About My Project 365

I’ve began doing Project 365 at the beginning of 2009 and stopped at the end of 2016.  Yes, all these years!  No, not perfectly, of course.

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