In the next few days I will have completed my second 365 project. I found it to be quite a different experience from last year. So what has changed this time around?
I picked up my camera almost every day without even giving it a second thought. Taking a photo every day has truly become a habit for me. Once you get use to taking photos daily, it feels strange when you don’t.
Most days I followed the prompts and on other days it was more important to document my day. Last year I tried to follow the prompts as closely as I could. I love how the prompts can give you some ideas when you can’t think of what to photograph. I also love how a prompt can take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to try something new. This time around, I was much more relaxed with my project. If what was happening with my day fit in with the prompt - then great. If not, that was okay too. Your 365project is your project and you should make it work for you.
I used a Speedlite. Last year I avoided using my flash because I didn’t really know what I was doing. Now I love how I am able to capture the details in any light.
I didn’t take a photo every day. It’s okay if you miss a day. I didn’t miss a day last year but this year I did and, yes, I was disappointed that it happened. Sometimes life gets really busy or you get sick. I’m still happy that I kept my project going and didn’t give up because it wasn’t perfect. On the plus side, you can always note that you missed the day and why.
I used my phone to take a lot of my everyday photos. Whenever the monthly phone photo prompt came around I used to cringe. My phone photos were terrible. I couldn’t understand how I could take photos with my dSLR so easily, yet when it came to something simple like a phone it just wouldn’t work for me. So I was determined to use my phone as much as I could. I read books, followed several phone photography sites and practiced every day. Now, I not only love phone photography but also edit photos on my phone too.
I didn’t share every photo online. Last year I took photos based around what I was comfortable sharing online. This time around, I took photos that I knew I would be keeping just for me and my family – the funny faces, the mistakes, the mess. Some memories are really too special to share with the rest of the world.
What hasn’t changed?
I still believe that a 365 project is one of the best things you can do for your photography. When you practice every day and try different things you grow as a photographer. When I pick up my camera, whether it is my dSLR or my phone, I know which settings to use without giving it a second thought. It comes down to practice, learning everything about your equipment and making the best with what you have. If something isn’t working for you don’t give up. Try a different angle, move yourself or your subject if you can. Try different light. Some of my best images are my Plan B’s.
Not doing the project alone is really important. Many years ago I tried doing the project by myself. I didn’t share online, I didn’t even tell my family about it and I gave up. Having the support of your family, friends and an online community really works. At first it can be really daunting putting yourself and your images out there. I’m so glad I did and I’m so grateful for the beautiful friends I’ve made.
2016 is just around the corner so why not make it your year. Whether it is your first 365 project or one of many. I’ll be back again at Capture Your 365. Come join me!