Ah, the 365 Project. So trendy right now, right? Wait, you haven’t heard of them?
Well, in case you haven’t, a 365 project is where you personally commit to taking a photo a day for an entire year. It can be with a DSLR, a point and shoot, or just your iPhone. You can do it on your own and keep the photos on your phone, or go as far as signing up with a group so they can keep you on track.
I’ve personally committed to a 365 project in 2013 and have many a reason for doing so, which I will share next week. This week, however, I’ve asked one of my biggest iPhone photography inspirations to tell you all about why you should start a 365 project right now, even if it’s just with your iPhone.
Katherine and I met through a group of people (photographers and non-photographers alike) taking on the 365 Project with the group Project Life 365. I was instantly captivated by her amazing use of color, light, and emotion in the images she posted to her feed. Besides being a full time instagram maven, she also owns Sprout Portraits, based out of Texas, where she brings all of that photography goodness to her clients.
Now that you know each other a little bit, I’ll let her take it from here!
When Cristin asked me to contribute to her blog on the subject of 365 projects, I was on day three of ProjectLife365. Coincidentally, three days is the exact amount of time I lasted with my 2012 365 project attempt. (I didn’t mention that part to Cristin when I agreed).
I have three young kids and a portrait photography business so I knew that if I had any hope of completing this project, I would be tackling 99% of it with my iPhone. No big cameras. No additional time in front of my computer. Just doing what I had already been doing with my iPhone and Instagram. Only this time, I would be doing it as part of a community, with daily prompts to provide inspiration.
Why bother with a 365 project using your phone? Well, we all have pretty decent cameras, whether iPhone or Android, that we carry around with us ALL THE TIME. I have 7,120 photos on my phone (!!!). Some of my iPhone photos are favorites of mine, but no matter how many I have or how much I love them, they aren’t worth anything if I don’t do anything with them. Last year, I made a commitment to creating tangible prints from my digital images (both iPhone and big camera). At the end of December, I threw together a book of the iPhone photos I shared on Instagram using blurb.com. It arrived on January 2nd and, more than anything else, sealed the deal with my commitment to this project. I will document this year and, at the end of it, I will create a journal of sorts with photos and captions for myself and my kids.
Why ProjectLife365? Having an engaging daily prompt has been key to my thus-far success. The team at ProjectLife365 has come up with some really great, thought-provoking daily prompts. Some inspire creative interpretation while others lend themselves to literal interpretation. For me, as long as I can make the prompts personal, they’re meaningful. Today’s prompt was #makes_me_smile. One of the first things I did this morning was to take and share my photo. But then I spent the rest of the day noticing other moments that I could have shared. I can’t remember the last day I spent thinking about all of the things that make me smile.
What is the best part about a 365? Honestly, I would have predicted that this project would fizzle out for me but I don’t feel that happening. The next day’s prompt is the last thing I look at before I go to bed and the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning. This project has made me observe, acknowledge, and appreciate life as it happens and I want that to continue. 2013 has been pretty great so far. I’m ready to take on the rest of the year. And document it.
What is your best advice to people wanting to finish (or start) a 365 project? 22 days in, my best advice is to: Allow yourselves to have an uncreative day. Skip a day. Start late (there are still 343 days left in 2013, after all). Focus on yourself. Have fun. Remember this year.
Here are a few of my favorite images, taken for the ProjectLife365 photo challenge:
- Day 2, Prompt: #You_Today– James is back to work and the kids still have another week of winter break. I have a million things to do but they aren’t getting done today. This is.
- Day 7, Prompt: #Simplicity– A connection. In a box.
- Day 13, Prompt: #Forgotten– This picture of my dad is one of my all time favorites. It reminds me what being a kid should look like and that being a superhero takes imagination, not stuff. That this moment wasn’t lost to time is what makes photography so incredibly valuable to me. Note: This one is a scan instead of an iPhone photo.
- Day 21, Prompt: #Dream– Sweet dreams, little one.
Thanks so much, Katherine! For more of Katherine’s stunning daily images, follow @_katherineharte on instagram, I promise she won’t disappoint.
Trying to decide if a group 365 is for you? Head on over to instagram and search #projectlife365 for all of the amazing and inspiring images. I know I love seeing what everyone does with each prompt, it just makes me feel like I’ve got friends all across the world being inspired by the very same thing all at once.
So let’s hear it, have you tried a 365? If not, what are your biggest fears about attempting one? We can’t wait to hear from you so let us know your 365 triumphs, failures, and re-starts in the comments below!