© 2012 photobookgirl Photobookgirl 365 Day Photo Project

365 (or 366) Day Project 2012



Okay, in truth I did not intend to start a 365 day project this year, but it’s January 1, 2012, and I’m thinking “why not?”  I’d like to think I’m a planner – someone who lays out a careful strategy, works out a timeline and then executes it step-by-step, but admittedly my mind works in a much more freeform manner than that.  I often go with where my mood takes me and and I always have a million projects and new things I want to try and do – there just isn’t enough time in the day.  So, if I’m going to be truthful, I have to admit that I’m not a planner, but my one saving grace is that I am an executor.  When I set my mind to doing something, I just do it, cause if I think about it too much, my mind’s already moved onto the next project.

Various things led me down this path to committing to this project, one was a conversation I had with my friend S yesterday about whether I had any new year’s resolutions.  (I didn’t.)  Another was a conversation with my husband that my friends had noticed I hadn’t posted as much on my blog since having our baby.  (Hmmm…people noticed.)  And the third inspiration was my friend D who has set out to conquer her own series of challenges for 2012, including not shopping for the whole year.  (I sincerely admire her for trying!)

So, what is a 365 day project?

A 365 day project (or 366 day project for this leap year) can manifest itself in many forms. Some folks commit to taking a photo every day of anything that catches their eye. My friend Mike did that with his Mike’s Right Brain photo blog, challenging himself to post a daily photo.  It was fun to follow along that journey with him and I always thought it would be interesting to try.  Some folks decide to focus on a particular subject for the year such as self-portraiture, or photographing a random person on the street, or taking a photo of one’s breakfast every morning.  I read about some other blogs doing 365 day projects here.   Flickr is also full of 365 groups where members can post their daily photos in a shared collection on various topics, or on no topic in particular.  Another project I read about on the Digital Photography School site, was by a photographer who decided to take a photo of one thing she was grateful for every day of the year.  There’s lots of inspiration out there if you decide to start your own 366 day project and I think we’ll all learn more about ourselves by embarking on this journey.

Being the less structured person I am, I’ve decided not to pick a topic and just go with the flow, or I may think of a topic for the week as I go, and try to keep all photos for the week on that theme.  I know it’s going to be really hard to keep this going for a year.  I’ve heard of folks only making it through a month, but I’m going to do my best to stick with it.

How to start your project

Take a photo.  Don’t get hung up on making it perfect either – most of us have a camera phone with us at all times – no fancy equipment necessary.  If you feel it’s appropriate, jot down a few notes or thoughts as to why you decided to snap that particular photo.  These will come in handy if you want to caption your photos at some point.  Save all your photos in a separate folder entitled “366 Day Project 2012” and rename your photo “Day 1” or “Photo 1”.

Why do a 365 day project?

Each person will have their own reasons for wanting to try a 365 day project, but here’s a few:

  • To better your photography skills;
  • To try some new techniques;
  • To use it as a time of self-reflection;
  • To document each day in a visual journal;
  • To learn to appreciate every day as an opportunity to discover something new.

Here we go!

I will post once a week with the images I’ve taken thus far to keep myself accountable and to share those images with you.  I don’t know where the year will lead, but it’s a good a time as any to give it a go!

I just took a break from writing this post and snapped my first photo of 2012 – something I know the mothers (and fathers) out there will understand.  This has been my life ’round the clock for the last five months and counting so it’s only fitting I start my project with this photo.

Photobookgirl 365 Day Photo Project

Comment below and let me know if any of you are planning to try out this project!  At the end of the year we’ll all have an amazing photo book to put together!

Wishing everyone the best in 2012!





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  1. Posted January 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm | #

    I did a self portrait 365 in 2007, a 365 of my first baby’s first year in 2010 and shortly I will be starting a 3rd 365 with my second baby…just waiting for her to be born! 365’s are great and make wonderful memories!! Good luck with yours!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted January 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm | #

      Awesome, I’m excited to do mine! Congrats on your pending arrival! By the way, where did you print yours and did you like how the books came out?

      • Posted January 2, 2012 at 7:25 am | #

        I made books out of my first daughter’s 365 – 2 200-page volumes, one of 0-6 months and the second of 6-12 months. I do like the way they turned out. I was able to use several Groupons at once (it was early on in Blurb’s involvement in Groupon so they didn’t have any restrictions on stacking or limitations on how many groupons you could buy). So needless to say I saved a bunch which helped because I bought copies for the grandparents too! 🙂 Unfortunately at the time Blurb didn’t have their higher-quality proline papers yet, but that would have increased the price by a lot so I guess it worked out in the end.

  2. Posted January 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm | #

    I’ve actually always wanted to do something like this. If i started one now, it would probably be of my newborn. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your photos!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted January 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm | #

      You should do it – I’m sure you’ve already taken a lot of photos and a 365 day for a first year book would be an amazing accomplishment – especially considering how sleep deprived you probably are!

  3. Andrea
    Posted January 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm | #

    Thanks for the reminder. After seeing lots of “365 Project” pages on digital scrapbooking sites last year, I decided I’d try in 2012. I’d like to do it as a photo journal to capture a bit of my everyday life, not just the fun stuff. Hope I can keep up with it.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted January 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm | #

      Yes, I plan to have mine be more journal-like especially by adding a short narrative for each photo. Hope you took your shot of the day!

  4. Posted January 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm | #

    I started a 365 last year and things kept happening (like — my camera broke) and I finally gave up.
    This year, I’ve joined a 366 group on Google+ and also a 52 group (photo a week an a theme that’s already been chosen by the project leader). I’ll probably make a book of my pictures when the year is up.

  5. Meghan
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:50 am | #

    We have done 365 projects for two years in a row now and are about to start out third:
    We do it as a family journal and, though it can be hard some days, I find it extremely rewarding. We printed it through blurb last year because I wanted one post per page so needed something that would do a 365 page book and not break the bank and I was happy with the quality. I really encourage you to stick to it because I think it is really nice to be able to look back and see your year.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted January 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | #

      I see you just had a baby too! Congratulations! I love your pug b/t/w – we hope to have one someday 🙂

    • Kris
      Posted January 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm | #

      I just finished my Project 365 for 2011 and put the photos into a Blurb book in real time so there isn’t much left for me to do. Right now I am just putting the finishing touches on it and I am glad to see a 15% off coupon right now. I am pleased to read that someone else with a 365+ page book is happy with their result from Blurb. I am a little concerned about the binding of such a thick book. Do you have any additional advice or tips I should consider before I send mine off?


      • photobookgirl
        Posted January 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm | #

        Although it would probably be nicer to be in one volume, you could split it into two volumes. I’ve done that lots of times. Most recently with my shower books: http://www.photobookgirl.com/blog/artscow-deluxe-photo-book-review/ However, I have heard of folks doing it in one volume, so it is possible, but you may need to take particular care with it. That’s a good idea to start out the layout and do it over time!

  6. Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:25 am | #

    I’ve been seeing this around and thought that it’s a great idea. I may have to do one too. Can’t wait to see your weekly posts!

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