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.
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!