Monday, January 4, 2010

Project 365

I'm only 4 days into year two of this blog and I'm finding new ways to approach it. On Twitter, I started to see that a lot of the people I was following were talking about a 2010/365 project. When I started to pay attention to what they were saying, I realized they were talking about a daily photo blog.

"I'm already doing that!"

How could I change it? Well, now I'm following a lot of people who are also doing a photo-a-day. I've put some links on the right side and I hope to find more that are interesting to share with you. Several people are just posting their photo of the day to their flickr page or uploading it to Twitter. I'm trying to give links to blogs or pages that have compiled all these pictures.

The other thing I'm doing is following someone new on Twitter, @dailyshoot. I'm SO glad I found them, but sorry that I didn't know about it before this week. @dailyshoot is someone that gives an assignment each day. Once you do that, they ask you to pick your best picture, upload it with the correct label (#ds) and then they will compile those pictures on a site each day ( While I know I will often find things on my own to take pictures of, the assignment has been nice AND a challenge for me. It also makes me look at things differently & try new things ... which is the whole reason for my blog in the first place!

I'm planning on posting the assignment for the day under a photo, if that's the one I choose to post. I may not always be able to do that day's assignment, but I thought you might like to see the reason behind why I shot that. Up until now, I just posted things that happened to do with my daily life, but now they may not have a meaning. I will also put a label of #ds on that photo, so you can look back into my other assignments if you wish.

The other thing I wanted to share was a great article about starting a 365 project. I try to keep this blog strictly pictures, so if I got all this explanation out of the way now, that would help.

People will often say that their whole lives flashed before their eyes after they experienced a traumatic event. Perhaps it’s a bit morbid, but we think that sounds pretty incredible.

When Taylor McKnight started taking a photo a day on January 1st, 2004, he never imagined the project would not only serve as a way to remember a year, but also help him understand what was important to him in his life.

Whether it was his relationships, his career, or his fashion sense, recording a photo a day for a whole year left him with a rich visual history of his life. And it made him a better photographer to boot!

Now that he’s in the middle of doing it for a second time, we asked Taylor to write about it for us. Read on for our tutorial on how and why to create your own daily photographic history.


Taking a photo a day is a big undertaking with big payoffs. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider doing it:

  • Imagine being able to look back at any day of your year and recall what you did, who you met, what you learned… (Often we find it hard to remember what we did just yesterday or even last night, let alone a whole year ago!)

  • Your year-long photo album will be an amazing way to document your travels and accomplishments, your haircuts and relationships. Time moves surprisingly fast.

  • Taking a photo a day will make you a better photographer. Using your camera every day will help you learn its limits. You will get better at composing your shots, you’ll start to care about lighting, and you’ll become more creative with your photography when you’re forced to come up with something new every single day.


Here are six tips on how to create your own Project 365:

  1. Bring Your Camera Everywhere
    Yes, everywhere. Get in the habit. Grocery stores, restaurants, parties, work, and school. Going to a movie theatre? Snap a pic of the flick with your phone–there are photo-ops everywhere. If you have one of those tiny tiny cameras, you have no excuse not to have it in your pocket all the time. And if you don’t? Camera phones are a great substitute.

  2. Make Posting Easy
    You can install blog software like Movable Type or Wordpress on your own site and create an entry for each photo, but for true ease of use, try a photo sharing site. Flickr will let you post a week’s worth of photos in 2 minutes flat, and fotolog and are geared toward a photo-a-day workflow. Making it fast and easy means you’re much more likely to do it.

  3. Vary Your Themes
    Try to capture the day’s events in a single photo. Perform photographic experiments. Take a photo of someone new you meet, something you ate for the first time, or something you just learned how to do. Take a photo of something that made you smile. And don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at least once a month so you can remember how you’ve changed, too.

  4. Tell a Story
    Use your blog entry, or your photo description, to explain what’s going on in each day’s photograph. How good did that dinner taste? What made you want to take a photo of that stranger? It’ll help you remember down the road, and it gives friends following along a better appreciation of why you took the photo you did. You don’t need to write a lot, just enough to add some color.

  5. Don’t Stop, No Matter What
    This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You will get tired of taking a photo every single day. Some days, you will consider giving up. Don’t. The end result is worth the effort. Remind yourself why you wanted to do it in first place.

    There will be times you’ll think there’s nothing interesting left to take a photo of, and times you’ll think you didn’t do anything exciting enough to take a photo of. There’s always a great photo to be made.

    Get out of the house and take a walk. Or stay inside and look around. Take a photo of something important to you. Take a photo of the inside of your house so you can see how your taste has changed over the years. Take a photo of anything, just don’t stop.

    N.b. It helps if you’ve told your friends about the project and asked them to follow along. Their encouragement will keep you going!

  6. Post early, post often
    Plan on going through and posting your photos at least once a week so you don’t get backlogged and feel overwhelmed. Ideally, post every day or two. Again, spend the time up front to make sure it’s quick and easy to post. It’ll make all the difference.
I think it's also interesting that the article is about someone with the same name as mine! Maybe we are related!

As a reward for completing the first year of this blog, I splurged on getting my favorite photos from each month turned into a photo flip book. Snapfish tells me they will be here in a few days ... I'm really excited!

Maybe I can even inspire YOU to start with a 365 project! We're just a few days in, so you could start now. I hope by sharing this information you will understand why I'm doing it and hopefully not look at me like I'm a crazy person when I pull my camera out of my purse to take a picture of a shadow, or a tree, or your pet, or food!
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Jaime said...

Fun. Thanks for sharing all of this info about other similar projects. Keep it up!

Rob, Jenny, Anna, Ashley and Abby said...

OK Bets... I am joining you... I figure if I do half of it, it's more then none! Be looking for my new blog for this project! How exciting!!!

Unknown said...

Awesome ideas and I am going to go find @dailyshoot. Love that they give "assignments"! I found myself wandering tonight, looking for something to capture.