While the year is still in its beginnings for most Detroiters, this weekend Amy Sacka will cross Day 126 off her calendar.

She's counting the days for her year-long experiment of daily photography in Detroit. When it ends, she'll decide whether to remain in the city she currently calls home.

The Grosse Pointe, Mich. native started the "Owen Was Here" project, where she publishes one photograph with a thoughtful caption daily, in conjunction with her relocation to Detroit from Seattle.

"What's cool about this project is that it's constantly evolving for me," Sacka said. "In the beginning I felt a lot more like a tourist, so I was coming into the city, everything was more surprise and delight. Now I feel like more of a resident and I'm starting to see things a little bit differently."

amy sacka owen was here detroit

(Scroll down for more photos)

It was that idea which inspired her to move to Detroit -- a decision that also allowed her more time with her family. The "Owen" in her project's name comes from her nephew, though he doesn't play a role in her photography.

A writer in the advertising world, she has worked as a copywriter for Getty Images. Though Sacka is quick to point out she's not a professional photographer, her experience with images from the editorial side sharpened her eye once she started looking through a lens.

"It helped me to develop my taste," she said. "I really started to get into this relatively recently. In the last couple years I've done some exotic trips. I started taking more pictures of people and that's when I really began to feel connected to this medium."

Sacka's project caught the eye of National Geographic, which published "Facades" as Photo of the Day Saturday. Editor Alexa Keefe wrote:

When I first looked at this, I thought the perfectly framed buildings in the background were reflections. Then I realized that what I thought was an intact structure is actually a facade. It’s hard to tell whether it’s a remnant of better days or a sign of new beginnings, but either way it speaks to the idea of a city at a crossroads.

amy sacka owen was here detroit

Sacka often stumbles onto her subjects as she wanders around the city.

"The camera for me opens up conversations … I'm so fueled by that," she said. "I'm fascinated by people, what makes them beautiful visually and what's going on with them."

For Sacka, that means she's just as interested in an outlandish video shoot for rapper Big Sean as a spontaneous moment of two girls playing together on the street.

amy sacka owen was here detroit

"I wanted to know about them, and that's one of the things I feel makes a good photographer … I care a lot about these people, they stay with me."

Sacka has also worked to continue her experiences beyond the click of the shutter. The daily photo posts on her Facebook page have begun to form a community around the work, with others participating, collaborating and offering suggestions of what Sacka should photograph.

"Finding out about all these people, especially in Detroit, that is especially meaningful," she said.

Sacka said she's fairly certain she already knows the answer to the question of whether she'll stay in Detroit.

Not every experience has been positive -- people have told her to stop taking pictures or questioned her choice of material. But rather than ignoring criticism, she has brought it into "Owen Was Here."

"It really makes me think about how I want to live and how I want to live in this city," she said. "I love that this project makes me question myself."

See photos from the first months of Sacka's year in Detroit below and follow along with the rest at the "Owen Was Here" Facebook page.

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  • Day 124: Ways Of Seeing

    “I taught in an all-white school once. The kids didn’t see black or white. They saw the color ‘teacher.’” - Bettie, Ant T Bettie Puppet Museum Bettie is a teacher and a puppeteer. She makes life-sized puppets of all races, shapes and sizes to teach children about culture, life, being human. I had the pleasure of meeting Bettie and her puppets yesterday, thanks to the tip from Belle Isle to 8 Mile, a book that’s opened my adventure to many little, hidden bright spots across Detroit. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 41: Fate Talking

    HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING DOWN THERE? "I'm looking for youuuuuu." FUNNY, I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR YOU. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 52: Fragile

    I remember three years ago when loss and grief shook me to my core. My everything was breaking, and I still had to pretend to walk upright. And suddenly I’m holding on with a single-finger grip. WTF! Maybe that’s why I like Detroit. It knows loss, vulnerability and whole lot of WTF. And to me, that makes everything good that’s happening, so much greater. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 117: Some Things Are Uncanny

    <em>Photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 110: The Story Of My Life

    I feel like you should be in a movie. "Really?" It kind of feels like we're in one now. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 55: That Something

    I’ve held on to this picture for about a month. Mainly because I didn’t want to let go of it. I look at it, and look again. It’s like we have a secret. Don’t you think? <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 71: Making Sense Of Things

    I like to watch how perspective changes as I walk by things. I notice that I do this with buildings in Detroit a lot. I walk forward, I walk back. An inch this way, an inch that way. Until everything converges and nothing looks like it should, but somehow, something clicks for me. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 66: Coming And Going

    “Fate was working its ass off when it got us all together.” -Elmore Leonard Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.

  • <em>Photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 82: He's Not Kidding Around

    When Santa comes to the Motor City, he brings his wheels. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 33: Blood Ties

    "I am citizen of the city. I was born here. I was raised here. And I will most certainly die here." <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • This is Detroit too. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 74: The Tender Edges Of Grief

    Sometimes in my life I have sat in big fat question marks. Why? And how could it be? Especially when the “what” happens at the hands of another human being. One time I sat and pondered the WTF for years. And when no answers came, I sat and watched time carry the burden of the question. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 11: Looking In

    First of all, who the haylls is this guy that keeps popping up around Detroit? He’s also on top of the Woodbridge pub, and standing up there on the Park Shelton (someone told me he was going to jump for DLectricity). Help me out and give me some backstory, people. Anyway, I like him because I kind of feel like him. Always been looking in on Detroit. Growing up in the suburbs, we peek over the fence at the city like it’s some no man’s land, locking our car doors as we drive down Woodward. I am still the outsider. Walking around, taking it all in with my pepper spray. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • <em>Photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

  • Day 85: Facades

    My earliest memories are of the door locking when we drove into town. I am trying to unlock things now. <em>Caption and photo from "<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Owen-Was-Here/321633874538816">Owen Was Here</a>," courtesy of Amy Sacka.</em>

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