Project Will Use Your Photos to Document May 15

10:31 AM, May 14, 2012   |    comments
(image credit Joel Saget/AFP/Getty)
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McLean, VA (written by Katherine Gray/Tecca via USA Today) -- If taking and posting one photo a day for an entire year seems like a daunting task, the folks over at have a proposition for you. On May 15, 2012, the Aday project is asking people around the world to pick up a camera and take a few photos to document their daily lives.

One day, many perspectives

The project is similar in concept to the One Day on Earth crowdsourced video, which used snippets of video taken by professionals and amateurs around the world to create a movie documenting life during that one day. Aday organizers are asking participants to simply photograph their daily lives - both what's physically close to them and what simply matters to them.

Unlike the One Day on Earth video (the end product of which is a static though fascinating and far-reaching video limited by time and format), Aday will compile and preserve all the submitted photographs for generations to share, compare, and explore. The organization's stated goal is to use the power of photography to create, share and inspire perspectives on daily life - today and tomorrow.

The creative force behind the project

The Aday project is the brainchild of Swedish nonprofit organization Expressions for Humankind, which supports scientific research and education involving photography and the written word. Its aim is to inspire creative reflections on humanity, by experiencing global perspectives.

Some famous names have also shown enthusiastic support for the Aday project. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu; billionaire Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and promoter of space exploration; and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers have all spoken out to encourage people everywhere to participate.

How to get involved

Anyone in the world is welcome to participate in the Aday project.

From farmers to students to astronauts, the goal is to document as broad a spectrum of daily life as possible. It doesn't matter what kind of camera you have, whether it's an expensive DSLR, a cheap point-and-shoot, a vintage film camera, or the camera on your cell phone. As long as you can get your photos online somehow, you can join the project.

On May 15, 2012, grab your camera and take some photographs of your life.

Aday's goal reaches beyond that of some photo databases that are essentially dumps where photos get lost forever in a contextless morass. Aday organizers hope participants will include detailed information about who they are and what they have shot. Photograph anything that has meaning to you, however odd or inconsequential it may seem. The goal of this project is to document a day in the life of the world, however ugly, beautiful, mundane, or glorious it may be.

You can upload up to 10 images using Aday's simple upload tool. There are three basic categories: home, work, and connections. Within those categories are a host of subcategories such as Treasure and Junk, Power and Purpose, and Care and Fear, which can act as inspiration for your photography or simply allow you to categorize the photos you take.

What happens to the photos?

You're probably wondering what will become of the photos you submit to the Aday project. Rest assured that you will retain full copyright to your images. By uploading them, you do give the organization the right to publish your pictures on the website, publish the images for editorial coverage of the project, and to donate them to historical institutions around the world to be preserved for future generations.

A selection of some of the submitted photographs will also be included in a book about the project, A Day in the World, to be published in October 2012. There will be several exhibitions, both printed and digital, where selections of photos will be displayed. If any of your photos are selected for these, you'll be contacted for further permissions.

Around the world in photographs

The Aday project is a fascinating idea, one that has great potential to show both the diversity and the similarities of our varied lives. Generations to come will be able to browse through these photos and see what life was like on May 15, 2012, in big cities and tiny hamlets, for students and businesspeople, farmers and waiters, presidents and average citizens. No life is too big or too small to be worth sharing.

This story originally appeared on

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