For folk that read my blog and don’t know what a #365 photo project is, it is a photo a day project… for a full year. We used to live 500m from a river that flowed into the sea and I always wanted to take a photo a day of the river mouth and see how it changed throughout the year. OF course, I had two very small boys back then and there was no such thing as instagram… I never got round to taking a photograph of the river mouth. But last year I decided I would do a #365 project and I decided to think really carefully about a spot that would have the widest variety of photographic opportunities… and no, the kitchen sink and all the dishes that pass through it in a year was not grabbing me… I eventually settled on a view from the deck.
- Have a Reason: I really wanted to get outdoors everyday… and see the world, and document the changes day after day. There was nothing especially deep or complicated about it… just we have lived here for ages and the seasons change… but we never see them change – one day they are one thing and the next day we would notice another. I really wanted to see the change.
- Choose a Project That is Really Easy to Achieve: If a project is even slightly difficult then you will just give up. If you can turn it into a habit all the better, every morning before breakfast, just after lunch, or whatever works for you. I knew if I had to walk somewhere, or step out of my normal routine that it would never happen… so a view from the deck, well I just had to step out the door… not realising that during wild and crazy Cape storms even a view from the deck might have been too much.
- Choose a Project with Heaps of Variety: I chose a view from our deck because I could take so many pictures from there… the ocean, the mountain, the sky, the gang… in retrospect I should have chosen a handful of views and then themed it: Monday mountains, Wednesday waves and so on… it may have helped if I had had a little more rigour and a lot less random.
- Pick Your Gear: I chose to use my Nikon, it is my camera of choice and I really enjoy taking photographs with it. Occasionally I used my phone camera as well… in fact I learnt to like using my phone camera because of this project. From time to time I would forget to charge my camera battery and then I was forced to use my camera phone, which is a good camera but I just wasn’t confident about using it.
- When the Going Gets Tough, Keep Going: 365 photographs day after day is exciting for about the first month maybe, then you have to start exploring more creative options. Very quickly you will enter the doldrums… it becomes harder and harder to find an interesting photograph. Sometime you will have to let go of always having a great shot and just post a less than perfect shot in order to get your photo done for the day… it is a good lesson to push yourself to do better, even when you just don’t feel like it.
- Rise to the Challenge: In order to keep the project going I really had to try new things… different angles, different light, different things to focus on, zoom in, zoom out… I had to play with my camera and actually got a whole lot better at using my camera… because I had to.
- Share Your Project: Sharing your photographs is a real thing… folk will follow. They will will encourage and support your project and when you just don’t feel like it anymore, someone will ask if you are okay and when the next pic will be up. I chose to post on instagram, it is my social media platform of choice, but there are heaps of places to post your photographs… pick a platform that works for you.
- When You Don’t Finish: For some people a #365 project means exactly 365 days and then they are done… however many pictures they have taken. For others it is about getting to #365 pictures… I am an other… I have close to 300 views from our deck and would like to go the distance and complete #365 photographs… it is proving fairly tricky to get out there and take those last pics… but I believe I can do it.
Not one to just settle on a picture a day… I decided to challenge myself to a new #365 project this year. Just saying, I can’t do resolutions and any written down goal very quickly becomes an excuse for me to do the exact opposite. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to read more, or exercise more or sleep better… but in my head these are challenges that I am always working on… the date is not really relevant and it can be 1 January or mid-October… a challenge is a challenge and I am good with those. Now, this past year, traveling and adventuring I learnt a lesson, and I am sure most moms know it well… I am galactically bad at taking care of myself… I leave a trail of cold forgotten coffees, unread books I am dying to read and let’s not talk about potential projects or endless lack of sleep, up with the early riser and still up chatting to the night owl.
This year I would love to encourage folk and myself to take a mini-moment in time… each day, for a week, for a month, for the whole year. It doesn’t have to be huge, just intentional. One small thing each day: Savour a fine cup of tea, read a chapter of a book, create something – anything, go to bed timeously to read. So I am introducing a new, a ‘nother #365 project… #se7ensminimomentintime.