Project 365: Tips!

Daily projects are hard. For every person who completes a Project 365 (that is, takes a photo every day for a year), there are probably at least two that don't, and more that find the task too daunting to even attempt. And if you've been following my blog for awhile, you probably know that I am horrible at keeping up with anything on a schedule. But I have successfully completed 6 weeks of my 2012 Project 365, so I wanted to share a few things that have made it easier for me!

1. Use your cell phone, or a small point+shoot.
I decided to use my iPhone 4S, with its wonderful 8 megapixel camera, exclusively for this project. I always have my phone with me, and I take so many pictures that often I don't need to think about it. A small point+shoot camera accomplishes the same ease of use. Of course, some people are going to want to use their DSLR, and there's nothing wrong with that; I just hear so many people giving up because it's a lot harder to whip that out than it is to pull out your cell for those every day shots.

2. Keep track, and keep your photos organized.
I use an iPhone app, Project 365, that lets me insert each day's photo into a calendar and and a bit of journaling. I can easily glance at it and see if I've taken my photo that day. I also upload my photos to iPhoto every week. Then I create a folder for that week, save the 7 photos there, and rename them with their dates. I do this so that I can easily blog the photos each Sunday, but having them organized like this would be useful for whatever you plan to do with your photos later.
*If you don't want to/aren't able to use an app like Project 365, the same thing can be accomplished with a paper calendar or a checkbox in your daily planner!

3. Set a reminder.
I have a re-occuring reminder to take a picture each day set up through Apple's Reminders app. If you don't have an iPhone with iOS5, you can set up an alarm or a calendar task--anything that will beep at you once a day and tell you to take a picture. My daily reminder is set for 5:00 PM. This is early enough that I still have plenty of time to capture something, but not so early that I dismiss it and forget it.

4. Do something with your photos.
Every Sunday, I make a collage of the week's photos and post it to my blog. This is fun, keeps me accountable, and motivates me to complete each week. Post your photo each day to a special Twitter or Tumblr account. Post them weekly or monthly to your blog. Print them each week and put them in an album or a scrapbook. Half the fun of this project is looking at the photos and remembering the story behind them.

5. Take lost of photos and don't stress.
I take photos of anything and everything that strikes me. Don't stress about every photo having a meaning behind it! Probably a third of my photos are of food so far and there's nothing wrong with that! I like food, so I take pictures of it. Plus, if you take photos indiscriminately, you'll often end up with several to choose from, which also helps keep the stress level down.

I hope these tips are helpful to someone! If you haven't already started a Project 365, I highly recommend it. I've had a lot of fun so far, and the idea of having an album filled with photos and memories at the end of the year is just awesome, isn't it?


Margie H said...

All good tips and to keep in mind if you are doing the project. Me? Not my thing but I hope it helps others because there are a lot of people doing this! Good luck with yours!!

WillieburgScrapper said...

yup yup yup! I agree with all of these! I recently blogged a defense of Project Life and how it gets you thinking about the creative process and makes you a better photographer. It got me some new readers and actually motivated me to keep going because it can get pretty daunting after a while. Like this blog- will be stalking a bit. :)

Erica said...

I'm not doing this project but I am attempting Project Life this year. A lot of these have kept me up to date on this project and just 7 weeks in I'm very glad I'm taking the time to do it.

Great tips!

Stephen McCurry said...

Best of luck with it. I did it 2006 into 2007 and it was torturous but worthwhile. All online here - http://www.notofthisearthphotography.co.uk/1365/1over365.htm

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