Creativity Exercise: The O'Clock Project 2019

Four years ago I cooked up a hair-brained idea to take a picture every day for a whole month during the toughest hour of my day, which became the Our 5 O’Clock Project. At the time, when my kids were 3 years and 7 months old, 5:00 pm was the hour I did not look to forward to. It was a constant struggle to nurse the baby, get dinner cooked, and keep everyone happy.

Not to get too sappy, but after 30 days, I came out with a new appreciation for my photography. The project tested my skills and my will-power. But more importantly, attempting to find a slice of happiness during our witching hour made me realize that even when being a mother completely stressed me out and pushed me to my limits, there were glimmers of magic. There were connections. And happiness. And love.

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That project became one of my toughest and also one of my absolute favourites, and for the next 2 years I did it again for a whole month, each time inviting other photographers to join me. I was blown away by the participation and loved seeing glimpses into the lives of more than 50 participants of the project.

One thing I know about parenthood is we are never alone. Even when we each feel completely isolated in our homes and that nobody else could possibly be having as much trouble putting dinner on the table, we are not alone. There is someone (probably only a few doors down!) thinking the exact same thing.

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I took a year off from the project last year, but this year Jenny and I decided we’d bring it over to Unscripted and make it even bigger and better than ever!

It’s time to gather as a group of moms ready to embrace the witching hour, for the O’clock Project 2019.

This isn’t about photography skills and this project is not only for photographers. If you’re a Mom with a phone please join us. If you’re a professional photographer with a DSLR, come on in. All are welcome and I encourage you to define your own goals for the month….be it finding joy, improving technical skills, catching connections, or staying sane.

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Ready to conquer your crazy hour? Here’s the deal:

  • Pick your hour. It can be any time of the day (morning or night), as long as it’s the same hour every day.

  • Take a picture during that hour every day for the month of May. Phone pic, DSLR image, point & shoot…..the gear doesn’t matter.

  • Post your pictures to Instagram using the hashtag #oclockproject2019. Make sure your account is public so we can see your images. Even better if you tag us (@unscriptedmentoring) so we receive a notification you posted.

  • Search the hashtag and support others who are participating in the project. Be kind. Share encouragement.

  • We start Wednesday, May 1, 2019

  • Throughout the month we’ll have incentives and prizes for participating and posting to Instagram.

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Instead of posting a new creativity exercise each week in May, the O’Clock Project will be our creativity exercise for the whole month (believe me, you’ll feel creatively stretched!). Throughout the month Jenny and I will share some of our images on Instagram as well as sharing some of YOUR images that have been tagged.

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I’m not going to sugar coat this and say that the project will be a walk in the park for you or me. The time constraints and monotony of activities during the same hour often make it really challenging. But, that’s the point! Growth always comes from challenges and constraints.

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Take some over the next few days to think about what your toughest hour of the day is and then commit to one hour. Then charge up your camera batteries, make sure you have room on a memory card and keep your camera out and handy coming May 1.

Jenny and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

-Kelly