As photographers, we naturally value the importance of a photograph. Behind every photograph, there is a story to be told and a memory to be shared. Photographs document life. Life is meant to be documented.
Read how to start a photography blog as a place to document your 365 photography project.
At the beginning of 2010, I made a resolution to document my life as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. After reading about the Project 365, I quickly decided that was the perfect way to carry out my New Year’s resolution. The best thing I did when I started this project was I didn’t make any rules. I simply wanted to take a photo of my life every day. To me, documenting life isn’t about capturing only the big events (birthdays, trips to the zoo, holidays, etc.). It’s about capturing every day. No matter how simple the day may be. I wanted to focus on the “joy” of each day that God has given me.
Fast forward to today. 2012 is quickly coming to an end. And I have continued to document my life. Have I blogged every day? Not so much. Are all of my pictures in albums? Nope. Did my camera just sit on a shelf some days? A few. Some days I take hundreds of pictures with my “big” camera and other days I manage only a quick snap with my cell phone. And I’m not beating myself up about this. What IS important to me is that I continue to capture and document my life, as imperfect and real as it is.
Tip to keep your momentum during your Project 365
1. There are no rules.
Worrying about themes, perfect pictures, and shooting solely with a dslr every day may not be realistic for you. Make YOUR Project 365 realistic for YOU.
2. Taking a photo (or more) a day will make you a better photographer.
It forces you to build a strong relationship with your camera gear and to get creative. Even if you are using a point-and-shoot camera or camera phone, you will learn to pay attention to lighting and the right moment to press the shutter button.
3. Connect with others who have taken on this project.
By following fellow 365′ers blog and/or Flickr set you will inspire and be inspired. You will also meet some wonderful people along the way.
Connect here: Project 365 or Project 52 Blog link-up
4. Make a “back up” list of things you want to photograph and add to it throughout the year.
There will be days when you will feel less than motivated about picking up your camera. I referred to my back up list many times this year.
5. Take your camera everywhere.
When I didn’t want to lug my big camera, I took my point and shoot camera. If all else failed, I used my camera phone.
6. Jot down a little bit about each day.
Get a calendar or planner or journal. I have a planner that I write EVERYTHING in. Birthdays and events are in there, of course. But I also add what we did that day like “Took kids on a walk. Beautiful fall day.” Things your kids say or do are also document-worthy. And when the calendar is done or the journal is all filled in, KEEP IT! Chances are your children and grandchildren will cherish your written words some day.
7. If you keep a blog, make posting your picture a part of your daily routine.
For me, the best time to post my picture of the day was right after my kids went to bed. At first, the process was fairly time-consuming since I was not familiar with keeping a blog but you will quickly get into your groove and find posting to be a fairly quick (and rewarding) process.
8. It’s okay to miss a day.
There may be days that you just can’t take a picture and/or post your picture. Life happens. I found the “post options” tool handy when I needed to backdate my picture of the day.
9. You can start your project on ANY day.
There are no rules that say you have to start this project on January 1st. Start it on your birthday or your child’s birthday or Valentine’s day or ANY day. The point is to document a year in your life.
10. Link your daily blog posts on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Your friends will be a wonderful source of motivation and encouragement.
11. Create a tangible book of your completed Project 365.
I already have visions of sharing this book with my family for many, many years to come. Becky Higgins has created an amazing product – Project Life – created for the Project 365. The materials are of high quality and the end result is absolutely beautiful. There is also a digital version of Project Life which is linked with Shutterfly. If you do not want to create a blog or Flickr set, this is a wonderful way to showcase your project. If you do create a blog, Blurb is an online resource for creating a blog book. The options are endless. Just remember, this is YOUR project. You can make it as big or as simple as you want it to be.
Documenting my life has truly been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever accomplished… besides marrying my husband and bringing my children into the world, or course. I have captured my babies reading a book together, sunsets, birthday candles, weddings, bare feet, my husband napping with one of our children, blue skies, reflections, messy faces, new life, awesome sun flare, folded laundry, dew on the grass, ugly slippers, laughter, tears, runny noses, and toys scattered everywhere. It is my life. A life that I am so thankful for.
If there is anything that I have learned about photographing my daily life, it is this… life is too precious to let the days go by unnoticed. Every day has significance. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Shannon Heimsoth – Guest Post
Shannon Heimsoth is a natural light family and child photographer, born and raised in a small town in northern Illinois. Photography has been a passion of Shannon’s for as long as she can remember. Like many photographers, Shannon became serious about learning more about photography once she became a mother. In February of 2009, she joined Clickin Moms where her passion for photography only intensified. Shannon spends her days doing what she was meant to do, being a wife and a mom of 4. Enjoying the simple joys of life is what it is all about for Shannon. Shannon enjoys date nights with her hubby, building Legos with her 7-year old, cooking with her 5-year old daughter, and putting together countless puzzles with her almost 4-year old twins. Currently, Shannon shoots with a Canon 5DII and 50 f/1.4.
Website | Facebook
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you in advance if you make a purchase and support Click it Up a Notch.