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A Glossy Look Back at Ten15AM | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

A Glossy Look Back at Ten15AM

Mercer and Third street on TEN:15 VOTE PROJECT Day

Daylife hq at 12:15 pm

last day of vacay at ten15am

walking man at 10:15 am

it's cold out here at ten15am

coming back from our walk at ten15am

13 points at ten15am

This is one of those posts that I want to do quickly and move on from. For over a year I’ve been talking about a photo project called Ten15AM—so I thought it was only fair to mention it one last time that I’m no longer a part of it. There were a number of reasons why I stopped but the simplest is to say that my heart wasn’t into it anymore. Just like a job, if you’re not learning it’s probably time to move on. In the end for my part of the Ten15AM world I got really busy with a number of other projects and it was hard to keep up. I also felt I was saying no more then I was saying yes to stuff people wanted to do—another sign that maybe others should keep going with it. But with that said I found the entire experience to be quite special and a great way to learn on the fly about online communities, group dynamics, doing something everyday that’s the same, feedback, organic vs structured ideas, voice, unexpectedness and narrative. It was also helpful hearing about ideas from people far more intelligent than myself.

I didn’t start Ten15AM, that was Jody’s doing. She had thrown out the idea about taking a picture at the same time. It seemed like a building point from my sky project that she had contacted me about a while back before Ten15AM came to be. I’m not sure how many other people she pitched the idea to, but in the end there was four of us. For reasons that I still don’t understand the site never mentions who’s behind the site—don’t ask me why because I never got that. When the project started I honestly didn’t think it was a great idea, why would anyone shoot the same picture everyday? What if they’re just stuck in their office cube—how interesting is that? Well it turned out to be quite interesting. I also found that I was rarely in the same place at every 10:15 am. For me it was a way to document where I was, for others it was a chance to push their creativity, and for others I think they just wanted to be part of a community. Plus it was just interesting to see what people were up to at the same moment in their lives. The world dynamic was also quite fascinating. It wasn’t just in the US but all over Europe and some dedicated people from Australia. I’m still confused why more people in Canada didn’t take advantage of it…

One of the biggest issues of contention I had were with theme days. I thought it was a great idea to do occasionally but I really hated the idea of putting artificial constraints on what people could do for a day. If something happened organically over a period of time, I was happy to see that—but I didn’t want to put pressure on people to conform how their photo had to be. I also didn’t want it to get too chummy where someone new that might start one day would feel left out of the inside joke if something was going around. BUT with that said my two favourite photos I took were based on theme days. For the day of the US Presidential Inauguration, we did a 10:15am and 12:15pm option so we could see where everyone was at when President Obama spoke. It was amazing to see those photos come in. That collection can be found at www.ten15am.com/?page_id=9709. My other favourite image was from the day of the election, it was great to capture that collective moment too.

What’s next for me, photos and online communities combined? I’ve learned way too much not to continue with something, but I don’t want it to come close to what Ten15AM was. I’m more interested in a collective narrative as opposed to one exact moment every day. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get the idea off the ground, but if you’re a technical person that is looking to build their online capabilities—please let me know. I need a developer that really is curious to see how something can build organically.UPDATE: Found a partner to work with me—stay tuned.

If you ever happened to be one of those that emailed in an image, I just want to say thanks. The project is far from dead so if you’re just coming across the idea of Ten15AM for the first time and are interested—def. send in your moment at www.ten15am.com/?page_id=2

Below are some of my unpublished Ten15AM shots that were still in my iPhone…

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

unpublished Ten15AM photo

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