Edmonton

She took a photo every day for 10 years, and celebrated with this awesome mosaic

Clare Gibson took all the photographs she has taken over the course of the years and created a mosaic commemorating her achievement.

Edmonton photographer Clare Gibson started her project on Aug. 12, 2012

Pixelated photo of woman in pink cardigan next to a standing camera and colourful balloons and greenery in the back.
A mosaic made from 3,652 photos, taken every day since Aug. 12, 2012 by Clare Gibson. (Clare Gibson)

Clare Gibson has taken a photo a day, every day for the past 10 years — that's 3,652 consecutive days. 

The Edmonton photographer took all the images she has taken over the course of the years and created a mosaic commemorating her achievement, which she posted to her social media — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — on Aug. 13.

Put together, the thousands of photos make a portrait of Gibson with her camera and some colourful balloons.

Zoomed in, the viewer can detect individual photos of landscapes, pets, cups of coffee, the night sky, nature and people — some black and white, others in colour. 

Gibson decided to make the mosaic because over the course of the years, the collective became more important for her than individual photos.

"You can see the progression of my creativity, but also like how I see the world and hopefully encourage other people to kind of find a little joy or creativity or something beautiful each day," she told CBC's Edmonton AM on Monday. 

Edmonton photographer takes photo every day for the past decade

3 months ago
Duration 3:40
We speak with the local woman behind the project with more than 36,000 photos.

On her social media, Gibson got a lot of feedback about the longevity of the project and her commitment to keep it going.

"A lot of people said they look forward to ... having that little bit of joy each day and something to kind of take the mind away from other things," she said.

She has also inspired people to start their own projects, "which is great because I really think it's important to find something that you like doing each day to kind of have balance and help your mental health." 

Gibson started the project on Aug. 14, 2012 in Sheffield, U.K., where she used to live, taking a photo a day on her phone camera and posting it online.

In September 2013, she moved to Edmonton and continued her project here. "I never forgot," she said.

A woman in a flowery shirt smiling, holding a camera in front of a graffitied wall.
Gibson has been taking a photo a day, every day, for the past 10 years. (David Kotsibie)

She used both her phone and a proper camera used by professionals, depending on what she was trying to capture.

Even during days when she wasn't feeling particularly inspired, or had to stay indoors after getting COVID-19, she persevered and never lost her streak.

Some days Gibson knew what she wanted to photograph. Other days she let inspiration come to her, either at home or when she was out and about. 

"I like shadows a lot, light and shadow, and I like looking at things from a different perspective, like you might not normally notice," she said.

People who love taking photos are often criticized for not being in the moment, but Gibson believes they actually observe the beauty around them more than those who aren't interested in photography.

After celebrating her 10-year milestone, Gibson is carrying on with her project for the next little while, although she hasn't yet chosen when to bring it to an end. 

"It was a conscious decision the first few years to carry on, and now it has to be a conscious decision to stop," she said.

A steady hand is an important part of snapping a great photo. For one local photographer, steadiness has become a daily mantra. We're joined by Clare Gibson, who's taken a photo every day for the last 10 years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kashmala Fida Mohatarem is a reporter and associate producer with CBC Edmonton.

With files from Jered Stuffco

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