Happy New Year! (And Thoughts on My 2016 Photo a Day Challenge)

Happy New Year!

In 2016, I challenged myself to take a photograph every day for the entire year.

And a challenge it has been. I’ve learned that forcing myself to take a photo every day doesn’t work for me.  It was too long of a period of time and after a few months, it felt like a chore.  And I’m okay with that, because I know that some days I will be bursting with inspiration.

But I also wanted to complete the project, so I ended up cheating a bit and spreading some of the images from those more prolific times into the days where I just wasn’t feeling it.

One amazing thing about a challenge like this is the way it forces you to really look at your world, see things differently, and find beauty in places you may otherwise overlook.  I learned that from my 2015 Morning Walk photo challenge too.  (You wouldn’t know from the photos that every morning I was walking alongside two busy roads and a four lane highway all full of traffic for the majority of the 2.5 mile loop.)

I also think the challenge made me get outside a bit more.  There were days that I extended my walk several miles, just so I could see how a nature area up the road was changing with the seasons. Matt and I hiked on days with questionable weather when the couch was much more appealing, and we set alarms for 3 am while camping because the northern lights had the potential to be visible.

And finally, It’s fun to look back on the year, especially when setting intentions for the next one.  I realize that those shitty, stressful days and the erratic work schedule didn’t play that big of a part.

Here are my favorite 125 images from 2016, some of them aren’t necessarily good photos, but have wonderful memories attached:


My first photo of 2016, that’s the South Pier Light Station in Charlevoix, Michigan.


And this was a frosty morning in Carson City, Nevada, taken in early February.


The first quarter of the year was quiet and then turned quite frantic after we decided to move from Nevada back to Michigan (after living in NV for 10 years!).


The Desert Five Spot – we saw so many of these while checking out the Super Bloom in Death Valley.

Folsom Lake, California

The view from our campsite at Folsom Lake in northern California.


12 Mile Hot Spring in Wells, Nevada.


The second quarter involved spending as much time with friends as possible before driving across the country and getting to know our new home.  I also started selling my photos in a space that’s not online!




These three photos were taken in Yellowstone National Park.

12 Mile Beach, Michigan

Looking for agates on 12 Mile Beach, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Grand Portal Point, Michigan

Grand Portal Point, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan



Fayette Historic State Park, Michigan


Kitch-iti-kipi at Palms Brook State Park, Michigan


Summer into fall was all about being outdoors, especially with those long days.  We had lots of visitors too!


Checking out the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan


Fall was late to arrive this year, but when it did, it was gorgeous!




Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan



The Two Hearted River at sunset.


Fall heading into winter was a whirlwind of activity, small trips, big trips, and moving house… in a blizzard.



Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic


I could spend hours checking out the ice formations and combing the beach for rocks in this very spot in Charlevoix, oh wait, I did!


And finally, my very last photo of 2016!  It was taken just before midnight.

I started a new photo challenge on January 1st.  I’m taking a photo of winter every day for the first 100 days of 2017.  For those of you who know where I live, you might find that amusing (and would also likely point out that winter will be lasting much, much longer than 100 days.).  You can follow along on Instagram.

What have you done to challenge yourself in 2016?  What did you learn?  Any plans for a 2017 challenge?

5 thoughts

  1. Happy new year, Katie. I read every word and looked at every photo, be it on my phone. Loved the lighthouse framed by the ice. Lovely.

    Lisa J.


  2. My favorites are the ones that highlight the beautiful and clear aquamarine water in Lake Superior….where you can see the tree roots and rocks underneath. The one with trilliums in the foreground and the lake down below was spectacular. And the photo of Taquamenon Falls is amazing -better than it looked when I saw it in person at few years ago. Good luck with your new challenge. Hopefully your house is warm and toasty!


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