Festival in Wilmore, Ky., posed the thought provoking question, "This is your life, are you who you want to be?" 2010 photograph for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Around midnight Saturday, I was sitting there with my my Twitter accounts open on my phone wanting to tweet “Happy New Year,” but not just “Happy New Year.” There had to be something more. A great turn of phrase was not entering my still vacationing noggin, but a theme was.

I shot this image as part of my 366 Project, a step in addressing the question, "What can I do to make myself a better photographer?"

“Happy New Year. Make it an amazing 2012.”

There was probably a cooler way to put it, but the operative words were “make it.” No, “I hope it is” or “I wish it would be.”

The theme had been occurring to me in several ways. The song that struck me driving home from vacation was Switchfoot’s This is Your Life, which asks in the chorus, “Are you who you want to be?”

NBC journalist Ann Curry had a Facebook post that said, “Today in Bodhgaya India, asked the Dalai Lama: ‘Do you have a message to the world for the new year?’ His answered: ‘Prayer alone will not make a happy life. A happy life must be built. You must act.'”


Luck is great. Blessings are accurately named. A conversation with my 97-year-old aunt last week reminded me that God is guiding our paths. But I believe in a God that also expects us to row.

So, as 2012 begins, I am thinking about what to to do make my life more of what I want it to be. That includes this little photography enterprise. So I am asking myself questions like …

~ What can I do to make myself a better photographer?

~ With a year under my belt, do I have a better vision for what I want this business to be?

~ How do I let more people know what I am doing, and what I can do for them?

~ What are things I have not done with the camera that I would like to do, that I would be good at, if I only tried?

~ What other ways can I use photography to benefit others?

These and other questions are exciting to contemplate, but at the dawn of a new year, even more exciting to act on.

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