Jon Maiden has had a picture perfect year.
He has travelled to faraway places, had once-in-a-lifetime adventures, tried scary and exciting new things and discovered hidden gems right here in theis city.
And he’s found the time to capture the whole thing on camera.
“It’s been one of the best years of my life –- hands down,” said the Sheffield businessman this week.
“I decided 12 months ago that I wanted to document a year of my life in pictures, capturing a different photograph every single day for 365 days.
“I hoped it would encourage me to become more active, explore new places and see my world in a different way, all while improving my photography skills.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done.
Project 365 has tracked Jon’s travels to the Arctic Circle, Greek Islands and to Snowdonia, has seen him visit the Countdown studios, be an extra on a film setfilmset, follow the Olympics, learn to mountain climb and horse ride and even documents his day-to-day life,: including dinner parties with friends and discovering his car had beenthe day his car was broken into.
Best of all, Jon says he has seen more of Sheffield than ever before in the last 12 months, as the pressure to find a different photo every day sent him out walking on his lunchbreak, seeking fascinating locations hidden in and around the steel city.
“It pushed me to get out walking and exploring and, let me tell you, there is so much hidden beauty hidden in all of our day-to-day lives that we could so easily miss if we don’t make a point of stopping to revel in it,” said Jon, of Millhouses, who runs his own company called Big Green Fox, which develops careers education resources for schools.
“I’ll never forget my trip to Scotland, that was a highlight for me, as I completely fell in love with the countryside and the mountains.
“I also loved being able to document important events in the lives of my family and friends, such as weddings and birthdays.
“I absolutely love looking back through the photographs now, as they remind me of everything I did in this great year, everywhere I went and everybody who shared these experiences with me –- it’s like a wonderful scrapbook.”
Jon also revealed he was left with mixed emotions once the sad to see the project caome to an end.
: “It was such a rewarding project,” he said. and I was filled with such mixed emotion when it ended.
“When it was done, I was relieved that the burden of finding something original to photograph every day was over, but I was also genuinely sad as the whole thing was iI had found it immensely satisfying.”
Now Jon is encouraging the people of Sheffield to follow in his footsteps and take on the 365 Project for themselves.
“What’s great about taking this challenge on is that it allows you to capture special moments in your life and, if you’re anything like me, it actually inspires you to create more of those moments.
“It pushes you to want to fill your day with something memorable.”
And Jon insists the project isn’t just for those with a photographic eye and admits he doesn’t even consider himself much of a photographer: “It’s certainly not a requirement for 365,” he explained.
“I love photography and I’m certainly more accomplished after completing this project, but I’m just an ordinary guy who owns a camera and thought it would be fun to capture a year in my life important moments from my life.”