Project 365: Is it for Me?

It seems like everywhere I click online, or on my phone I find someone completing or talking about their project 365.  There are people posting their pics on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and I find them in blog posts and even emails of the few newsletters I’m signed up for. That doesn’t even count the number of people I come across that admit they started one but never finished.  

365 projects aren’t as easy as you may think – especially when you remember you haven’t photographed a single thing that day just as you are crawling under those comfy flannel sheets on a cold, rain drenched night.  Yep, been there.  

64th day of 365
64th day of 365

So, I thought I’d throw out my ideas on the thing and as I made an outline, I realized this is a big topic. Way too big to put up in one post, so I’ll be throwing you three posts that delve into the world of taking 1 picture per day for 365 days.  Yes, such a simple thing takes up so much word space.

105th Day of 365
105th Day of 365

What is a Project 365?

What is it?
Every day for 365 days you take a picture.  It doesn’t matter what of or when or how, or even if you share it.  This is your project and the only rule is shoot every day.

Who does it?
Anyone.  And I mean anyone who has a camera on their phone, a point and shoot, a film camera, a Polaroid (yes, they sell these again!), or full frame dslr.  

When do you do it?
When you want – only shoot your photo sometime in the 24 hour period of what you consider a day.  

You can start when you want as well. I know a lot of people who started January 1 but there is no need to wait a year before starting one.  I started October 1 as my project 52 was winding down.  It was also a good time to start in my photography journey – prior to that I had always said I would never do one, but about a month before, I started thinking about it and decided to take the plunge starting on the first.  I got lucky and found several others who started at the same time. We have a private group for sharing and supporting each other.

Where do you do it?
I don’t think I need to explain.  Anywhere.  

Why should you do it?
That is up to you and I am reserving my last post of these 3 to talk about the benefits of doing a 365 – this is more in hindsight which is why I’m leaving it for last.  But why you start is entirely on what reason do you have for completing one?  To join a community?  To improve your photography?  To capture more of the everyday moments with your kids?  To document an important part of your life, your work?  Entirely up to you.

Day 23 of 365
Day 23 of 365

Stuff to Consider before Jumping In – or the How do you do it? 

  • Why are you doing it?  If you really want to follow through with it, then you need a purpose.  And write it down! Something to motivate you to get into the habit of capturing at least one photo a day.  It is harder than you think and if you make that purpose a priority in your life, then that habit is easier to attain.  It doesn’t take that long, but it does take commitment, and purpose drives commitment.  You will especially need it when you hit the winter doldrums and feel like there is no reason for it.  The big lull.  When you do hit it, take a look at the purpose you wrote down to motivate yourself. Better yet, keep that purpose in a place to remind you everyday.  Mine sits right next to the computer, on a post-it.  And the post-it even made it through our move it was that important.
  • Is there someone out there that can support you?  I use two ways of support.  First my little group of photographers where we  give little critiques to each other so we can improve.  Second is Facebook – my family and friends – I didn’t start it as support except to keep myself honest. I wanted to make sure I completed it everyday and posted to Facebook everyday.  Then I moved out of our house and stopped posting to Facebook for a week or two.  The response surprised me.  Many of my friends/family said they missed seeing my photos everyday.  This in itself is motivation enough for me to post my image everyday – fans! Point is, use social groups for support, not only do they help, but they are fun and I really enjoy seeing other people’s projects.
  • Consider your time. If you are into editing your photos, even if only on your phone – are you going to do this?  If so, it will add more time to your project. If you plan on using it to increase your editing skills, add even more time (this is my case, even though there are some days I don’t do much editing).  Even on my phone, editing takes time because my workflow always sends my photos to Snapseed, then VSCO cam, then possibly one or two other apps for distressing or glazing, or both.  Just be aware that you will need to build in time.  Shooting isn’t a problem necessarily for me since usually I capture my girls doing what they do, or something that inspires me – it’s the editing that is more time-consuming.  At least for me.  If you aren’t into editing and just want to shoot, then less time!
  • What tools will you use?  At first I thought I would limit myself to my Nikon since my purpose was to improve my photography, but I’ve branched to my phone too because I have a macro lens, and I usually find phone photography more difficult and want practice. Some people limit themselves to their phones, to their dslr, or to their film cameras.  It is all in your purpose.
  • How are you going to store all of your photos?  I use a folder on my computer and the Albums for storing mine.  Others use Lightroom keywords, Flickr, Instagram, and I’m sure there are other ways.
Day 110 of 365
Day 110 of 365

That’s it!  Everything you should consider before committing to a 365.  Next post up will be the stuff to consider while in the middle of a 365 – like that lull I was talking about.  Then the big benefits to one!  

Shew!  What did I leave out?  

Day 22 of 365 macro of frost flower
Day 22 of 365 – I learned these were frost flowers from a friend on Facebook when she saw my post.

Check out the next two posts in this series: 365: What’s the Benefit and 365: What to Consider.

You can follow me and my 365 project on Instagram!

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