In the world of photography projects, it’s the big one: The 365 Project. It means that you commit to shooting, editing, and sharing at least one photograph every day for an entire year.
Does that sound like a lot? It is! But there are good reasons that photographers keep going back to this project over and over (and it isn’t because we like to torture ourselves!).
The 365 Project may be difficult, but the payoff is always big. These are some of our favorite reasons for committing to taking a picture every day this year.
You will see BIG growth in your photographic skills
You know the phrase, “Practice makes perfect?” It’s true in most endeavors and it is definitely true in photography. And the more you practice, the closer you will get to your “perfect.”
Having a project like the 365 ensures that you are practicing every single day. This means that every day you are giving yourself an opportunity to learn! You will become more familiar with controlling the settings on your camera. You will be more confident finding good light and navigating your editing software. And you will be more comfortable knowing exactly what you need to do to get the photographs you want.
Ask any photographer who takes on this project if she feels like she improved over the year and I promise she will give you an enthusiastic, “YES!” Comparing the photo from January 1 to the photo from December 31 makes the work of picking-up the camera daily more than worth it.
You won’t miss any of the “little things” in your daily life
It is natural to pull out our cameras for big events and special occasions. However, sometimes it’s the little things that matter most when we look back.
Committing to the 365 Project means that you will pick-up your camera on the special days and the more mundane days. And this is a good thing!
Documenting breakfast or lazy days in pajamas or the bedtime routine is just as important as photographing birthdays. Because you know what? Someday those daily routines are going to look different and you are going to wish you could go back.
The 365 Project won’t let you turn back time. But it will let you keep the memories close by while also documenting the changes as they happen.
You will see BIG changes in your kids
There was one year that my teenage son grew 6 shoe sizes and 5 inches! And while he didn’t seem to change on a day-to-day basis, it is clear that he was changing quickly when I look back at the pictures of him throughout that year.
Any mother will tell you that kids grow way too fast. Taking a photo every day allows you to see those changes as they happen.
We love the idea of taking a photo of kids in the same place on a regular basis. This allows you to see how they change in relation to an unchanging location. It can be something as simple as sitting on the front steps or standing in a doorway.
The idea is to take the photo so that you can look back and see how they have grown and changed. The 365 Project lets you do this and more!
You will learn how to work through creative ruts
Every photographer finds herself in one from time to time: the dreaded creative rut.
We think that one of the differences between good photographers and great photographers is that the good ones photograph when they are inspired and the great ones photograph when they are not.
The 365 Project forces you to act like a great photographer.
Chances are, you are not going to feel terribly inspired every day for an entire year. In fact, it is likely that there are going to be days that you dread picking-up the camera! However, by committing to take a photo anyway, you are strengthening your skills as an artist and ensuring that when creative ruts find you, they won’t throw you off course.
You will learn how to photograph new things
If you photograph the same thing every day, you are probably going to get bored. This means that you are going to look for new things to photograph. And that’s a good thing!
We love the idea of specializing in a genre, but we also think it’s great to try something new from time to time. If you take pictures of kids every day, you can try your hand at photographing food or wildlife or macro or maybe even architecture. Who knows? You might just find a new subject that you love!
Regardless if you find a new photography passion, photographing something different is always beneficial. It will inspire you to see your usual subjects in new ways and will allow you to stretch your creativity as you try to figure out how to make something new look good.
It can help you find a photography community
Photography can be a kind of lonely pursuit. You are alone behind the camera as you shoot and alone behind the computer as you edit and that can feel somewhat isolating.
When you participate in a 365 Project, it is a great opportunity to connect with and support other photographers who are doing the same project alongside you.
As you shoot, you can share with your project group for feedback and support. We know of countless photographers who have made lifelong friendships through 365 Project groups. We love to hear all the stories about how shooting everyday together created bonds across state lines and oceans.
Don’t know where to find a 365 Project group? Start on the Clickin Moms forum! There you can find or post a thread letting others know that you want to work on this together and there are thousands of photographers there who are likely wanting to grow alongside you.
The finished body of work will be priceless
There are many studies on how journaling is such a good practice. The 365 Project is like a visual journal. Just like a written journal, you will feel all the warm fuzzies when you look back on your project.
We love the idea of putting all of the photos from a 365 into a book. This way you can flip through them at the end and really appreciate all you have done. And in the years to come, that book will be a priceless treasure for you and those you love.
As we start a new year with all kinds of dreams for the future and resolutions for our own improvement, let’s add growing in our photography together. The 365 Project is the perfect way to do that we can’t wait to start with you!
Are you ready to start a 365? Let’s do it together! Join the 365 group over on the Clickin Moms forum today for all the guidance, support, and encouragement you will need to finish this big project!