January 2011: 365 project

31ST JANUARY 2011 (31/365)
Business meeting

Last 365 picture for January! A month through the project and I’m really enjoying it – am loving carrying my camera around with me everywhere, and the project has really helped to keep it as something I do just for fun as well as for my work. I’ll start a new blog post for February (to break up the 365 project a bit – no-one really wants one massive post with 365 pictures in it!) Today I travelled down to Birmingham for a few hours to see my From Our Hearts girls Joanna, Emma and Debs for a “business meeting” (ie lots of chattering, laughing, tea, toast, pate, salami, cheese, olives, crusty bread & chocolate puddings), and Emma dished out these gorgeous knitted hearts for us each to take home. She’s a cutie like that.

30TH JANUARY 2011 (30/365)

Today I went for a walk with Joe, the dog and some friends in Sale Water Park. As we were walking back the sun setting was absolutely incredible, a massive ball of red fire on the horizon. When I tried to photograph it, it just didn’t even nearly do it justice – it seemed to shrink and the colour drained right out of it. Messing around with the manual focus, I noticed that pulling the focus right back, this happened! I absolutely love it.

29TH JANUARY 2011 (29/365)
Time to relax

In true slacker last-minute style, I spent most of today mindlessly wading through my self-assessment tax-return paperwork, the most monumentally, mind-crushingly boring task I have undertaken for quite some time. Now that it’s finally finished (praise be), it’s time to dim the lights, pour some wine and …r…e…l…a…x…

28TH JANUARY 2011 (28/365)

As I was walking back home today over the railway bridge, I stopped to take a picture of the beautiful sunset and this train came out of nowhere (well, clearly it came from further down the track, but you know what I mean!)

27TH JANUARY 2011 (27/365)

Today I was tidying up the house, came across some old pictures and found this picture of my mum on her wedding day. I’m used to seeing brides in my line of work, but how lovely she looks just took my breath away. My mum’s one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met, and I can’t explain how much I love and admire her. She’s not only incredibly beautiful, but she’s immensely kind, selfless, affectionate, funny, adventurous and fiercely intelligent. It’s her that gave me my love of books and the encouragement to take risks and always follow your dreams. She’s always shown such active interest and support in everything my brother and I have done, and is always thinking how she can make things nice for us and other people. All I want is to be the mother to Joe that my mum is to me.

26TH JANUARY 2011 (26/365)
Dinner time

Pretty self-explanatory…

25TH JANUARY 2011 (25/365)
Lolly O’Clock

As you know, I found that incredible old-fashioned sweet shop yesterday. I couldn’t resist buying these massive lollipops, they looked so great and came in so many delicious flavours: clockwise in order from 1 o’clock: cola, lemon lime, pear drop, bakewell tart, banana split, bubblegum, rhubarb custard, cherry cola, tropical fruit, coconut, raspberry, apple. Suffice to say there aren’t enough left to make a clock face any more…

24TH JANUARY 2011 (24/365)
Sweet shop

Today I walked past an absolutely brilliant old fashioned sweet shop. The jars you can see in this picture constitute only about an tenth of the number of them in there. Felt like a kid in Willy Wonka’s factory.

23RD JANUARY 2011 (23/365)

While Joe was out on his bike today he found this cute mosaic in the park.

22ND JANUARY 2011 (22/365)
Secret world

Today I went on a lovely walk with Chris, Joe and Freddie and took my camera with me. Just as I was getting a bit frustrated that I wasn’t seeing anything that really gripped me, I walked past a really nondescript wall and noticed that you could see through the gap in the slats into a massive graveyard. I think graveyards are so atmospheric, and I thought this looked absolutely brilliant, peeping through into a secret, dreamy, tranquil world, closed off from everything else. I love how the grey concrete wall looks almost like mist or clouds, and I love how at a glance I keep thinking I’m looking at a city full of skyscrapers. And yes, I did look like a complete weirdo poking my camera through a hole in a wall.

21ST JANUARY 2011 (21/365)

Another hand today, but this time it’s a completely exhausted one. The last couple of weeks have been a total rollercoaster – an incredibly inspiring and creative week last week with my girls in Cornwall, which has left my head buzzing with ideas and excitement, followed by a very difficult and emotional time this week. Cocooned inside the duvet is the only place I want to be right now, gathering my strength to get stuck into everything again.

20TH JANUARY 2011 (20/365)
Hold on tight

What a day. Today all I want and need to do is this…

19TH JANUARY 2011 (19/365)
Piano keys

My beloved piano. It’s a bit old and knackered and in desperate need of a tune but I’ve played this same piano since I was four and would hate to be without it.

18TH JANUARY 2011 (18/365)

I have returned from holiday to find that there is a new addition to the house in the shape of Clive, Joe’s new ‘pet’ scorpion. He was lurking on the sideboard in the kitchen and scared the bejeezus out of me while I was making a sandwich.

17TH JANUARY 2011 (17/365)
Back to Joe

I felt really wistful today, especially looking back through our pictures of the last few days. I’m really missing the girls and can’t explain how incredible this trip has been and how much I’ve loved every minute I spent with these lovely ladies. I started to feel a bit sad at tea time, so to cheer myself up I thought I’d focus today’s shot on someone I’m over the moon to be back in Manchester with – my gorgeous cheeky-faced Joe.

16TH JANUARY 2011 (16/365)

Yesterday it was our last day and we drove to another incredible stretch of coastline at Trebarwith Strand, with amazing cliffs and really formidable surf. This shot is of Joanna sat on the cliff edge looking out to sea. I really like the power and tranquility of it, and Joanna’s amazing red hair looks wonderful against the grey blues of the sky and sea. She has the most photogenic hair ever!

15TH JANUARY 2011 (15/365)

On Saturday we drove to Watergate Bay, and found this amazing field on the way, so we hopped out of the car and rampaged around in it for an hour or so. Debs says it’s all used for thatching roofs – it’s incredible stuff, about 8 feet tall and really strong. The light was wonderful and they all swayed about us in the wind, it was so atmospheric. We all took loads of photos of each other, which we’ll blog properly soon, but I chose one of my favourites of Emma as my pic for the day as I loved it so much.

14TH JANUARY 2011 (14/365)

On Friday we spent a heavenly day in Lostwithiel and Fowey. It was rainy and grey for most of the holiday but on this day it was beautiful and bright, with blue skies and sunshine. I spent a lot of the day looking up into the sky and out to sea, and loved watching the birds.

13TH JANUARY 2011 (13/365)
Lazy times

This is a pretty accurate reflection of how we spent huge proportions of our wonderful holiday, and in particular this day – splodged out on the sofa in our slippers and pyjamas, drinking tea, laughing and chatting. Joanna has one of the best pairs of slippers I have ever seen.

12TH JANUARY 2011 (12/365)
The journey

OK so I’m cheating. I hold my hands up…. I didn’t take a picture on the 12th January. It was the first day of my hols away in Cornwall with Emma Case, Debs Ivelja and Joanna Brown, and I spent the entire day driving. I set off from Manchester in the morning, picked up Emma from Birmingham then Joanna from Bristol on the way down. Sure enough, by the time the three of us had finished faffing (something we are all VERY good at) it was already dark by the time we hit Cornwall. Dark and ridiculously foggy. So foggy that we couldn’t see ahead more than two metres in front of the car. And then we got lost. We did a LOT of driving round in foggy circles that night, and by the time we reached the heavenly tranquility of Debs and the beautiful, warm cottage, I’ll be honest, picking up my camera was the last thing I felt like. All I wanted was wine and bed. So for this day’s pic, I haven’t left it blank, I’ve rustled up all that I could manage today (my first day back from holiday, after another 8 hour drive) – yes that’s right, a lego-based representation of my 11th January. No, Joanna, Emma and I aren’t a farmer, builder and a pirate, and no, my car isn’t a mini with a Union Jack on the roof. But it was a road trip for three complete pillocks and I thought this summed that up quite well…

11TH JANUARY 2011 (11/365)
Walk home from school

Today I wanted to get a shot outside in the dark, so I took my camera when I went to pick up Joe from after-school club. I’ve just noticed that other than the first 4 pictures, all of my pics so far are of Joe, Chris or Freddie – I need to get a bit more variety in here! It’s just so handy when you’ve got willing subjects lounging around all the time! But tomorrow I’m off to a cottage in Cornwall for a few days with the lovely Emma Case, Debs Ivelja and Joanna Brown, so there’ll be a big change of location and subjects over the coming week. I won’t be able to update the blog until Monday, but I promise I will stick to my one new image a day and will upload Wednesday to Monday’s shots on Monday evening. See you when I get back!

10TH JANUARY 2011 (10/365)
Cold Chris

No real concept behind today’s picture, just Chris freezing cold, wearing my hat because he couldn’t find his own, and still managing to look hot.

9TH JANUARY 2011 (9/365)
Joe and his bow

Today we drove out to Entwistle with some friends for a walk around the lovely reservoir. Joe took his bow (who needs arrows?)

8TH JANUARY 2011 (8/365)
Chris’ evening on the sofa

I wanted to have a bit of a play around with the camera this evening, and Chris kindly offered to be my model (although I also made a small and very enjoyable guest appearance!) After taking the picture of Joe watching TV the other day I wanted to experiment a bit with different light sources, using a pitch black room and a 30 second exposure. Chris doesn’t smoke in the house so a bit of artistic licence there… poor bloke was gasping for it by the time he had pretend-lit it for the umpteenth time…

7TH JANUARY 2011 (7/365)

Although I took a picture of Freddie the other day, I focused on his nose and grin, and when I looked back at it I thought it was a shame you couldn’t see his face properly as it’s such a lovely shape and he’s got the most gorgeous big brown eyes. I love this dog so much.

6TH JANUARY 2011 (6/365)
Joe watches TV

Joe eating a bowl of apple slices and watching TV (before I get labelled a terrible mother I must stress that Joe doesn’t usually watch TV in the dark – purely for artistic purposes!)

A bit of a change of heart – I’ve decided not to combine the self-portrait project and the 365 project. I really surprised myself and had such a fun self-portrait session last night that I’ve decided I want to keep the two separate and start a new self-portrait project with at least one new self portrait each week. I found it really challenging and a really good discipline for me, so I want to try to do more than one a month. That’s the plan anyway! So from now on the self-portrait project will have its own blog post and this post will just be for the 365 project.

5TH JANUARY 2011 (5/365)

Our lovely and very lazy greyhound Freddie, relaxing with a big goofy grin

One a day from now on, I’ll be very strict with myself!

4TH JANUARY 2011 (4/365)

Joe’s pencil crayons

3RD JANUARY 2011 (3/365)

Our gorgeous brick chimney breast

2ND JANUARY 2011 (2/365)

Joe’s lego men

1ST JANUARY 2011 (1/365)

My beloved, gaudy jewellery


Like many other photographers, I find that the busier I get, the less time I get for taking pictures just for fun, and it’s something I’ve really missed over the last few months. When I saw that a few other photographers were doing a 365 project (1 photo a day for a year) I decided I really wanted and needed to do it too. Ok, so I’m a few days late but I’m not bothered if you’re not…

I love that each photograph can stand on its own – no pressure of creating a cohesive body of work, where there needs to be some common concept, subject or style of editing. It’s going to be so much fun to be able to shoot whatever I like and edit it however I like – whether it’s something highly stylised, completely documentary, totally daft, simply pretty or emotional and meaningful – I love that it doesn’t matter.

I’m going to post a new photo each day to this same blog post, and will do one blog post for each month of the year. Another thing I’ve been wanting to try (have never done them before) are self-portraits. Believe me, this can be SOOO tricky with a camera! I’m going to head up each month’s blog post with a self-portrait I’ve shot that month. January’s is extraordinarily unpolished – my first attempt at a self-portrait, shot a couple of nights ago in my living room with no make-up, straggly hair and a complete lack of confidence in my ability to shoot myself. I can’t bear having my photo taken so it’s very uncomfortable for me to focus on myself as a subject, and I was really unnerved by how much I wanted to hide behind my hands and look away from the camera. But I thought that although it’s technically very shaky, I thought it summed up perfectly me doing this for the first time – a bit nervous, out of my comfort zone, raw and very rough around the edges! To ease the blow (I know I’m such a wimp!) I’ve headed up the post with a bonus one to start the year which is simply me (hiding) behind my current favourite 35mm lens. I’m hoping as the year progresses I’ll gain the confidence to come out from behind it a bit more shamelessly!

Since I’ve started late I’ve had to do five images for my first installment for these first five days of January. I’m keeping it very simple to start with – no deep meanings, nothing adventurous, I’m just starting with ‘stuff I like in my house’. I moved back up to Manchester and into a great new house just before Christmas and absolutely love it – it’s been wonderful starting the new year here, so I thought I’d make the first five images a few things in my house that have made me smile since the start of 2011…

See February’s images here

See March’s images here

See April’s images here

See May’s images here

See June’s images here

See July’s images here

See August’s images here

See September’s images here

See October’s images here

See November’s images here

See December’s images here



  1. joanna brown

    love these, god you are good I feel lazy now.. can’t wait to see this evolve. x

  2. Kirsten

    I’m also doing my first 365 project and maaaan, it’s hard to remember to do it! Life takes over. I know, I know, it’s only day five. Anyway, well done and I love yours so far. Especially the crayon shot.

  3. Lisa

    So glad you are joining in. Great start to the project.
    I did a self portrait yesterday for mine.

  4. David

    Make sure you keep it up. I always have so many creative intentions in January and they go unfulfilled by February. I really look forward to seeing your images throughout the year.

  5. Gemma

    Good luck with keeping the project going! (I failed the last 2 years running!). You’ve made a great start. I like the pencil crayons ­čÖé

  6. Estelle Ellis

    I’m watching you… :o) xxx
    …will need you soon xxx

  7. will

    I’m doing a 52 this year. Too lazy to do a 365…. but I’ll probably be stealing ideas from you…..

  8. Steph

    Love this…. I was thnking of doing this too….you might have just given me the push to start… maybe! xx

  9. *lisa

    …I tried this last year on blipfoto.com I managed 4 days ­čÖü you’ve inspired me to start again but might have to do it weekly… there simply just aren’t enough hours in my day!
    Love your self-portrait… it’s something I can’t bring myself to do, god knows I’ve tried (and failed!) – maybe 2011 is the year?

  10. Nick Tucker Photography

    Anna, I absolutely love this photo of Joe. It’s like a film still from an old Spielburg movie taken by Larry Sultan..

  11. Anna

    Wow, high praise indeed thanks Nick!!! You can come again x

  12. the barbers

    the latest shot of chris is INSANE!
    love the gradient of warm to cool ­čÖé

  13. Katy Lunsford Photography

    Fabulous creative images – and a great idea. I’d venevr mnage a 365, probably not even a 52… maybe I’ll just do a 12! Hope to meet you this year x

  14. Clare west

    The 8th is BRILLIANT!!! How many attempts did it take?

  15. Anna

    Thank you so much everyone for such lovely comments! Clare – the Chris on the sofa one took about 2 hours to get right, we probably tried it about 30 times. We practised each of the 3 ‘states’ individually to get each one right (to work out how long each light source needed to be on for to get the right effect) before combining them all together in one 30 second exposure.

  16. Sharron

    OOooh these are amazing. I love how you’ve made the everyday mundane things (pencils, watching tv, brick wall etc) look fabulous and interesting. And toning is just beautiful.

  17. xanthe

    looking forward to seeing more of the field portraits, that one is gorgeous! x.

  18. Adam McCollough

    Splendid photography with such a variety of great shots!
    I love your image of the 24th January and wondered if I may have your permission to use it in out next flyer please? We are a traditional toy shop that also sells old fashioned sweets, and this image would look great.
    I look forward to hearing from you.



  1. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » Self-portrait project - [...] started doing this as a bit of a tentative off-shoot of the 365 project I’m doing this year, initially…
  2. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » February 2011: 365 project - [...] See January’s images here [...]
  3. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » March 2011: 365 project - [...] See January’s images here [...]
  4. a sketch for today - [...] can’t compete with Anna Hardy’s photo a day challenge, but have been writing short bits and [...]
  5. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » April 2011: 365 project - [...] See January’s images┬áhere [...]
  6. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » May 2011: 365 project - [...] See January’s images┬áhere [...]
  7. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » June 2011: 365 project - [...] See January’s images here [...]
  8. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » August 2011: 365 project - [...] See January’s images┬áhere [...]
  9. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » My 2011: the best bits - [...] and my personal style and voice as a photographer. A huge factor in this has been the personal 365…
  10. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » 365 project complete! My personal year in pictures… - [...] the start of 2011 I committed to this 365 project – a photograph a day, of absolutely anything, every…

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Manchester family photographer, for down-to-earth, adventurous, big-hearted families all across the North West, London and UK

Creative, documentary family photography in Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, London

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