February 29, 2020

Tips for Starting Your 365 Project | Springfield, VA Family and Senior Photographer

You may have heard of a 365 Project where you take a photo a day for one year. Every day for 365 days. It sounds intimidating and it is, but the payoff is extraordinary. I have learned so much more than I would have ever thought I could and I want to share how I’ve grown with you. Below are some tips for starting your own 365 project.

1. Taking a picture a day forces your creativity. Artists in every genre find themselves in creative ruts. It’s not a matter of if it will happen to you, but rather when it will happen to you. I would honestly say that most days I don’t grab the camera and get the most amazing, creative shot ever. Some days I dread picking up the camera and the image is kind of bleh. Other times I dread picking up the camera and capture something beautiful that I could have never planned or seen coming. 

2. You build your photography community. Having a few friends who are also on the 365 journey is huge. You encourage each other, complain together on hard days, inspire each other, and are there for constructive criticism. This job can be lonely and this is one more way to build the community around you.

3. If you have kids, then the growth you see in them is spectacular. Keep in mind that the image every day may not be spectacular but the collective group of images is incredible. Seeing your kids grow through daily images is quite remarkable.

4. Practice makes perfect. If you want to know your camera like the back of your hand, make your muscle memory on point, and refine your editing skills then this is the project for you. I also discovered new things about my Mark IV like creating a double exposure in camera. I played with slow exposures and light painting, movement blur, shooting in “bad” lighting situations, and direct sunlight. This project is literally the most I have grown in my photography skills. And I have used a camera since high school film days. 

Last, but not least: On February 29, 2020 I completed my first year which brings me to my last point: start whenever you want. I’m in the very small group of photographers who didn’t started this project on January 1. It just fit well with the rhythm of my life at the time and now I kind of enjoy having the end of my 365-project-year during my slow season. No one is telling you when to begin your 365 days so just pick up your camera and start. Like right now…just go do it. You find your rhythm with picking up the camera and once it becomes second nature its smooth sailing.

Here are my top 2 favorite images from each month.