A photo a day to chart the milestones of life

thisisoxfordshire: Headington resident Susanna Reece, who has taken a photograph every day for the last two years. Picture: OX64003 Andrew Walmsley Buy this photo » Headington resident Susanna Reece, who has taken a photograph every day for the last two years. Picture: OX64003 Andrew Walmsley

THEY are the images that shape our lives – the loss of a parent, leaving a job and visiting natural wonders. But for Susanna Reece, 54, these are not private moments but photographs shared around the world via the internet.

She is a member of website Blipfoto, where users upload a photo for every day of their life.

Since December 5, 2011, Ms Reece has recorded an image every day with her Canon Ixus or her iPhone.

She learned of the site through husband Ross Mackenzie, 53 and friend Cathryn Gallacher, both professional photographers.

The Stile Road, Headington, resident said: “My main motivation was to create a daily photo journal of my life. I would definitely recommend others to do it. It’s fun and the community is very friendly and welcoming.”

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Conifers: On holiday in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland

Ms Reece said her journal captured milestone events of the last two years such as leaving her job in 2012.

Ms Reece left to form a consultancy to advise organisations on how to deal with complaints and is also a freelance lawyer.

The Headington snapper also took pictures to help deal with the death of her mother, Joan Reece, in January last year.

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Her photo that day was of cards and flowers given by colleagues. She said: “Mum was a larger than life character and died only a month from her 90th birthday.

“I took a picture in the hospital that showed light and shade and that signified how she was coming to the end of her life.”

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Peacock Butterfly on Shotover

She said the “Blip community” had helped keep her going and she does not mind sharing such intimate moments with others.

She said: “I love the warmth and friendliness of the community. There’s about half a dozen people who comment on each other’s photos and even though we don’t know each other, you feel that love and warmth which is quite amazing.

“They have encouraged me to keep going during a turbulent couple of years.”

She tries to avoid setting up pictures deliberately, adding: “It’s about being real. There’s no point posting something happy and cheerful when you are not having a good day.”

Ms Reece has included pictures of her favourite places within the journal, such as Risinghurst’s CS Lewis nature reserve and the Shetland Islands.

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Waves at Scatness: Delighted to be posting my 100th blip from one of my favourite places – the Scatness Peninsula on the South Mainland of Shetland

She said: “You always get good lighting at the reserve and I like the way it changes during the day and over the year.

“I also like taking photos in the Shetland Islands and when I went to Switzerland in September it was beautiful with the mountains covered in snow.

She said: “My view of the environment has changed. I notice things more. I love using the macro feature to take close-ups of flowers and butterflies.”

This year, she will share the milestone of being ordained as an interfaith minister in July after two years of training.

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Wonderful wisteria: This was in Kensington on one of my interfaith training weekends

She hopes to capture this by taking pictures of the lead up to the ordination when ministers go away together.

She said: “I am training to be an interfaith minister as I want to help people to celebrate their spirituality whether or not they are within a particular faith and to be alongside them in the important transitions in their lives.”

Meanwhile, Ms Reece’s husband and photographer Ross Mackenzie, 53, quit his job as a learning systems manager at the Open University at Easter to get closer to the great outdoors and he hasn’t looked back.

After 20 years he thought it was time for a change.

Mr Mackenzie said: “I decided it was time to spend a bit more time outside rather than being behind a desk. Among my work colleagues there was a mixture of envy and curiosity to see what would happen in the long term.

“I am intrigued by remote places and people who live in them. They can be hundreds of miles from anywhere.”

He has made eight excursions since 2007, three to the North Pole and the Arctic and five to the South Pole and the Antarctic.

He marked his ninth year on the Blipfoto site on Christmas Eve.

BEING A BLIPPER

Blipfoto is based on uploading one new photo taken that very dayto an online journal.

“Blippers” include photography enthusiasts, students, young mums, retired people, sea captains, chefs, foodies, birders, singers, authors, media correspondents, charity workers, and politicians.

Founder Joe Tree said: “Blipfoto is a unique community where people from all walks of life save and share their lives through pictures and words – one day at a time.”

Visit http://blipfoto.com for more information

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