Shake it Out | A Personal Photography Project

At the beginning of 2013 I was coming off from a year long self portrait challenge. One photo a day, taken with my Canon DSRL. I decided I would processed each of these images in black and white and pushed myself to stay on track with the goal  I wasn’t sure I could do another year of the same thing. It was a big accomplishment, but I needed something a little less time consuming, so I didn’t set any goals. That is until mid afternoon on January 1st, 2014. I felt really lost, like I had forgotten to do something really important. Had I combed my hair? Did I brush my teeth? Did I take a shower and eat breakfast? Then I realized, I hadn’t taken a photo yet. I picked up my iphone, opened the Hipstamtic App and shook the phone. If you aren’t familiar with the app, here is why I did that last part. When you shake the phone, it randomizes the film/lens/flash combo for the camera. The app doesn’t allow for the camera to flip, so I aimed as best I could and took a photo of myself, at arms length, blindly.

The next day I did it again, and then the next, and then the next. The hashtag, #shakeitout2014  was added and BOOM! I had my 2014 project for the year. I had others ask me what I was doing and would I mind if they join me? We were shaking it out all over instagram and it was awesome! It was pure magic to see the faces and film/lens combos that were popping up in my feed. I loved the randomization and the chance of each photo. Over time, I got better and better at knowing where to hold the phone to get my full face (if that’s what I was after), I found angles I loved. I found backgrounds I adored and that really worked for me. My original plan was to shoot in the same spot for the year, strangely enough, in my bathroom at the rental house. But then we moved, not once, but twice. So I had to adjust that plan and hunt down the light in the new places and spaces (which I actually loved doing!)

So here are a few favorites! ready, steady, GO!





The double exposures were pure magic. 70284

I used motion and blur360

I used props- hats are a favorite around here, but I like a good mask too.



I had others join me in the fun. Family and amazing friends. 318

Thank you to all of you who have followed along, cheered me on, been in the frame with me or who have commented or shared my project. I think the success lies in the fun I had all year long shaking it up and keeping it simple.

now? what to do for 2015?!!

4 Comments Shake it Out | A Personal Photography Project

  1. Siobhan Wolf December 30, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Indeed, what to do for 2015. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! I’m sure you’ll come up with something amazing. Having traveled the #shakeitout2014 path with you, I’m sure I’ll feel like I’m forgetting something on January 1st as well, but I’m getting kind of tired of looking at my face on my instagram feed. LOL Thanks for the inspiration – and Happy New Year!

    1. Vanessa Simpson December 31, 2014 at 12:05 am

      I am so glad you joined in! it was truly part of what made me stick with it, having each of you there every day too. ya know? It wasn’t just my project, it was everyone’s!!

      Here’s to an amazing 2015!! (365, or not)

  2. Chris Henderson January 2, 2015 at 4:46 am

    It was so awesome to follow along and see every single image, each one just awesome. Great job 🙂

    1. Vanessa Simpson January 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you Chris! I truly appreciate your words.


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