It was easy to jump into the project because I had already been taking thousands of pictures every year, though they were not daily. When I read about the challenge at scrapbookgraphics.com in the evening of January 1, 2009 I decided to participate. Then, a week into the project, I was excited to discover my then-favorite scrapbooking place, Scrapgirls, was hosting a version of the project called SG52! I kept finding more 365 Projects other places too. They were all over the digital scrapbooking and photography online world.
I kept a separate blog for my 2009 Project 365 but began to find it a cumbersome extra step and let it fall to the wayside. But I kept up with my weekly scrapbook layouts and shared them at Scrapgirls. I continued this routine of just making weekly layouts of my Project 365 photos through 2010.
After completing a couple of photography classes and finally getting my first DSLR (Canon Rebel T1i), I decided in 2011 to make my Project 365 more about the photos. I created a 2011 Project 365 gallery at my Smugmug site and planned to study and improve my photography skills. I had joined a local photography club and Clickinmoms too. However, I grew discouraged and distracted myself with scrapbooking, including scrap for hire, by mid-2011 and I missed a lot of days of my 2011 Project 365. There were only 114 photos in that gallery!
But in early autumn 2011 I remembered my ultimate goal is to be a fabulous photographer. I started visiting Clickinmoms again, I took Art of Composition at Big Picture Classes, I participated in photo shoots with my local photography club (actually, that happened the whole year), and told my husband that all I want for Christmas is the 50mm 1.8 lens, which I got. As 2011 came to a close I found myself learning a little faster and feeling more confident.
In 2012 and 2013, my Project 365 was very inconsistent, but I never gave up. I liked to say that for me the project meant that I at least think of photography every day, which was very true. Even if I didn’t pick up my camera, no doubt I read an article or forum posts on the topic or worked with my pictures or just noticed some beautiful light and wished I had my camera handy.
2014 was my most successful year yet. For the first few months I didn’t miss a single day and then I’ve missed only a few, especially if you count iPhone photos (which I don’t want to, but sometimes do). It helped that I found an enthusiastic group to work with. Also, I set a very clear, specific goal for my Project 365 in 2014: I will process at least one photo as well as I can every day.
I continued that goal in 2015 but in the summer I got very distracted by a new obsession. My daughter introduced me to the t.v. show Supernatural in May and over the summer I binge watched all ten seasons. Twice. I nearly stopped making pictures. It sounds alarming but actually it was refreshing. Pondering it, I realized that I probably needed a break from photography. In the fall, I picked it up again and found, that like bicycling, I hadn’t forgotten anything.
For 2016 I decided my photography focus of the year would be my Project 365, and finally, for the first year ever, I really made at least one good photo every day, almost always with my DSLR. Here’s my 2016 Project 365 gallery.
Here are some sources of photography project inspiration I found.
Capture Your 365 – I have been getting these theme suggestions in my Inbox daily since mid-2011.
Tips to Make Your Project 365 a Success by Courtney Slazinik of Click It Up A Notch, a great blog
11 Tips to Succeed with a Photo365 Project by Jim Goldstein
53 Weekly Themes for Your 2011 Project 365 by Peter West Carey