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Tuesday, November 2, 2010


As you may or may not know, November is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of a novel between November 1st and 30th. That works out to something like 1,667 words/day, which is no small task (especially if you're not usually a writer). I am not much of a writer, and I don't really have any interest in writing a novel, but I like the spirit of the challenge. It's similar to the 365 projects that photographers take on in that it forces you to be productive every day, even if you're not feeling particularly creative or inspired.

When I saw the NaNoWriMo tags popping up on twitter again, I started thinking about a good photography project to go along with it. I finally had my "ah hah!" moment. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then the photographic equivalent of NaNoWriMo is 50 images that come together to tell a story (50 images x 1,000 words each = 50,000 words). This means that November is now also National Photo Essay Month, or NaPhoEMo (doesn't have quite the same flow as NaNoWriMo, but I think it works).

Sadly, this brilliant epiphany came to me a little late for me to execute it within the month. 50 images in a photo essay is a lot, and for each of them to be meaningful will require a lot of planning and editing. I'm writing about it here to get the idea down for next year, and to hopefully inspire a few of you in the process. I'll make a much bigger deal about it leading up to November 2011, and maybe we can get a little group going.

What do you think? Is NaPhoEMo the next big thing?


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  1. Definitely an idea worth pursuing! Bring it up next year and I'm sure we can make it happen!

  2. Sounds like a pretty great idea to me. Now you've got me thinking that I should practice up by doing a photo essay anyway, not tied to your new NaPhoEMo... hmmm

  3. @ Matt Beaty - definitely will.

    @ Matt Mendick - yeah, I've never really done one either. I'm thinking it might be good to do a shorter form "practice" one sometime over the winter before the main event next November.

  4. I LOVE the idea! I still think you could get it done this November... but maybe that's optimistic of me. I guess I'll just have to look forward to next November. :P

  5. @ Kristan - I thought about it, but I have a lot going on right now (still working on the house) and we're travelling for Thanksgiving, so I really don't have time for it. (Plus I have a few other photo projects in the works.) Definitely next year, though.