Kicking your Photography up a Notch- the 365 Project

My October page of photos from the 365 Project

At the beginning of this year, a good friend recommended I start a 365 project with my photos.  It was a new concept for me, but basically you take a photo a day and post it on a website where other photographers are doing the same thing.  You can use it to improve the quality of your work by looking at other's photos and seeing what they took photos of, check camera settings, use the weekly theme sessions, and basically just keep track of what you did all year.  I know you are very busy and it takes time to get your camera out every day, but the ideas don't have to be huge.  You can photograph what's around you, your daily life, or use the thoughtful suggestions given by the site.

I used 365 Project for the year.  It was a bit slow going, but I managed to keep up better towards the end of the year.  I wasn't striving for incredible creativity.  I just wanted to use my camera more and basically use it as a photo journal.  If you take the time, you can add lots of information and journal about the photo and why you took that photo or how you achieved it.  I felt I was lucky to post as many photos as I did, let alone write a journal about each one, however it was fun reading when others did it. It gave you insight into what they were thinking and made me realize there are lots of people out there just like me, enjoying their lives and taking pictures along the way.

If you don't have a fancy camera, or you just prefer to use your iphone to take pictures, there's even an app where you can snap a picture every day and it logs it for you at Photo-365.

Photojojo is a website that has everything for a photographer and they had a blog entry that pretty much covers every aspect of why you should do this.  This is also a fun site to find attachments to use your iphone as a camera in unique ways.  They don't specifically mention the 365 project website, but mention flickr and photoblog in this article.  I wish I'd read their article before I started my project because I found now that the year is gone, I don't really have a way to use the pictures as posted.  Yes, I can go to the 365 project website and look at them, but I haven't found a way to use the photos in say a photobook or calendar.  Others with more experience have kept their daily photos on flickr and can now download them to a project that is printable.  I can see the benefit to both.

Katrina Kennedy also has a blog that will send you ideas for what to photograph, called Capture your 365.  I get her reminders and have used a few of them, but generally I'm so busy with my life and all that my family needs that I prefer to photograph what's happening around me.  I love the idea lists just for my own use though, especially when I'm filling a photobook.  I used several of her ideas on the December list to create activities with Omar which then got photographed and made it into one of our family books.  For a good laugh, go read the Lego piece she wrote.  You'll never see a Lego character quite the same way again!

Lastly, as a way to do something with your photos, visit one of my favorite ladies, photobookgirl.  This is the place to go for all deals with any type of photo project.  I've used her tips for making photo books and have saved a bundle as well.  She knows about all deals that are out there and also has a facebook page that you can "like" to keep up with her ideas and savings.  She is currently offering a $100 drawing for a book from blurb and she talks about how it could be used for your 365 project, or any other project for that matter.  Go to this contest link for more information about entering.

Let me know if you're taking the plunge in 2013 and starting a 365 project!


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