The Weekly Margs by

E is for Every Day

Every Day I’m Shufflin'

Le Photo Quotidian

I’m a creature of habit. I love having a routine. I’m happy to eat my favorite foods over and over again. I’m also one of those people who is happy to take basically the same photo every chance I get. Thanks to cellphones constantly getting better cameras and digital storage getting cheaper, I get to do exactly that. A lot of pictures this week are from my phone.

This week we get to take a look at everyday photos. Some of these are photos of just normal everyday objects and views, and some are photos I take nearly every day.

November 2017. Municipal Pier (San Francisco, CA)

It’s hard to capture with a camera, but swimming in morning in the bay feels special and exciting nearly every time: the city and the sky are slowly coming to life, the wildlife is waking up too. No two sunrises are exactly the same, but there are many beautiful sunrises, we often see flocks of birds flying in Vs overhead like this, and I rarely have a camera in the water with me. I happened to be on land on the pier one morning, looked up, and was able to pull out my phone to capture this instant with this big flock and a stellar sunrise.

November 2019. Steiner & Duboce (San Francisco, CA)

I took the long way to Photoworks; I wanted to turn in this roll of film to be developed, but had a few more pictures left on roll that I didn’t want to waste so I took a bunch while walking. Looking down Duboce Avenue, I found this very “everyday” view. This isn’t my everyday, but it could be somebody else’s, maybe? I love how it captures a lot of San Francisco texture: the colorful buildings, the warm light (it also happened to be right at golden hour), some little details like the light rail track and the “sharrow” that aren’t unique to San Francisco, but still very “here.”

October-December 2019. Pacific & Octavia (San Francisco, CA)

I walk from home along Pacific Avenue on my way to swim in the bay, as well as to the bus that I ride to work, so basically every day. I really love this view, and honestly, photos don’t even do it justice. I take a picture almost every time I pass it (even multiple times a day sometimes), it’s a staple of my daily Snapchats. Unsurprisingly, it’s my phone background. I just love how Octavia Street sweeps down the hill and there’s that stunning view of the bay behind the Fort Mason green. I love how varied it can be, from this sample you can see the sky has quite the personality. One time Mandy told me, “it’s your way of visually journalling your gratitude” which is absolutely correct, I take the pictures mostly for myself, and this view is a reminder to myself of how lucky I feel to be able to live here in San Francisco.

November-December 2019. Various locations.

My family has adopted this habit where we track loose change we find on the ground and text each other. For a long time, my dad has picked up and collected scuffed pennies that he finds while commuting, and in about 2016 I started to take pictures of ones I’d find and send it to him. It grew into its own group chat with my brother and mom too. Since 2017, I’ve tallied up totals and plotted them online. I wouldn’t say these are like, particularly well-composed photos that I’m proud of, but I am definitely proud of the results of creating this daily habit.

It was fun to pull together a few of these from only the past few months (I have pictures of that intersection going back to 2011). It reminded me of that line in Zoolander (links to 1m39s for just the right quote): “the calendar was great because it gives people a chance to see a side of my versatility” where the calendar was literally the “one look.” I was tempted to make them into GIFs (in the spirit of the classic Lindsay Lohan YTMND) but nobody needs a rapidly changing GIF in their inbox, that’s rude.

This is a week where I feel qualified to impart some advice to you, readers: build habits! Hopefully good ones. Document progress! It’s thrilling to look back at the end result from progress built up bit-by-bit.

See you next time!