Daily Walk Diary on Instagram here.
Daily Walk Diary Spotify playlist here.
The idea to complete a photographic project based around a daily walk came to me suddenly and out of necessity. I began this project on April 19th 2020, about a month into lockdown, as a way to distract myself from the extreme pressure I was feeling. While many people found themselves furloughed from their jobs and with an abundance of time, my job working in food retail meant I was busier than ever, working long hours, and contending with a very challenging set of circumstances. I was feeling rung out and realised that what I was doing was unsustainable, so came across the idea of turning the government guidelines of doing an hour exercise a day into a photographic project. Making photographs during my walk was a secondary consideration to the need to actually get out, although subconsciously I think I understood I needed something extra as motivation, especially after a long shift. I took a circular route from my house and recorded the time and distance walk with an iPhone app ‘Map My Walk’. On day one I was unsure about what I would photograph but knew that I wanted to try and build up a portfolio of images of similar items and themes – I tried not to over think this at the beginning and quickly found that subconsciously I was beginning to photograph similar things, such as rubbish and discarded items which seemed to have an added significance due to lockdown . The next consideration I had to make was what to do with the images – I was keen to try and publish the images I had taken somehow so decided to make a new Instagram profile to put the images on to. Previously I had engaged half heartedly with Instagram and my choice to use this platform for the project was based mainly on the ease with which it could be used as I intended to make all if the images using my smart phone. I quickly came up with a format for the posts, putting a screen shot of the map and stats from the Map My Walk and using a app for Instagram to make composite grid photographs of the individual images, as well as putting a selection of images in further posts. I also selected one song from each day that for whatever reason resonated with me during my walk and added this to a playlist.
I do not know how long I will continue with this project, but having managed 20 consecutive days so far early indications are good that I will continue. I am finding that the whole process is having a positive effect on both my physical and mental wellbeing – initially taking the photographs was a strategy to motivate me to get out of the house in the first place but I am finding that going out for a walk is motivation to take photographs, and taking photographs is motivation to go out for a walk. Walking means that I am taking photographs instinctively and quickly and not worrying about this too much, putting the images onto Instagram each day means I am engaging with some creative activity which is a further way of destressing.