How to Start a 365 Photography Project

It’s no secret I believe everyone should do a 365 photography project at some point in their photography journey. Even if you do not complete the project, there is something to be said about picking up your camera everyday to practice your craft.

Plus shooting for yourself, especially if you are in business, can remind you of the small joys you find in photography and the ability to capture the simple everyday moments.

A Project 365 is a project that challenges you to take a photo everyday for 365 days. There are no rules. Just take a photo everyday.

I completed a Project 365 in 2010 and it was one of the best things I did for my photography. I can honestly say, I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t taken on that project.

Now you may be wondering how to start a 365 photography project.

How to start a 365 photography project

How to start a 365 photography project

1. Start a photography blog
When I did my Project 365, I started a photography blog where I could post my images and share with others. I would comment on other people’s blogs who were also doing the project and over the year we encouraged each other to keep going. Because you will want to stop. In fact, several of the people I met that year are now contributors on the site.

If starting a photography blog seems too overwhelming, I have broken it down into 4 simple steps. Read more – How to start a photography blog

How to Start a 365 Photography Project via Click it Up a Notch

The key to remember if starting a photography blog is to put all your images in a book at the end of the year. I had mine printed in a Blurb book and it’s fun to look back and not only see our lives from that year but to see how much my photography has grown.

2. Print and journal
I can’t say enough good things about printing your photos. Do as I say, not as I do. I’m guilty of not printing as often as I should but I’m thinking about taking on another Project 365 next year. If I do, I will be putting my images and journaling in this Forever Notes journal. It is PERFECT for someone looking for an easy to use journal with a place to put your images. I love the idea of handwriting about our day and funny things my kids say and then having the printed image to touch in the book. Talk about instant encouragement. If you get discouraged you can quickly see your images and notes and keep going. What an amazing gift to give your family!

Forever Notes by Marissa Lynn

Plus if you use something like this and miss a day (it’s okay, don’t beat yourself up) you could have your child draw a picture for you in the space. Then at the end of each week or month, send your images off to be printed. Seriously, I can’t put into words the feeling you get when holding one of your images instead of only seeing it on a computer screen.

This is also a great option if you prefer not to put images of your kids and their personal stories online.

You can order your Forever Notes here but you need to be quick, the pre-sale ends Nov 17th, 2014.

Are you thinking about starting a Project 365 this year?

Read more on how to start a 365 photography project and be successful:
11 Tips to Help you Complete a Project 365
Tips to make your Project 365 a success

  • Chelsea
    November 14, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I started a 365 project this year (2014), but only made it until, like, March, and then I began battling some health problems so I wasn’t able to keep up with it. What I found the hardest was getting them loaded onto my computer and keeping up on editing daily. I wasn’t planning on attempting it again this year, but, hmmm…now you’ve inspired me. ;) I don’t know…I’ll have to think about it. I had in my head that I’d try the “52 project” this year…taking a picture every WEEK.

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Even if you just do 30 days that is still 30 days of shooting more than you would have done :)

  • erica
    November 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Do you have a picture of the book with a years worth of pictures? Just wondering if it holds together well with that many pictures in it. Thanks!

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Hey Erica, I don’t know if you saw this reply from Marissa Lynn (owner of the book)

      Hey Erica!

      Just saw your question and thought I’d reply! We’ve designed the pages strategically to even out the pages as pictures are placed into it, that’s why the creative corner goes from top of the page to bottom from day-to-day. With that being said, 365 added pictures will make the journal grow for sure! We’re working with a few ideas that will help ‘contain’ the journal once it’s grown. Hope to have a solution we can share early in the 2015 calendar year!!

  • November 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I am so tempted to start a 365 project on Jan 1st, but I just don’t think I’d get the time to edit and post every single day in the summer, when work gets busy.
    Definitely something to think about.

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Maybe you edit and post once a week :)

      • November 24, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        I have been wondering the same thing. I did a 30 day project a few months ago, and blogging/editing photos every day was so time consuming! I like the idea of editing and posting once a week. :)

  • November 14, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Hey Erica!

    Just saw your question and thought I’d reply! We’ve designed the pages strategically to even out the pages as pictures are placed into it, that’s why the creative corner goes from top of the page to bottom from day-to-day. With that being said, 365 added pictures will make the journal grow for sure! We’re working with a few ideas that will help ‘contain’ the journal once it’s grown. Hope to have a solution we can share early in the 2015 calendar year!!

    • elyssa
      November 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      I’m so tempted to do a 365 and I love your journal…. Although$50 is A LOT for ME to spend on a journal, even one as lovely and well thought out as this. Is it only available until the 17th or do I have a little more time to think about it?

      • November 14, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        Right now it looks like all products will sell out by the 17th. Unfortunately with manufacturing timelines we would not be able to guarantee delivery by Christmas if we allowed pre-sales after that date. Next year we hope to have a larger ordering window!!!

  • November 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Love the Project 365 posts. He have already begun ours (we are three weeks in) and we are learning a ton! We would so appreciate your comments on the photos! :)

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      That is wonderful! Good luck with the project!

      • November 18, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Thanks Courtney! We think it’s going well. We’ve missed one day in three weeks, and we’ve reminded our readers, as you’ve reminded us, that it’s OKAY! Thanks again for the tips and encouragement!

  • November 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    I completed my first 365 project in 2013 and hands down it was the best thing I have ever done for my growth as a photographer. All of my classes, equipment, and books meant nothing if I did not practice and put all of that information to work. It is hard, so hard! But that collection of photographs is one of my most prized possessions.

  • November 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I’m actually planning on doing a 365 project starting in 2015. I’m excited about it and can’t wait to start it. It does sound a little daunting and I’m slightly concerned that I won’t be able to complete it since I’m still working my full-time job, but I’m hoping I can make time to fit it into my schedule.

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      I just say, something is better than nothing. Don’t let it scare you away from trying!

  • November 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    I think I may start this sooner than jan 1st. I think my 365 will be about documenting my very difficult journey of getting pregnant. I think it could be really interesting. What does anyone think?

    • November 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      I’m sorry to hear about your challenges getting pregnant but I think that is a great idea to document it through photography.

  • Mariana Muñoz
    November 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Can you tell me where can I found topics for the 365, or is just what I want to photograph??

  • November 19, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    I’m on the homestretch of my 365 project, which I started 1-1-14…although I decided to just stick with the camera on my iPhone and use Instagram as my way of posting and sharing each image. I use PicTapGo on my phone to edit each picture and then I can easily share it on social media. While I know I am limited somewhat by not using my dslr, it has been a fun challenge to see what I can do creatively with my phone camera and simple editing/cropping. Also, the ease of shooting/editing/sharing all on my phone definitely was the key for me to make it thru the whole project…only 42 more days to go!!! And I absolutely LOVE looking thru all my images from the past year and remembering each of those special moments I captured.

    • November 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Whoo hoo! It doesn’t matter what tool you use, I’m glad to hear you have been able to do a 365! You should be so proud of yourself!

  • November 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Hi Courtney!
    I just finished 365 on Nov 1st! It was you who encouraged me and I’m so glad I did it! Now I can’t imagine my life without photography anymore :) It was fun, sometimes hard, no inspiration, especially in winter time…I can’t believe how much my photography have improved from day one. Now everything is important…background, focus, composition, lighting…Thank you so much for this great idea!! Mojca from Slovenia

    • November 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      That is incredible! You should be so proud of yourself! Way to go :)

      • November 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Thank you! :)

  • November 22, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    I would love to do a 365 this coming year and I think I have most of the tools to get it going but my question is how do you come up with theme ideas everyday? If you are running one with other photography aficionados where do daily themes or ideas come from? How can I find some?

    • November 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      It is completely up to you. I didn’t do daily themes except I tried to do a Monday Me where I was in the photo each monday. There are plenty of sites that will give you daily prompts but I prefer to find the light and then my subject :)

  • Tanya
    November 25, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Thank you for the inspiring post! How many photos do you end up taking each day to get your daily photo for Project 365? I would like to start this project, but I take way too many photos, and that means it’s overwhelming to sift through them. Maybe I need to set a picture limit :)

    • November 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      It really depends on the day. Some days I would take 5 some I’d take 150. As you go on you will learn to slow down and limit your photo taking.

  • November 30, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    I started a 365 and got to day 170 before I quit. I’m using prompts this year so that no only will I be challenged to do stuff it’ll help me work on technique because about 10 of the photos each month are different things to work on. Hopefully I can do it this year.

  • Deb
    January 10, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    I did a 365 Project in 2011 and can testify to the benefits. As I look back on my work at the beginning of 2011 and compare it to my work at the end of that year, the improvement is incredible. I learned so much about photography and about me during the project. Shooting a photo a day takes a lot of dedication, and I found it difficult to come up with a subject each and every day. However, I discovered that my eye for a good photograph developed because I made it a purpose to search for things to shoot. Those subjects were there all along, I just failed to recognize them. Before doing the project (I used the online site I had little confidence and not much hope for taking my photography further than just a hobby. Now I am a semi-professional portrait photographer as well as an accomplished landscape photographer getting ready to publish my first photography/devotional book. I highly recommend starting a 365 project. You will not regret it!

  • Carla
    February 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Excellent post. I think I’ll start a project but gear it more towards the graphic design, styled photos, and stock photos that I’m learning. Thanks for the inspiration!

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