Project 365 + why you should do one too!

by Kaylah Stroup
At the beginning of the year I made one of my goals to do a 365 photo project. Back in 2010 I completed one (but for some silly reasons didn’t share it on the blog, just on flickr which I have since deleted. D’oh!) and since then I’ve been itching to do another but always made excuses until the beginning of this year. Even though I haven’t taken my photo for the day yet, I’m fine counting my chickens before they hatch and saying this year’s project 365 was a success!I’m so happy with my project 365 that I’d like to encourage others to take on a year long project as well! Project 365 is a super simple concept – one photo a day for the whole year. Lets first get it out of the way that you don’t need a fancy camera, the camera on your phone will work just fine. You don’t have to be good at photography, and you can’t use the excuse “my life isn’t that exciting!”

Here are some reasons you should do Project 365 in 2015…

  • Everyone likes a challenge right? I like a project that I can do a little of each day for a long period of time. The feeling of accomplishment at the end of the year is great!
  • You’ll get to know your camera better which in turn will make you a better photographer. You’ll learn more about lighting, composing, and how to use your camera in just about every situation.
  • It’s a great way to help remember all the little special moments in your life! At the end of the year you’ll get to look back and see what you did that day, who your were with, what your hair looked like, what you were wearing, etc. It’s a lot of fun looking back through the pictures, especially when you can look back and see things that you would have otherwise forgotten! Photos are awesome little triggers to other memories alongside what is captured. The photo below, in the box, of mine and Elycia‘s feet doesn’t mean much to you but I can tell you so much about that day that I’m not really sure I would be able to remember otherwise. Nearly all of my photos spark lots of other little reminders about when it was taken.
  • You’ll get less shy about taking pictures in public. This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. I’m so weird about taking photos in public but forcing yourself to do it often is the only way to get over it. You’ll become more calm in public with your camera and not feel so strange about pulling out your camera to snap that perfect picture!

ย Tips for a successful 365 project…ย 

  • Take your camera everywhere! Did you read that..? E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. Everywhere you look there is a photo opportunity! Have a really great meal at your favorite restaurant? Take a picture! Love the way the rain looks hitting your window? Take a picture! That squirrel that always hangs out in your yard? Take his picture!
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You’ll have awesome days, and you’ll have days you want to delete your photos. In my experience, I’ve found that even the photos I hate when I take them, I end up happy that I have them.
  • Don’t quit if you miss a day (or three!), it’s not a huge deal in the long run!
  • Tell your friends and family you’re doing it. It’s a much easier project to complete when you have others supporting you. They’ll be a great reminder especially in the beginning when forgetting you’re doing the project just might happen! Setting a timer on your phone to go off until you get into the swing of things will help too.
  • Keep up on the project. Going to edit your photos? Do it the same day instead of letting them pile up. Staying on top of the project is one thing that I know helps me tremendously. I edit and add the photos to my 365 post every two or three days that way I never have a large backlog.
  • Keep a list of things you might possibly want to photograph so you never have a day where you say “there’s nothing left to take pictures of!”

I like blogging about my 365 project weekly just so I can easily look back on them. But there is lots you could do with your project even if you don’t have a blog. Websites like Blurb, and Tiny Prints allow you to create your own photobooks! How awesome would it be to have years and years worth of these to look back on?! A 365 project means you’ll have something everyday to upload to instagram. There are tons of groups on flickr to connect with others doing the same thing. There are even websites such as 365 Project, and Blipfoto where you can upload your photos daily. Basically what I’m saying is there is no reason not to do one! So, what’s stopping you?
xoxo

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66 comments

trillie December 31, 2014 - 1:58 pm

That is a great idea! I really want to start taking photos again regularly (I kind of stopped doing that over the past years) and this will be the perfect crutch to get me going again! Thanks for the inspiration, as always, and have a great NY!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:10 am

Happy New Year to you as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

nocturnalmistakes December 31, 2014 - 2:11 pm

You have persuaded me, haha! I have always wanted to do a 365 picture project, but always avoided it because I felt like it would totally fail. But one never knows until you try! Thanks for the great tips ๐Ÿ˜€

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:11 am

Yesss! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mindi Wooley December 31, 2014 - 2:11 pm

I've always found the 365 project so intimidating and I think it's mainly because I wanted all of my photos to be taken with my DSLR which wasn't always possible for me. Now that I have an iPhone, my DSLR, and my little PowerShot camera, I may just try it this year ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the idea of keeping a box or book full of photos from an entire year (or years)!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:11 am

Hope you decided to go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Johnna LaFaith December 31, 2014 - 2:18 pm

I love this post. I did a 365 back in 2010 and loved it. That was the peak of my comfort in public with a camera and since my divorce and so many "life" things have happened I guess I was distracted right into NOT being comfortable. I hate that. I tried to start a 365 last year, but I dropped the ball, totally. I like the idea of having a project though, this year. I want 2015 to be a proactive year and having something I LOVE doing being at the forefront seems like a good idea. Thanks for the encouragement.

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:11 am

Hope you go for it, Johnna!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Emma December 31, 2014 - 2:48 pm

These are great tips, I started is last year but unfortunately didn't keep it up. Think you've inspired me to have another go this year!

Have a wonderful 2015
Emma xo // Wallflower Wardrobe

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:12 am

Awesome! I'm glad to hear that. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Laura December 31, 2014 - 3:08 pm

ahh, i think i'll give this a go! over the past few months i've barely used my camera which is such a waste, and this project would be great in getting more used to taking pictures in public as well as in appreciating the little things:-) xx

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:13 am

Glad to hear that, Laura! Hope you get more use of out of your camera this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chrissy December 31, 2014 - 3:23 pm

I used to take part in the 52 weeks photo project and for some reason decided to skip it in 2014 – well, turns out I really missed it and will pick it up again in the new year. I always enjoy all your pics!
Happy New Year!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:14 am

Thanks, Chrissy!

Happy new year to you as well.
๐Ÿ™‚

Outrageous Glamour December 31, 2014 - 4:05 pm

I loved project 365 so much. It's amazing to see what there is to photograph in the world and I think it brings out a lot of creativity.

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:14 am

It absolutely does!

Chloe Green December 31, 2014 - 4:31 pm

YEAH! this is already on my 2015 goals. I wanted to do it last year but couldn't bare the idea of starting it mid-month.

chloexx

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:14 am

Awesome! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

MayamitY December 31, 2014 - 5:13 pm

I've thought about doing this a lot in the last couple of months,
especially when I noticed that I took less photos than before.
But I was always a bit afraid of this HUGE project… well now,
after reading your lovely post, I'm thinking about it, AGAIN! XD

I've still got a couple of hours to decide if I do this or not,
but I'm pretty sure the answer will be yes! Hopefully… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a nice new years eve and a happy new year!
Thanks for being such an inspiring person! <3

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:15 am

Hope you decided to go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tara Hammond December 31, 2014 - 5:39 pm

I think you convinced me! I need a reason to take my camera with me everywhere, and I want to get back into film photography.

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:17 am

Yesss! Hope you decided to go for it.

Shanty Q December 31, 2014 - 6:08 pm

I like your challenge… maybe i will do it this year

Happy new year!
( :

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:18 am

Happy new year to you as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Morgan Gaw December 31, 2014 - 6:42 pm

I've been following your blog for about a year now and I've always enjoyed the 365 project photos and the idea. I guess my excuse was always that I was too busy or gosh I'm a couple weeks into the year already haha. I went to school for film and have a decent camera. My goal has always been to take more stills and get to know my camera inside and out. So you know what? I think I'm going to do it this year! So thank you for this post and the tips!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:18 am

Awesome! I'm so glad to hear that.

Catherine Denton December 31, 2014 - 8:05 pm

You make it sound awesome! I've been making my goals for the upcoming year and wanted a project to take on for Instagram. Maybe I should try a 365 project; it sounds fun (albeit a little intimidating) ~ a good challenge for where I'm at right now. Thanks for the inspiration!

P.S. My brother surprised me with a print from your shop. I was shocked because I'd not even mentioned it to him but he'd seen a tweet I'd mentioned on it awhile back and totally rocked it this Christmas! I LOVE it!!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:19 am

Aw! That was certainly sweet of him. That's really awesome!! ๐Ÿ™‚

risewiththebirds.com December 31, 2014 - 9:31 pm

Oh I am SO doing this for 2015. I've been trying to use my "real camera" (I'm a photographer full-time so I tend to look at it as "work" no matter what) more for fun and this will hopefully inspire me. ๐Ÿ™‚ THANKS!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:19 am

Awesome! I'm glad to hear that!

Emma Deer December 31, 2014 - 10:12 pm

One of my goals this year and this just got me that much more excited ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:21 am

Awesome! Good luck!

Trude December 31, 2014 - 11:01 pm

I did it for several years and then dropped off the last two. I would put them together in a 8×10 soft-sided Blurb book and love looking back. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think getting back into it will be just the creative kick I need!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:21 am

Hope you decided to go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Marine December 31, 2014 - 11:28 pm

I've enjoyed your project 365 posts! My week in photos posts are my version of that, but I'm thinking about toning it down to 365s for 2015… sometimes I have so many photos and I feel it takes away from the ones I find really special. But other times I don't want to have to choose just one or two to represent a specific day!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:23 am

That is one thing I dislike about sharing all my 365 photos on the blog – sometimes I feel like sharing photos from everyday takes away from the special ones but looking back I'm glad they're all there. I guess it's just something that bothers me while it's still a fresh post.

Haley Noelle January 1, 2015 - 1:23 am

Totally going to try doing this in 2015! I always love looking through yours, thanks for convincing me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:24 am

That's so great to hear! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yeah... I know January 1, 2015 - 3:44 am

Awesome, & I totally agree about the 365 project. It's a wonderful way to bring back memories of everyday life. I just finished up my fourth straight year of doing the photo project. It's a big part of me now, and I will start my fifth year tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ Getting close to day 1500!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:24 am

Wow! Five years! That's so awesome!!!

Aline Dufrenne January 1, 2015 - 4:16 am

Aaaah thank you! Always wanted to do it but never jumped in because of lack of confidence in my photograph skills but it is logic that by doing it daily you'll just improve!! Might try it as soon as I get my new lens ๐Ÿ˜€
PS: Happy New Year, best whishes <3

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:25 am

Heeeey now, don't put it off until you get a new lens!

Happy new year to you as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Meghan January 1, 2015 - 5:22 am

This is a great idea, especially for me. I've been trying to improve my photography skills. I have the fear of taking my camera out in public, so this may help me not be as afraid. Thanks! I look forward to seeing your 365 project next year.

– Meghan

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:25 am

Thanks, Meghan! Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jordyn Schwersky January 1, 2015 - 1:12 pm

Since I found your blog, your 365 project posts have been some of my favorite. Even before I saw this post, I decided that in 2015 I would do a 365 project of my own. So thanks for the inspiration!

http://www.jordynmyah.com

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:26 am

Thank you so much, Jordyn! Good luck on your 365! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lucy Jane January 1, 2015 - 4:00 pm

I love this idea and am so glad I saw this today as I really want to start this, I think it would be a great way to develop as a photographer but also record your year visually!

infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:26 am

Good luck!

Heather Gwinn January 1, 2015 - 4:43 pm

I'm really glad I saw your post today! I started a 365 project last year and went strong for about 2 months then fell flat and got behind then quit. I'm determined to make this an awesome year and complete this darn project! I agree it is a great way to improve your photography skills and get out of your shell. So I'm off to get photo 1 started! Thanks for the inspiration to start again.

Xoxox,
Heather
http://www.thearbitraryfox.com

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:27 am

Good luck this year, Heather!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sรญle Murphy January 1, 2015 - 5:48 pm

I have always wanted to do this but always forget, thanks for posting and reminding us it's totally do-able! I've included a link in my 2015 resolutions!x

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:27 am

Awesome! Good luck!!!

M January 1, 2015 - 5:50 pm

About 6 years ago I started a photo a day for a month, which grew to multiple months, then a year, then a few years. I think somewhere around year 3 I started not enjoying it as much (I was using my phone for this particular project) and started skipping days and eventually I just stopped with my particular camera phone. I agree with you that it's a great experience though!

I really enjoyed using my camera phone because I always had it, but also, it was relatively simple when compared to my other cameras & I didn't get too focused on the details of the camera and instead focused on the composition elements and making sure carrying & grabbing my camera was even more of a reflex. Sometimes I had to suck it up and make the best of the situation even if ideally I'd use a completely different camera. It also was advantageous in that I could do some of that processing & posting work on the phone, which meant I was more likely to keep up the project in the couple minutes every here and there. It made sticking to the project much easier in my somewhat busy life.

Now I pretty much always have a camera (or 3) with me wherever I go, at minimum a Holga or Diana, partially because they are so light & easy to fit into a purse or bag or even pocket. I've gone back and forth between doing a film photo a day or rotating through different cameras for a month each, focusing on different colors of subjects or some other variations on a 365 project, but for now, I'm just shooting as I feel inspired (although I don't take good notes of when/what I'm shooting with my toy camera film rolls & I suspect I might actually already be doing a film photo a day without officially calling it out!) In the end, I see it as a chance to prioritize learning new photography skills & habits, a couple minutes a day & that's a good thing!

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:28 am

Film photo a day has been floating around my mind for a few years now!

Lostvestige January 1, 2015 - 9:02 pm

I love this idea! I definitely want to do it sometime, maybe with one of my film cameras, I would like to learn how to use those better and this is a great way to make sure I practice every day.

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:30 am

Hope you decide to go for it this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

+Sankta Ella+ January 1, 2015 - 9:29 pm

what a fantastic idea! :.) I am going to start today, thx for the inspiration :.)

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:30 am

Awesome! So happy to hear that. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jade Davies January 1, 2015 - 9:59 pm

I absolutely love this idea! I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a journal with 365 pages however, this sounds amazing!! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

Jadedavies30.blogspot.com

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:32 am

Hey, you could totally do both!

Julie V. January 2, 2015 - 1:13 am

This is amazing!! So doing this!!

http://www.flowercrowngoddess.weebly.com

Kaylah January 2, 2015 - 3:32 am

Glad to hear that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

luzmarรญa moonandroses January 4, 2015 - 5:46 am

I am thinking to make this project
๐Ÿ˜€

Anna Li January 6, 2015 - 6:18 am

I've been wanting to do this for quite some time now. I think all I need is a little push. Thank you for posting about this! I will definitely try this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

– Li

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