2014 marks the first year I’ve successfully completed a Project 365 since 2010. It’s not been a perfect Project 365. Counting up all the photos, there definitely aren’t 365 photos there. But that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve accomplished anything less.
The idea of capturing a photo every single day, for a whole year can feel a little daunting. And that feeling grows as each week goes by. But, if you’re up for doing a Project 365 in 2015, I wanted to share a few insights that I learnt over the course of this past year.
1. You will miss days, and that’s perfectly okay
Looking at my collection, I have missed a hell of a lot of days. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter. No one is judging you on this and chastising you for not forgetting or missing a day here or there. Well, no one except yourself. And that’s pointless. Life gets in the way sometimes and that’s just what happens. You’ll get a shot the next day.
2. You will repeat yourself
Unless you’re some amazing travel journalist or some fantastical person who’s in a new place every single day and doing the most amazing things ever, you’ll find your daily life can sometimes get repetitive. It’s the nature of the day-to-day. So you’ll take a photo of that tree more than once. That street that you walk down, again and again. Your dog will feature more times than you can count. Taking a photo every day demands you take a photo of whatever is around you and time and time again, those will be the same things.
3. Things will get a little mundane
Similar to #2, you might feel like your every day life for your Project 365 is just a little bit mundane. You do the same things almost every day. You’re just getting on with your every day business. But the great thing about a 365 Project is that once in a while, you’ll capture a super special every day moment that you may not have captured if you hadn’t been prepped for a 365.
4. The best camera is the one on you
My second and subsequent attempts at Project 365s failed miserably because I was so intent on ONLY taking photos with my camera. Rather than the camera I had on me, which is 99% of the time, my phone. Sure it’s not great, but it poses a new challenge in what photo you want to take.
5. Ask why you’re doing a Project 365
Having an aim or purpose as to why you’re undertaking the Project 365 is one of the key parts to its success. My first one was to understand more about photography and learn. This year, pretty much the same and trying new and different things with my camera. But also, I had a feeling this year might be a year worth documenting. So there was that too. Do a 365 for a reason and you’ll have a lot more fun with it.
6. Try monthly or weekly themes
Now this is something I didn’t try this year, but may do next year. To keep yourself interested and engaged with your own Project 365 sometimes it’s easy to set weekly or monthly themes. Say, only take black and white photos. A week of photos of your kids at play. Macro photos. Photos of trees. Stick to a certain time of day. If you feel like you’re going to be waning, give yourself a theme and try and stick to it.
7. Remember it’s for fun!
Following on from #5, this is for fun! It can sometimes feel like it’s turning into a chore, but don’t let it. Remind yourself why you’re doing your Project 365 and have fun with it.
If you’re thinking about doing a Project 365 next year I urge you to give it a shot. They’re challenging. Fun. And so rewarding. At the end of the year you can look back at so many moments in that year, be they of the norm or something special.
I’ll be doing another one for 2015. Let’s see how this one goes!