Anyone that has started a 365 can tell you how exciting it is to begin this kind of project - but to finish? That is another story. The feeling of completing a project of this magnitude is a little bitter sweet. It's amazing to have a years worth of memories preserved.
I mean look at all of these images? It's such an amazing feeling to know that I took these - however, its a little sad that it's the end.....
On this day - January 1st - many photographers and creatives will start a 365 and many photographers and creatives will fail.
Unrealistic expectations, time commitments, burn out, and other outside factors. Believe me - I get it. You miss a day and it's all over....right?
The most important tips I can give to anyone starting this project is to embrace the following:
1. There are no rules. Keep the project simple. If you focus too much on taking AMAZING photos everyday, or following a given "theme" - especially one you draw a complete blank on - you'll suffer. Keep it simple. I just shoot one thing that I want to document a day. My kid eating. My kid running. Some pretty light. Simple everyday things.
2. Think of the WHY. Why are you doing this? Write down those reasons now while they are fresh in your head. Trust me, you'll need to remember that WHY when you're sitting in bed at 11:30 at night and remember at the last moment you forgot to take a photo :)
3. Journal. I keep a photography journal with stories I want to tell, techniques I want to try and locations I found and want to find. Anytime inspiration hits, I jot it down. By writing them down, I better commit them to memory and can recall them as needed.
4. Make routines. Blog once a week (or in my case bi-monthly), or edit on a particular day. Routines quickly become habits.
5. Join a group. Facebook, Flickr, photography forums and the like all have accountability groups. Posting to those groups and commiserating with others really helps to stay accountable and focus on the project at hand.
6. Be prepared for amazing growth…. But you’re not going to notice it :) What I mean by that, is you wont notice any growth in your day to day. One day, as you’re dialing in your settings, you’ll realize that the camera settings have become second nature. You’ll notice that you’ve composed a scene in your head before you’ve clicked the shutter and you’ll have the photo already edited in your mind. You’ll develop “Vision”. As you keep going, you’ll develop a voice and finally a style. You’ll learn what you like and what you don’t and you’ll improve upon yourself as you continue. Typically every three months I would go back and look at my first image compared to my now. It’s pretty amazing.
7. This goes right back to #1 but it's important enough to have its own paragraph. YOU CAN SKIP A DAY. You read that right. It's OK to skip a day and I have skipped days. It's inevitable. Life happens. The key is to just keep on going. Pick up that camera again and keep on shooting.
I can think of a million other things to add, but I'll keep the list simple.
With all that said - Heres to another year for growth and memory preservation. So, I guess that means we're back to day 1!