In 2010 I completed my first Project 365. It was an amazing experience.
I learned so much.
I had our daily life documented for me to cherish for years to come.
I loved doing it…most days.
For several years after that I tried and failed several Project 365’s. I had every intention on finishing because I knew first hand how much it helped my photography. However, it is hard.
The first time is was fun and new but each year after that it seemed more like a chore than a fun project.
Each year I failed I would beat myself up. Why couldn’t I keep up with taking a picture each day? But after failing for several years, I have realized several things.
This year was no different as I started a Project 365 and shared my images on Instagram only to fail at the end of February.
Here are a few things I learned from failing my Project 365.
- No.01I found pockets of light I didn't know I had in my house
We moved into a new house this summer and I knew it had great light. In fact, that was something that I was looking for in a house. However, after shooting daily for almost two months I found my house has these great little pockets of light I hadn’t noticed before.
It’s amazing the things you notice when you slow down and view life through your camera and try to find something special each day.
- No.02I like to play with shadows
Shooting every day forces you to try new things and push yourself and your photography. Since I found these new pockets of soft light I found myself looking for soft light to play with the shadows.
It was fun to look at light differently and see how I could capture it to showcase my children and the activity they were doing.
- No.03I captured moments I would have missed
The main reason I continue to push myself to do another Project 365 is for the everyday moments it forces you to capture. These are moments I know I would not pick up my camera for daily if it wasn’t for the push of this project.
Simple moments that are truly the moments I want to look back on when my children get older. Like how my daughter likes to come into my office while I work and read her book.
- No.04I need to be in more photos
This is something I have been saying forever. I am a huge advocate for getting in front of the camera. For the past year and a half my friend Megan and I have challenged each other to take a self portrait each Monday in our #portraitsofme challenge.
I’ll be honest. I’ve dropped the ball…a lot…since I failed at my Project 365. I promise to get back in front of the camera each week.
It is so important for me and my family to have images with me in them. Not just portraits but everyday moments. My daily routines as well.
- No.05I need a better routine for editing
During my first Project 365 I made it part of my daily routine to upload my photos after the kids went to bed. Then I would sit down and cull and edit the images. This is ideal.
However, my reality is much different than it was 7 years ago. For one, I have another child and by the time I put the kids to bed the last thing I want to do is sit at the computer. I now have thousands of images that I have taken this year that I need to cull and edit.
Need to come up with a plan.
- No.06I learned to truly love the wi-fi feature on my camera
When I first got my D750 I didn’t know what I would use the wi-fi feature for. I could just as easily upload my images to my computer.
However, two days after starting the Project 365 we went out of town and I needed to get the photos from my camera to my phone so I could share that on Instagram.
Thank goodness for the wi-fi feature! It makes it super simple. Then I could easily edit the images in PicTapGo or VSCO and share my image on Instagram.
- No.07Some days it's hard to pick a favorite
Learning how to look at your images and pick a favorite is hard. Somedays I love an image because it perfectly captures who my child is on that day. I look at it with “mommy goggles”. Other days I absolutely love an image because of the photographer in me and my family can’t possibly wrap their head around why that was my favorite photo from the day.
But forcing yourself to really look at your work and evaluate it challenges you to push your creative and photography eye.
- No.08That it's okay to quit
There I said it. Yes, I am a huge advocate for Project 365. However, if the thought of finishing one is keeping you from even starting then allow yourself to quit. Tell yourself to start it. Tell yourself that if you miss a day it’s okay. Tell yourself that if it all becomes too much you can quit.
Then sit down and reflect on what you’ve learned.
Have you started and failed a Project 365 or any other photography project? What did you learn from it? Share in the comments below a lesson you learned.