Estrella’s Seasonal Photo Challenge

November, 2012

I can’t believe nearly a year has passed since I first decided to embark on a year-long photo challenge. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way, for those who played along, and those who’ve helped me share this.

I started this photo challenge as a way of seeing, noticing, and appreciating the nuances and details that make our life special. As a way of embracing and honoring the imperfections in myself, loved ones, my sometimes messy home work area, and cluttered shelves.

As a way of saying that my life is just right the way it is.

This photo challenge didn’t require the perfect camera or fancy lenses or knowledge of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It didn’t even require me to get out of my pajamas or make my bed! It only required me to show up with a camera, an open mind, and a creative spirit.

Now, I am sitting here wondering what to do next? There have been too many lonely moments to continue doing this by myself, yet I don’t want a whole year of taking photos to dissipate into thin air after hitting publish on this blog post.

I feel these are evergreen suggestions for each month. Maybe an e-book is to be assembled? Time will tell.


December, 2011

This page is pretty much the transcript of my thoughts (only, you know, in a slightly more orderly fashion by now) regarding something that was very new to me, but also something I felt compelled to try.

I liked the Positively Present’s 30 day photo challenge so much in November 2011, that even as I snapped pics of different things on Dani’s list, I kept thinking of starting a photo challenge of my own.


photo challenge

I’m not that great with pauses. However, in the past years I’ve been trying to notice and let the pauses be pauses. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to try a year-long photo challenge in 2012. Because I can’t not pause while taking a picture, or even while thinking of what I’ll be taking pictures of.
So… here it goes:

To make it more manageable because I found that in some cases I needed more time to take the desired photo, and because taking daily photos of one certain thing is, well, a little bit too challenging, I’ve decided on:
a 10 day monthly challenge which will add up to a 30 day seasonal challenge.
Each season is divided into its pertaining months which have in turn one theme and ten suggestions.

To share with a friend, tell them this is a:

10-Day, Seasonal, Year-Long Photo Challenge. 10-days per month, adding up to a 30-days per Season photo challenge.
There is a theme and ten suggestions for each month.
They can be shot in a row for ten days, over the course of the month or in one afternoon.

Link to ~Estrella’s Seasonal Photo Challenge~ album on Facebook

I’ve created a Facebook page for my seasonal photo challenge. If you like photography (and me *blush*) go “like” the page.

See how you can give me a hand and publicize my Seasonal Photo Challenge. Thank you! <3


On this page right here, you’ll be able to check for the current (or even upcoming) themes/suggestions, updates and more information at any given time in the future. Since I challenged myself in 2011-2012, the past month challenge themes are now placed at the bottom of the page.


Hope you’ll be interested in this quest of capturing the world on camera, the seasons around you, appreciating the little things we might miss. Hope you’ll be eager to sometimes be or at least act fearless and snap photos when you wouldn’t, to embrace present-ness.
And I hope you’ll enjoy the challenge as much as I enjoyed it throughout the year!

I suppose I’m getting better at leaping and trusting that the net will appear. Will you jump (and take photos) with me?


Past months challenge themes:

November logo

Autumn: “Balance-filled” November

November makes me think of so many things. Still Fall, I think of the last of warmer days turning into chilly mornings, and the last of pretty colored leaves falling off trees giving way to Winter.

Which brings me thinking of balance. Not easily found. Not easily kept. Nature, the Universe, months, moments – everything balances itself out somehow.

Why shouldn’t we be on the same track, as well?

  1. Today
  2. Favorite fall color
  3. Hot chocolate with marshmallows
  4. Kid’s art
  5. Day of the Dead
  6. Arranged
  7. Inside
  8. Ready
  9. Dreaming
  10. Love
  11. Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • fleeting moment
  • movement
  • create
  • Thanksgiving
  • growth
  • dressed up pets
  • unfocused
  • hope

You might not be able to capture all of these things on camera. But do NOT let that stop you! Get creative ;)

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


October logo

Autumn: “Mystical” October

Here it is. The last quarter of 2012 (Where has this year raced to?). The Summer-turned-Fall and its beauty — yellow and red leaves, crazy winds through your hair, warm, golden sunrays and long shadows on the sidewalk, mystical sunsets, ripe purple grapes and apples falling off trees. (The month of Halloween.)

Let’s share it, from all over the Globe.

  1. Carpet of flowers 
  2. Fall fruits and vegetables – Pumpkin, fallen apples, etc.
  3. Halloween
  4. Window garden (the plants on your window sill)
  5. Fall afternoon
  6. Lighthouse
  7. Everyday life
  8. Near and Far
  9. Love
  10. Walk – (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • free spirit
  • urban
  • solitary

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


september logo 

Autumn: “Fresh Starts” September

September. The beginning of Autumn. Kids going back to kindergarten and school. Change in weather and scenery. Starting new projects around the house. More gardening to get everything in shape before winter arrives. A change in wardrobe. Going back to work (if you also work in a place that has the summer off.) Earlier sunsets and later sunrises. Changing summer center pieces to something fall-themed.

In one sentence? A month of more fresh starts than January usually provides.

Want to capture it on film?

  1. Countdown from 10 (collage) – all different numbers you find around the city
  2. Fall center piece or other fall decor
  3. Football/Soccer
  4. Fresh starts (even if just changing the place you get your coffee from)
  5. Tangible reminder of a trip you took (a magnet, a book, a pen, a scarf, etc. – anything)
  6. Something old you restored
  7. Grapes (or wine)
  8. Rustic fences
  9. Love
  10. Walk – (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Countdown from 30
  • Wildlife
  • Nostalgia

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


August logo

Summer: “Hiatus Time” August 

  1. After dark
  2. Vacationing
  3. The sky changes
  4. Forest
  5. Hiking trails
  6. By the pool
  7. Re-purposing
  8. Summer reading
  9. Love
  10. Walk (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Doing what you love
  • Stamps (on envelope)
  • Signs
  • In the rearview mirror
  • Someone else’s camera
  • Cabin

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


July logo

Summer: “Meanings Behind…” July

In the past few weeks, I somewhere noticed a photo prompt which urged to take pictures of something which means “x” to us.

I started thinking about that.

How we all do this very thing all the time. How we all search for meaning. How we look for the many different nuances of meaning behind a look, a smile, a touch, a gesture, a text or a cloud in the sky.

So I’ve decided to incorporate that into my Seasonal Photo Challenge this month.

Will you share some photos that MEAN the following to YOU?

  1. Close
  2. Love
  3. Friendship
  4. Through
  5. Together
  6. Contrast
  7. Down
  8. Walk
  9. Journey
  10. Indulgment

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Art
  • Beauty
  • Perfection

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


June logo 

Summer: “Slice of Life” June

Have you ever wanted to stop time? To hold a moment in your hands? To capture a slice of your life and turn it into a treasure?

I think we all must dig beneath the surface of our everyday life with our trusty camera by our side and unearth the beauty that has been there all along.

  • Self portrait
  • Terraces
  • Summer – something small that screams summer to you
  • Water
  • Rain
  • Love Letter(s)
  • Making dinner
  • Rainbow
  • Love
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Roses
  • Moon and/or starry sky

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


May logo

Spring: “Heaps of Celebrations” May

May gets me thinking of meeting up with friends, flower-filled balconies, birthdays and time passing. You up for a challenge?
A Spring challenge that is. I’m sooo in love with the sunny and warm weather we’re having nowadays, let’s take it all in!

  • Meeting up with friends
  • Road trips
  • Notice the small things
  • Herbs (& Spices)
  • Balconies
  • May afternoon light
  • Fresh produce – Farmer’s Market
  • Time passing
  • Love
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Birthday cake
  • Picnics
  • Sunsets
  • Light in the night 
  • Caught Reading 
  • Seedlings

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


April logo

Spring: “Budding & Flowering” April

It’s Spring!

It’s Spring! It’s Spring! It’s Spriiing!!! <3

(Okay, back to our inside voices now)

The weather was so nice that I could actually enjoy writing outside a couple of days in March. Now it’s April of course, and our kitties turned back to Spring-Summer-rooftop-cats. We can hang dry clothes in the sunshine. Have lunch in the back yard. Go for walks in our ponchos.

And it’s budding and flowering all over the place! I love it! I want to photograph it all!

  • Easter eggs
  • Homemade/Handmade presents
  • Festive decorations
  • Spring gardening
  • Budding & flowering trees
  • Favorite poem (or an excerpt of it)
  • Lunch in the back yard
  • Bunny Rabbit
  • Love
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Camp fire
  • Plants peeking out of the ground 
  • Road trip
  • Easter appetizers/lunch/dessert
  • Spring break (where you go, what you do, stuff you pick up after the kids being home, etc.)
  • Trying something new off the menu 

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


march logo

Spring: “The dawn of Seasons” March

I got to thinking about all the lovely possibilities Spring brings. It also got me thinking of tackling to-do lists, of flowers, fresh produce, prepping/doing taxes, reading in the sunlight and spring cleaning. To capture a prettier side of the dreaded tasks and to fully appreciate the things we’re most probably all looking forward to, let’s see about taking some pictures, shall we?

  • Spring flowers
  • Time
  • Your writing space
  • To be read pile
  • Experimenting – cooking/baking
  • To-do list
  • In your mailbox
  • In your outbox
  • Love
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention: the view, the path, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Your reading, crafting, etc. space
  • To be edited pile
  • Blooming houseplants

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


February logo

Winter: “Slightly Different Celebration of Love” February

February is associated with Valentine’s Day more than it should be. I don’t think love should be celebrated just one day of the year! So in 2012, let’s give things a spin and focus on the non-commercial aspect of things as much as we can. Let’s focus on handmade & homemade. Let’s focus on straight from the heart gestures. And then, of course, let’s capture it on camera!

  • Love letter
  • Handmade gift 
  • Your most beloved book
  • (Spontaneous) love gesture
  • “I love you!” message
  • Print screen of (a part of) something you see/read on a website or blog which touches your heart
  • Pets love
  • Favorite Love-Quote
  • Love
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention, (just this month) something regarding Love.

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Love doodle 
  • Handmade Valentine’s Day card/dinner/candy//cake/etc.
  • Lovely surprises received/given

[return to months listing] or [return to top]



Januarys logo

Winter: “Turning the Page” January

January. The beginning of a new year. A new year we almost always hope is better than the one we’re waving goodbye to. Let’s fully enjoy and capture on camera some of this month’s sparkly moments and some typical loveliness it can provide.

  • 2012 Calendar
  • Something new
  • Snow (or fake snow if you don’t normally get snowed in where you live)
  • Pine cones/trees
  • Winter wreath (or Winter flower/plant; Flower arrangement)
  • Favorite winter clothing item
  • Season’s greetings
  • Snow globe
  • Love
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention most: the view, the path, a leaf, shop windows, etc.)

If you’re up for extra suggestions:

  • Snowman
  • Snow Angels
  • Footprints/paw prints in the snow
  • Write/draw something in the snow

[return to months listing] or [return to top]


Winter December

Winter: “In the Holiday Spirit” December

Holidays, they remind us of the way we should act each day, but don’t. Let’s get into the holiday spirit and appreciate more the beauty all around us throughout December.

  • Christmas tree
  • Santa’s workshop and/or gifts
  • Carols, bells, angels
  • Home decorations
  • Love
  • Christmas tree ornament
  • Favorite holiday food and/or drink; festive dinner table 
  • City decorations
  • Walk photo (go for a walk and take a picture of what ever catches your attention most: the view, the path, a leaf, shop windows, etc.)
  • Fireworks (even if New Years is technically a new month)

If you’re in need of extra suggestions:

  • Santa
  • Sleigh
  • Season’s motif dishes
  • Ribbon, Candles
  • Children playing/unwrapping gifts/etc.

[return to months listing] or [return to top]

A few other things to know about Estrella’s Seasonal Photo Challenge:

  • You might not always have all of my suggestions around you to be able to capture them on camera. But do NOT let that stop you! Get creative ;)
  • Snap photos when you have time to, don’t get stuck on this being a 10 day monthly challenge. Either you take all the pictures in one single day, stretch them out throughout the month, or shoot them ten days in a row – it’s all acceptable. The point is to have fun with it!
  • Take the photos any which way you want to, no need for fancy cameras or anything of that sort.
  • Feel free to join in when ever you want to
  • You don’t need to be a photographer or even all that interested in photos to participate. You do need to be ready to become more aware of your surroundings and fearlessly start using your camera.
  • Don’t let the word "challenge" scare you, all this is for pure fun.
  • If you post your photographs online (Picasa web albums, Flickr, Facebook, etc.), feel free to share the links in the comments section. If you want to, you can also email them to my e-mail address which you’ll find in the right hand sidebar or tweet them at me @EstrellaAzul. I’ll think of something creative to showcase them. Can’t wait to see your photos so please share!

[return to top] or [return to months listing]

65 Responses to “Estrella’s Seasonal Photo Challenge”

  1. This is from a Very Old post, but is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my son, getting ready for one of his football games during what was his best season (thus far anyway). Here’s the link to the picture: and the link to the post:
    Fall to me means football. Not only do we love watching our son play but we’re very much into college football and my husband is a big NFL fan, specifically the Steelers.
    Maybe I’ll remember to take my camera to my son’s game tomorrow night? I’ll try anyway.
    I love this seasonal photo challenge Estrella, thanks so much for doing it!

  2. Hey Es. Wanted to share the vignette but Im a bit confused here… I went upto your photopage in FB but by no means could I post there… Where should I share the link? Could you please route me to it?
    Love, Trumatter XO

  3. You’ve done a wonderful job and should put them together into ebooks and sell them… Why not… Kudos to you! :-)


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