Updated: Jul 5, 2022
I officially started my first 365 project on January 1st, 2020. I had seen several other photographers talk about doing one themselves and how it was one of the best ways to improve their photography skills. I'm talking about opportunities to practice composition, dealing with different kinds and levels of light, perspective - the list goes on. Since I'm also a mom and want to focus more on documenting my own family this year, this just seemed like the perfect personal project to try.
Now, I'm only about 2 months in, but I have already found some early takeaways from my 365 project. I think that these tips can help you stay strong and focused with your 365 project, too, or maybe encourage you to start, if you haven't already. I've split this post into two parts for brevity, so here we go with the first 4 of 8 tips and takeaways! The second post can be found HERE.
TIP & TAKEAWAY #1: Keep it simple.
As I did research before starting this project, I came across blog posts and Facebook groups with daily and weekly prompts (the latter is for a 52 week project). These prompts are interesting and fun, and I do hope to incorporate some of these photo ideas along the way. However, I know myself and I know that if I tried to adhere to taking photos based on these prompts every day or week, I would quit. I find it a pleasant challenge already to come up with one photo a day with my family. Being locked into prompts just seems, to me, like an unnecessary restriction.
Therefore, I'm keeping it simple with one rule for this project and one rule only: take one "good" photo each day with my "real" camera.
TIP & TAKEAWAY #2: Find a Facebook group for inspiration.
I'm currently a member of 3 Facebook groups focused on completing a 365 or 52 week project. I like looking through the pictures that members post because they're inspiring, they give me ideas to try and it's cool knowing that there are all these other photographers and parents working diligently on completing their project on a daily basis, too. The latter makes me want to keep going just like they are.
TIP & TAKEAWAY #3: Don't worry about missing a day or two.
So far, I have missed one day and early on, too - January 4th!
Life happens, but it would be a shame to quit a year-long project because of one missed day.
Continuing the project still means documenting my family and it still means working on improving my photography. One, two or ten missed days is not going to compromise those goals.
TIP & TAKEAWAY #4: Build up an ideas list.
The nice thing about when I started was that my kids were still on holiday break. I had all day with them to think of an idea to photograph. Now, with them being in school, me working during the day and me trying to have most of my photos naturally lit, we are limited in these early months of the project to about a couple hour time frame each day to get my shot done (you know, in between afternoon snacks, screen time, homework and playing). As such, I have been building a list of ideas to photograph, in case I need one in a pinch.
When I try to add new ideas, I just ask myself, "What do I want to remember forever about this year in our lives?"
So, have you tried doing a daily photography project before? Do you have any tips or takeaways to add? I share my other 4 takeaways in this post HERE.