In this project, I graduated college, got married, went to Miami for the first time, went to Hawaii again, and Anna and I moved into our first apartment.
Like my 5th 365, I did not complete this one. I made it to day 200 and something. Due to family issues and school ramping up, I lost track of pretty much everything.
But we're good, because I redeem myself in the next 365 project.
As promised, here is a slideshow looking back at my very first 365 project:
That was a busy year. I met Anna in the last week of that project. The day after I ended it, I fell asleep at the wheel and wrecked my car. Wild times.
This morning, I uploaded my final vlog:
Like I said in the video, my life just can't sustain the "daily publishing" requirement of the my series of projects. That's ok.
To be honest, I'm not upset. It was very taxing and took a crazy amount of work to keep this going for 5 years. The fact that I made 300+ videos this year is a miracle.
"The 365" as we know it today is over. That's a big deal for me.
In fact, I don't think it really hit me how big of a deal it is until writing this.
"The 365" was my first big project. It helped me grow in an uncountable amount of ways. When it started, I wasn't making any money from photo or video, I wasn't good at photography, I didn't have a college degree, I wasn't married, I didn't even really know who I was. I just started posting crappy photos in hopes it would get me somewhere.
While doing a daily project, you don't feel the growth. You only feel it when you look back at 300 days and think about what all has changed over that period. It still shocks me.
I owe "The 365", I owe it a proper send off. I did it a little in the above video, but I need to do it right. I need to give each year the spotlight it deserves.
I'll be posting a retrospective, on Youtube and Instagram of each of the 5 years of this project. Then finally, I can put it to bed and start something new.
Who knew I'd make another vlogging update a day after the first one. Well, things have changed over the past 24 hours.
(See today's vlog:)
It looks like I'm going to end it at 300.
Between work, being married, and staying healthy, I'm finding very little reason to justify finishing this project. It doesn't do much of anything for me other than wear me out when I have way more important things I need energy for.
It takes at least 4 hours out of each day to make these daily videos, and I desparately want and need that time back to spend time with Anna.
300 videos is insane. Making another 66 at this point seems like un-needed stress. I know I could do it, but at what cost?
I haven't had a full/great nights sleep in months. I go to bed at obscene hours just to get these videos out.
I just need time away. Time away from the internet, time away from my camera, time away from my computer, and time away from making anything. I was hoping to do all that next year but I can't think of a reason not to just do it all now. Life is too short.
Every time I've taken a break from a 365 project, I come back with fresh eyes and my work is elevated and different stylistically. All my stuff feels kind of stale to me right now (photography included) and I just want to walk away and think of new ideas.
Let the week to 300 begin.
Obviously, I haven't been updating the website that I have named after me, due to having too much on my plate. A huge side dish on said plate is this video project I've been working on, AKA, my biggest 365 project yet.
And let me tell you, it's getting tougher by the day.
Capturing your day to day with photos or videos is nothing new, in fact, "vlogging" can be a career now. The more I vlog, the less I understand how these full-time vloggers do what they do. I don't understand how they can look at themselves and convince themselves that what they're doing is worth watching. Granted, their lives are far more interesting than mine. Getting paid to make a video about yourself probably helps too.
I'm addicted to documenting things. As seen by my Polaroid Panels, I love keeping track of the changes from year to year. I love sharing them as well. I've reached a point however, where I would like to curate more of what I share and leave out the unnecessary stuff.
Vlogging at the beach was fun, and I had fun coming up with videos in that change of scenery. The stress comes with facing this week, knowing I'm nearing 300 and having to figure out how to make a video out of my boring, daily routine.
Last night, my mother and I had a great phone call in which we vented about the world's problems and discussed how tired we are of the internet in 2016. We're tired of all the unnecessary political posts, and just the depressing nature of our daily social feeds.
With all this vlogging business, I'm having to be exposed to the internet every. single. day. and can't escape it. Being an "internet person" takes a toll on your morale. I told her I'll probably take a 2-3 month hiatus from the internet come 2017. She said her solution was to watch West Wing where she is reminded of a simpler time with far less depressing writing and much more civility.
I want to get back into reading books. I want to get back into writing. I want to take a break from making things and come back with fresh eyes. I want to quit watching myself do boring shit. I want to quit sharing the videos of me doing boring shit.
But I only have two full months left, and after already completing almost 10 months of videos, I think I can do it. I just don't know what kind of person will come out at the other end of this thing.
(Can't believe after months of not blogging I'm writing about Trump. Life sure is strange)
Trump. The name no one can keep out of their mouth or off their computer screen.
A name that has brought sadness to many people and warped the minds of others.
A name that was a joke this time last year.
I'm not sad because a man like Trump is running for president (although that sucks in its own right).
I'm sad about something else, something I should have learned by now. There's been an ongoing theme in my life and the lives of many others close to me. The changing of worldviews and the obsolescence of beliefs (in this case, Christian beliefs) has been bothering me for the past few years.
Culture (mostly liberalism if I'm being honest) has declared that many Christian values aren't necessary anymore. What else is new? The Bible tells us that will happen, thus the "Be in the world and not of it" thing. However, many Christians and churches haven't fought back, but instead, in huge numbers, moved to listen to the culture's decrees about how Christians should be.
And guess what? It leads to people like me who has no place in telling anyone anything to write blog posts like this. Look what you made me do!
Listen, I'm no saint. I drink, watch R-rated movies (the most grievous of sins), and curse. I love many aspects of culture, just scroll through my Twitter or this website. To many Christians, I would probably be considered a bad dude. Well, actually after this week I've definitely been labeled a bad dude and a Pharisee.
I've watched people in my life change. I've felt left behind and confused as those I respect walk in a different direction. I'm sure I've changed a little, but overall I've pretty much held to the same stuff (hopefully).
Before continuing, you should read this piece by Jonah Goldberg, where he discusses Trump's "rectal ventriloquism" where he talks out of his ass and conservatives start preaching it. It almost perfectly captures how I've been feeling.
I've read some crazy articles this week, most notably this incredibly eloquent piece that essentially says those who don't support Trump are like those who killed Christ. (Can I get a big WTF?)
And this isn't the only article that says it's my Christian duty to vote for Trump that's popped up in my news feed this week. Or the only article that compares him with Biblical figures, saying he's just like them. True, God uses flawed people. With that same argument of God using Trump, he could be using Hillary as well.
The difference with Paul or some other great Christian leader is that one, they were Christians. I don't want to say for sure whether or not Trump is a Christian but he doesn't act like one. Two, the leaders of the Bible were repentant and aware of their sinful nature. Trump is not aware of himself in the slightest and brushes off his sexual assault recording as "locker room talk" (now I understand why I've always stayed out of locker rooms)
Trump is a sleezy old man, his "locker room talk" doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Neither does his infidelity. What surprises me is the "new" Christian response to this; the same Christians, by the way, that claim it's my duty to vote for this "flawed man" almost 100% called out and preached against Bill Clinton when he committed adultery. Now, many Christians I know (not all of course), are defending Trumps sexual mishaps, and not only that, but comparing him to David or Paul.
What this leads me to believe is that the true belief here is that America is God and the end all, and Christianity is the convenient lifestyle for an American to live, the tenets of which can be changed at any time.
I, first hand, have seen what sexual sin and infidelity does to everyone involved. It is by far one of the greatest abominations I have ever witnessed. The effects of which are still felt for years after. The idea that any Christian would defend that sort of behavior, no matter what the stakes are, is absolutely mind-blowing to me and deeply, deeply troubling.
That's it though. The new version of Christianity just came out, and in the list of bug fixes, sexual sin is no longer an issue. Can't wait to see what features come with the next update.
Yesterday, I mentioned how I was going to deal with my polaroids. Normally, when I make such a promise online, it usually isn't mentioned or fulfilled for weeks or months after. Today was an exception. I finished it 24 hours after saying I would do it.
Everyone needs a polaroid wall right? (There's no telling how expensive all of this film was all together)
I realized that I accidentally documented a whole phase of life that's pretty much over. I have a niece now, a totally different job, and a whole other set of relationships with people.
I suppose that means I need to stock up on polaroid film and start a new round of documentation.
Better start saving.
I'm a pretty weird guy, but my house doesn't reflect it.
Maybe it's because I'm a military kid, so I always have one foot out the door. I've moved every year for 5 years. This is actually the first year that I just stayed put. (Not that I have a deep love of my current apartment, I'm just tired of moving so it wasn't worth it)
I've kind of just lived out of a suitcase for a while. That's kind of why my house reflects that of the blandest human you've ever met.
My house could be described as a place where a guy named Larry would come home from his cubicle to a hot, fresh Lean Cuisine waiting for him every night. "Apartment Yellow" walls, old carpet, an $8 Target lamp, and nothing on the walls other than a Dilbert calendar that gives Larry a little chuckle once a month.
Out of the 1,825+ photos I've taken over the past five years, zero of them have hung on my walls. More of my photos have ended up on my mom's, grandparents', and in-laws' wall than mine.
I suppose it could laziness, a lack of commitment, indecision, or rebellion against the carefully curated "white wall" hipster lifestyle.
Whatever I've been suffering from, I've gotten over it and have entered an obsessive frenzy of making my apartment great again. Pics and video (obvi) coming soon when I finish climbing to the peak of this personal Everest.
(Let's just say I'm going to make a polaroid wall. It's going to be the best polaroid wall you've ever seen, and YOU'RE going to pay for it!)
That's right. It's back.
It's going to be different this time around. Kind of an outlet for discussion, a place for me to talk about what's eating me.
It's monthly now as well.
The topic of discussion? Writing and how not writing has actually made this year more difficult for me. (Look below at my last blog post about not blogging anymore)
In all of the chaos of the 45 things I was doing at the time, writing should not have been the one that lost out. I regret quitting. That said, today is a new day and I can hop back on this website and get going again.
Episode 40 comes out October 1st.
I have spent more time reading about video games than playing them. At one point, I spent more time reading about photography gear or photography in general than the time I spent shooting. I have a feeling I'm not alone in this, especially from those with some obsessive tendencies like myself.
In a similar vein, I've spent an inordinate amount of time reading or listening to or writing movie reviews. What an odd thing: Watch a movie, then go listen to other people's thoughts about what you just watched.
Doing "the thing" is now a small piece of the process, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing. I think unpacking a particularly heavy movie by checking out other people's thoughts can be helpful. Maybe you need to get past a certain point in a video game and need help. Maybe you're looking to upgrade your camera or troubleshoot. The internet is a great place for these things.
Except, I often don't do those things. I listen to a movie review podcast to fill the air, I used to read about video games when I was too lazy to pick up the controller (I know.), and I read about camera gear when I'm lacking in ideas on what to make next or I just don't want to go out and do anything.
My blog is the most indulgent of all of these things. It's a place where I can talk about creating without actually making anything. I can tell people what to do without actually doing anything myself. I can do something admirable in real life, and tell everyone about it online.
That's the story of the internet.
We all worship the machine, talk about it, love it, but we never turn it on and use it. We want to take selfies with the machine, show people the machine, yet we don't even know what the machine does.
All these blog posts, videos, and snapchats on how to be creative are empty. To be creative, you have to create something more than a guide on how to be creative. You have to earn that authority through years of work. Even those who are an "authority" and put in the work spend all their time telling you about how hard they work and how hard they hustle. Snapchat has become a vehicle for showing off their grind, their hustle with little value attached to it.
I am the worst of these. I've spent the past 5 years taking photos and thinking that gives me any sort of credibility. I have some, certainly, I know my way around a camera, but very early on my creative output was telling others how to be creative like me. This blog and I have had a complicated relationship since the birth of willmalone.com. What's it for? Is it a photo album? Is it a place to review things? Is it a guide? Is it a diary?
My reason for writing almost every day over the past couple months was to keep traffic driving to my blog. Willmalone.com probably has more consistent traffic than much of my other social media pages, it always has, but only when I blog often. I blog for the numbers.
That's why seemingly everyone is blogging these days. Everyone wants the click, and the clickers want to click on something that tells them how to live a successful life. Top 5 ways to be Productive, Expand your Creativity with these tricks, How to be a Real Entrepreneur, How To Be Successful--- You've seen it before.
Numbers blogging tends to become a career path (or attempted career path) for many. It's the next level of talking about the machine, without using it. Those who use the machine don't talk about it or read about it, because they are too busy using it.
Numbers have never been what I'm about. I've wasted too much time talking about the work than actually doing the work.
I don't want to tell anyone how to do anything, because I'm still figuring it all out myself.
I don't want to be like everyone else. My blog was quickly slipping into "numbers blogging", and that's just not me. Finding my style, finding my own vision is the most difficult thing I've ever done, but I'm determined. I don't want to be "a creative", I want to be Will Malone. Turns out being yourself is one of the hardest things you can do, especially when you just turned 24 and you still don't know quite what life looks like yet.
I beginning to believe that very little good can come from a early 20s person with a blog. That sounds controversial, and maybe I'm alone in my struggle. I just know how easy it is to be deceived that I'm doing something when I'm really not. I also believe I can communicate on the internet in much better ways than this. Blogging for me is superfluous, my talking needs to be done with a camera.
I believe my life will be much improved if I deny myself (for once) the urge to share my thoughts on a blog.
My biggest struggle with making a daily vlog is finding the right music, and sadly, copyright free music usually isn't very good.
I had a lot of good music to begin with, but I don't want to keep using the same stuff over and over again.
I need your help!
If you know someone, or are someone who makes music and wants me to put it in my vlogs, send me a message! I will give full credit of course.
This is important to me because it sets the tone of my videos; if the song is cheesy, it makes the video feel like it's bad. I know there are alot of great musicians out there letting people use their music for stuff like this, I just need to find them.
Most of the time when I'm editing the vlog I'm also searching for music. I want to make more edits based on the rhythm of the music, but I often don't find music that fits.
I've had great musicians help me before, (as well as write an original theme song), and I'm happy to trade creative favors. Need a video or photos of your band? I can do that in return.
You can contact me via willmalone.com or Facebook or Instagram or anything else!
Let's work something out!
When I bought a Canon EOS M, I thought, no way it can't be worth the price. You can get those things for $200 with a lens included in some places. Yet, I still see a lot of people saying it isn't worth it.
First off, if a camera that cheap is as powerful as this thing is, it is absolutely worth it. It has the sensor of a DSLR, yet it is the size of a point and shoot. If you get the 22mm pancake lens with it, the sharpness is astounding.
For vlogging, this camera is deeply irritating due to it's sluggishness. It never seems to want to focus on what I want it to focus on, at the moment I want. It makes me want to start using a point and shoot for vlogging, since those are lower maintenance in the moment than this thing.
That said, I love the Canon EOS M for vlogging at the same time. It shoots solid photos, so I can shoot really great thumbnails on the spot without switching cameras. It has a mic jack, so I can put my directional microphone on top. It's small, so I can fit it in my jacket pocket (after taking it off the gorilla pod)
There are so many ways to make this camera more powerful: I put Magic Lantern and some new profiles on this thing, which have actually helped the focus problem in a weird way. I always have a gorilla pod attached so it's super easy to hold steady. I got the 22mm pancake for low light situations, which hasn't come off the camera since I bought it.
Part of the fun of making something every day is to embrace your limits. Getting creative with the small amount of gear you have feels good, and is fun. If you saw my lighting setups for portrait shoots, you would see a ton of duct tape and tin foil. Every thing in "creating" is a problem to solve, and that's the best part.
I recommend the Canon EOS M if you're starting with video or you just want a travel camera. It's solid, small, and really is absurdly powerful for what it is.
First off, I don't believe I'm an entrepreneur. I may have some tendencies, but I don't believe I am one currently. That said, I like to follow alot of them online, at least, I did. It's become unbearable as of late.
The term "thought-leader" is a newer term (I think) referring to "trend-setters" or the leaders of the herd. That's what online personalities strive to be.
Internet thought leaders lead cool lives, so why not want be one of them? Companies give them stuff, and they get to travel a lot.
Well, what happens when all the "thought-leaders" are thought-led by someone else? What do I mean? Let me put it this way: it's like if the rebels who stopped the empire eventually end up becoming an empire again. It's not as intense as that in actuality, but it is a weird phenomenon.
There's one entrepreneur so inspirational that all of the entrepreneurs, old and up-and-coming are trying to be him. They copy his language, they obey his every word, and they are trying to borrow his personality.
I like all of these personalities, even the big kahuna, but they have all become unrecognizable.
You'll know them by their words, or more specifically, their Snapchat accounts. Terms often used: "Crushing it", "Hustling", "Getting it", or just describing how much you work and how often and how early in the day. Entrepreneur "bros" have arrived.
It's more than just a trend; it's become cultish, affecting those we originally saw as rebels. It's becoming harder and harder to find an internet thought leader who hasn't morphed into "a hustler".
I get it, the guy is right about a lot, but he's egotistical, and he promotes his inflated ego and makes it seem desirable. The game is all about ego more than ever (not that it wasn't before), but now it's about lording it over people. Social media "personalities" are just talking about how much they "crush" and "hustle", with little to no substance.
I like the borrowing of ideas and strategies, what I don't like is the borrowing of personality and turning into something you're not just because there's a bigger guy doing it. That's how "bros" are created in every field since the dawn of time. It's a cycle.
It's here. I've made 100 videos in 2016 thus far. Kind of crazy to think we're already 100 days into this year...
Every good milestone needs some changes. So here are my changes for Day 100:
My Instagram account is @willmalone once again: I started the willmalone365 account for my 365 projects, which quickly became the only account I used. After doing 5 of these year long projects, it's just a thing I do now and isn't separate from any of my other work. You don't have to re-follow or anything like that, the @willmalone365 has just been renamed @willmalone.
What's funny is that I was using this to be some sort of Iron Man 3/Shane Black sort of narration piece akin to the "I am Iron Man" thing, but then I realized I've never been able to get the @willmalone handle on Snapchat or Twitter. I guess those will just stay as @willmalone365....
So it's all confusing now! You're welcome.
Photography is going to be a bigger part of my vlogs as well, and I'm working towards a photography/podcasting/video sort of idea. Everything I've been learning will come together.
Here are some photos to commemorate yesterday's vlog hang out: (Taken by Woody @woodyviveros)
Oh and I'll be in NYC this time next week, so..... that should be fun.
I quit podcasting a couple months ago. The passion sort of dropped off or wasn't there to begin with. I was clouded by my love of listening to podcasts and made my own. I learned a lot and it was really fun. I'm glad I did it, because it helped me realize the things that I love more than making podcasts.
During my podcasting stint I had a constant frustration that I couldn't pinpoint: Podcasting lives in the past. Sure, new clever show formats and content is created all the time, and there are a lot of INCREDIBLE podcasts out there. The distribution platform behind podcasts hasn't really changed over the past 10 years. iTunes is still the main home for podcasting, and this is a problem because iTunes is outdated bloatware.
The "pod" in podcasts comes from a time where iPods were the number #1 tech device on the market. We need to take the "pod" out of podcasts.
My grandmother who is an iPad/iPhone user can't figure out how to download a podcast, yet she can use Facebook and read this blog.
You have to download a separate podcasting app to even listen to one.
PODCASTS STILL USE RSS FEEDS.
It's not hard to figure out how to upload a Youtube video, yet it takes a manual to upload a podcast.
I switched to making videos because not only does it work well with my photography background, but making Youtube videos feels like 2016. Podcasting, whether you're uploading or downloading, feels like we're still in 2006. It's not accessible to the non-tech savvy crowd, which is the biggest problem with it. If finding a podcast is not as easy as logging into Facebook, there's a fundamental problem with how it works.
Podcasts are slowly getting more popular through media coverage, yet it still feels underground to be a podcast fan.
Fortunately, Anchor could change this, but I don't know how this "Instagram-ifying" of podcasting will affect long-form content.
I want to get back into podcasting. I just want it to feel....now.
If only we had a Youtube for podcasts.....
First of all, 3 cameras is a lot to carry. I don't carry around 3 cameras at all times unless I have my bag on me. Typically, I always have 2 cameras on me: my vlogging camera and iphone camera.
Does the iphone camera really count? For me yes, because that's the thing I use it for most. I've finally trained myself to not mindlessly scroll when I'm bored, and hopefully I can keep that going.
Any time I go to work or on a trip I'll have my main 3 cameras and maybe a GoPro (so I guess 4):
Canon EOS-M (for vlogging)
iPhone 6S Plus w/ lens
They all have their jobs, which is why I like have them all at the same time. The D800 is too big to constantly vlog with, however the photo quality is leaps and bounds better than the iPhone. The Canon EOS-M is for quick (despite it being a pretty slow camera) videos and some snapshots here and there.
I used to vlog with the iPhone entirely and I still will every once in a while, but vlogging with a camera that's constantly getting notifications and calls is a pain. Also the mic is pretty weak.
I honestly prefer taking photos with my iPhone, especially for Instagram. The D800 just gives me so much more freedom with printing and pushing photos to their limit. I would love to one day replace this hulking mass with a smaller full-frame mirrorless, but for now the D800 is more than I need.
I don't like having 3 cameras on me at all times. I would prefer to only have one that does it all. That said, I feel ready for almost any situation with my current setup, because I hate feeling unprepared.
It also helps that I have the best camera bag in the world that fits them all and maybe even an additional film camera.
I'm trying to get all my stuff together for NYC, because I know I'm going to want to have my main gear with me at all times. I'm kind of dreading carrying all that....
Yesterday I got off work and in typical Tuesday fashion, had no idea what to vlog about. Sometimes I get really caught up and make it all the way to 6pm without filming anything.
I often say how Tuesdays are the least entertaining, so now I'm trying to work extra hard to bring something decent to the vanilla day of the week. This was something I came up with last minute.
It's based on the movie "Clue" (Anna's favorite movie), how it ends in 3 different ways. If you saw it in the theater, you didn't know what ending you would get, however the DVD version plays them all in succession. A fun exercise when I don't know what to vlog about is to take a mechanic from a movie and play with it a bit, so I thought this one would be kind of fun.
I started vlogging and making videos because of my love for movies. I like the idea of almost parodying movies via the structure of my vlog, so I'm hoping to work on more of these.
I'm still trying to crack a Momento style vlog. Maybe that one will be Day 200 or something.
I'm a photographer first and foremost, so gear is one of those things I've had to deal with over the years.
Now, I have more than enough gear to take a good photo. I have no complaints about my near-medium format camera (Nikon D800).
When I started photography, it was a hobby, and I only had a point and shoot camera. Later on, I had an entry level DSLR. I used them both until I had totally pushed their limits.
Now, I would say taking photos went from a hobby to work, so now, I have the equipment necessary to do almost anything. I finally reached a point where I don't have to push gear to a level it wasn't meant to go. You could say I've finally reached some gear comfort with photography, which is a nice feeling.
I'm reliving this sort of humble gear beginnings with my latest hobby: video. Since I started dipping into making videos through vlogging, I've had a gear predicament. The D800 takes incredible video, but it's too heavy to constantly carry around filming myself.
My solution to this was simple: find a cheap, old mirrorless camera that simulated a DSLR's depth of field but was much smaller. I got the Canon EOS M, which is not the best, but the price was.
It's from 2012, a year where cameras all started to become comparable to each other, yet somehow Canon let this one fall to the side.
For vlogging, autofocus probably the most important thing, and that's the one thing it does really poorly.
I've been considering replacing it with a point and shoot, but for now, I'm going to save my money and patch the problem. I just bought a 22mm lens for it (which as far as photography gear goes was a mind-blowing deal) which will be better for lighting and hopefully a little faster. I also won't have to deal with zoom. (I've always been a prime lens guy anyway, foot zoom FTW)
I never felt like I'd find another love like I did with photography. Finding a passion is usually a once in a lifetime thing, and I've found two things I'm deeply passionate about. The best part is, I'm reliving all of the same things I went through when starting photography: Making the best of humble beginnings.
I love how right after I wrote about the time always being there, I immediately didn't have time for anything any more and my blogging got behind.
Funny how that works.
I straight up over-booked myself this past week. I gave up a lot of hours of rest and productivity this week. I feel hungover, and I didn't even have any alcohol.
Is this what being a real, working adult is like? The pressure is insane.
Sure, my life would probably be 12x easier if I didn't have a daily vlog on top of it. Taking a photo every day seems like cake compared to a daily video. 1000 times easier to be exact.
I love vlogging. I love how hard it is. I feel like if I can be successful in making a video every day there's little I can't do. It's opening so many doors.
That said, I have never been so broken by a 365 project in my life.
I woke up today thinking, "How can I possibly get today's video done?" I don't have time to think about tomorrow's video or the next because today's is the challenge in front of me. Most days, it's an impossible mountain to climb.
I've almost done it for 100 days.
Then, I'll have 266 days left.
Here's today's vlog, one that contributed to my exhaustion today: