Personal Photography Project of Ginger Unzueta
the joy project
What is/was your personal project and what inspired you to start it?
The Joy Project is a 365 daily photo journal.
I have captured my children with my camera almost daily for as long as I can remember. I love to document the everyday beauty of life. It helps me to slow down, to look around our home daily, and see the many gifts (often over looked) that I am grateful for.
I read the following from Kay Warren,
“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”
These words epitomize the Joy Project .
Right now my daily life encompasses being a stay at home wife and mother to our three children. My role also includes being our children’s teacher as we are a homeschooling family. Daily life as a mother definitely has its mountains and valleys. There are days that are long and full of lessons to be taught and learned. There are other days that breeze by with laughter and fun. There are days filled with messes to clean and chaos in abundance. There are days with tears and then there are beautiful smiles. There are hugs, cuddles, and kisses and there are arguments, bruised knees and broken hearts.
This season of life is truly a gift and I believe there is joy to be found daily. I am learning that joy is so much greater and so much more than happiness. I want to live in joy. I want to capture the joy I see in my children on the days that are wonderful and bliss and I want to seek joy on the days that are challenging. I want to find peace through Christ daily in all circumstances. I want to demonstrate His grace to my family and those I am around. I want to give myself grace and remember to seek Him at those moments I feel like I am not enough. I want to let go of worry and live in joy each day.
I hope that through this project I will have something to look back and remember all the beautiful details of these fleeting days. These details sometimes get lost or fuzzy in memory and they are too important to forget. Most of all, I hope that when I look back on this project, I will have been challenged daily and grown through Christ. I pray that I will glorify Him in all I do.
Are there any challenges or ruts you faced during your project and how did you overcome them and keep a creative eye?
We spend a great deal of time at our home both inside and outside. This project challenged me to see the same place and environment in a unique way each time I captured my children. Every image tells a different story and I had to remember that each time I picked up my camera. I don’t ever want to be hindered because I have captured my children doing something similar or in a similar location before.
What have you learned through your process with your personal project?
This project has taught me so much about letting go of perfection; not only in my photography work, but in my life. I am constantly reminded of the beauty of the imperfect. I am learning that the more I let go of my expectations of myself, of our days, and of others, the more alive I feel. God continues to teach and mold me through motherhood and for that I am grateful.
Whether you are a professional photographer, a hobbyist, or a parent or grandparent documenting the ones you love; I encourage you to look for the simple beauty in your life. Don’t wait for the perfect outfits, the perfect smiles, the perfect light, the perfect house, or whatever YOUR “perfect” is. These moments are fleeting.
What do you want to remember about today? What do you want to remember about these people? Pick up your camera; whatever body or style you use, and capture the now. It’s not about who will love your image. It’s not about perfect. It’s about the love you feel and see.
There were many times during the year that I picked up my camera solely because I saw something I never wanted to forget. And I am so glad that I did.