What to Consider Before Starting a 365 Photo Project

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This is a syndicated blog post from Chris Gouge. It and the images here are being used with permission.

Despite always being against the idea of doing a 365 photo project I’ve recently decided to start one.  Here’s why I changed my mind and how I’ve come to realise they can benefit you.

First of all for any one who might not know a 365 project is where, as the name suggests, you take a photo every single day for a year usually posting a photo each day on your blog or social media.  Many people think they are a great idea and can greatly improve your creativity over the course of the year by forcing you to be creative each day.

The problem I have had with them and why I have never started one before is that much of the time you will just find yourself taking a photo of anything just because you need to take a photo that day and in doing so fill your blog with a lot of noise and terrible photographs that don’t relate to the type of photography you want to do.

If you want to be a landscape photographer but you get home late from work one day, quickly make something to eat and just before heading to bed realise you haven’t taken a photo that day so quickly grab your camera desperately looking around your house for something to photograph and end up taking a crappy photo of your favourite pair of shoes, that isn’t really going to help you become a better landscape photographer!  Also posting that crappy photo to your blog is just going to confuse your readers, it won’t be coherent with the message and images you want to put out as a landscape photographer and will just convince any viewers that you are a bad photographer!

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Having given it much thought however I have, despite all of that decided to start one, but on the basis of a couple of things, which I think anyone considering starting one should also follow:

    1.  Stick to a theme or genre of photography that interests you. 

As I mentioned, just taking random photos for a year is not going to be very beneficial.  However, if you stick to whichever genre of photography interests you the benefits of this are obvious.  I am a street photographer so during my 365 project I am only going to shoot street photography.  No portraits, or photos of my breakfast just because I need a photo that day, I will only focus on improving the type of photographer I want to be.  Just think how much you can improve by focusing on one specific area over the course of the year!

If you don’t yet know what kind of photographer you want to be or which area you want to focus on but want to start a 365 project then by all means experiment with different things during the start of your project.  This will certainly help you discover what you enjoy and eventually what you’d like to focus on.  But once you have discovered this, spend the rest of the project focusing on that area.

    2.   Don’t post every photo on your blog/social media.

Obviously you are not going to take a world changing image every day!  Even the world’s best photographers only take a handful of photographs each year that they are truly happy with.  A lot of the photographs you take are going to be rubbish!  So why then would you post them all to your blog?  If people keep seeing mediocre photographs on your page day after day they aren’t going to want to keep coming back to you and will eventually stop following you convinced you don’t know what you are doing.  So share only your best images and update people how you are progressing with your project periodically, therefore keeping people interested and not boring them with constant noise.

With that in mind I will update you next week how, the first few weeks of my project has already benefited me.

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