September 15th, 2011
Just about every photo teacher I’ve ever had said, “Carry a camera with you everywhere, and take pictures everyday.“ I was in college at the time, so, of course, I never listened. There were things like an insane course load, new friends, and convincing the woman I eventually married that I was the man of her dreams. I didn’t have time to take photos everyday. The crazy thing is, now that college is years behind me, not a day goes by that I wish I didn’t take more photos. Just like any coach you’ve ever had has always told you, the only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, and you guessed it, more practice. For a lot of photographers this takes the form of a 356 project. A 365 project is when you set out to take at least one picture a day for a year. A WHOLE YEAR. There are no set guidelines for it; you can make the rules be as simple or as complicated as you like. People do everything from a self-portrait a day to trying a big shoot with a full lighting setup. What you do isn’t what is important. The important part is that it forces you to take photographs, and become better at your craft. We recently posted a few questions on our Facebook wall asking members of our community about their own experiences with 365 projects. The response was overwhelming, and we’ve collected some of the best answers for you.
1) What’s the point? Why would you ever do something so crazy and so time consuming? "The point was initially to become a better photographer, but it became about celebrating the ups and downs of life, or the beauty in the small things that pass by." - Melissa McMasters
2) What advice would you give someone who is thinking about a project like this? "Keep a journal of ideas! Use your inspiration when you got it, and then you have the journal to fall back on when you are feeling a little dry. Set your own rules. This is your project for you. You don’t have to follow someone else’s regulations to feel like you have accomplished something." - Kathleen Frank
3) What kind of guidelines would you suggest someone follow to be successful in such a giant undertaking? "Don’t allow yourself to skip a day because you are sick, tired, or overwhelmed. If you allow yourself to make an excuse to take a break, you most likely won’t be motivated to get back into" - Kelley Fantasma
4) Did you ever feel like giving up? What did you do to get over it? "[I] felt like giving up all the time, [took] a HECK OF A LOT OF arm’s length self portraits, and did it anyway." - Denise Mihalik
5) What did you learn, and what kind of effect did it have on your photography? " I am being much more experimental in my editing. I hope that this helps me refine my style. I have discovered that when shooting it takes me a few photographs to begin with before I really find myself getting into it and finding something interesting." - Lindsey Parker If you have any questions about 365 project, or you feel inspired to start one of your own, let us know! Post your thoughts and ideas on our Facebook Wall .