Saturday, January 1, 2011

5 tips for starting a Photo 365 Project

On December 31st, 2009, I made a New Year's resolution to complete a Photo 365 Project. One year later, I have successfully documented (*almost) every day in 2010 with a picture. Here is the finished product.

*I missed three days all year. One day I was so sick I did not have the strength to pick up a camera. I think I simply forgot the other two. I don't think that is too bad.

Several people have asked me about starting a Photo 365 Project, so here are some tips to get started:

1. Choose the best way to document your project

This was something I went back-and-forth with for awhile before I finally settled on a method. I first tried using a Word Press blog or Flickr, but neither one really gave me what I wanted.

Then I discovered, and it was perfect. The website allows you to upload several pictures at once, and even e-mail them in to the website from your phone.

You also can add a title and a caption to each photograph, making your project much like an online journal. You can see the entire month at once, or scroll through day-by-day. This made it very easy to see what days I needed to upload pictures for. I would highly recommend that website.

2. Have a camera with you at all times.

You don't need to go out and buy an expensive digital camera. I used a Sony DSC-W290 Camera to take most of the pictures, but I also used my Blackberry Storm smart phone (not the best quality, especially in low light).

The key is to have a camera with you at all times. I always left the camera sitting on the kitchen table, or somewhere visible as a reminder to take a picture each day. You never know when something will happen that will make a great picture.

3. Pick a theme or subject

My son was born on January 11th, 2010, so this gave me a great subject to photograph the entire year. It is really cool to be able to go back and look at how much he grew day-to-day. If you pick a theme or subject, that will give you inspiration each day when you are struggling to find something to take a picture of.

January 15, 2010

December 29, 2010

Here is a similar project, where a father took a picture of his daughter every day for 10 years!

4. Make each picture memorable

This is something that I did a poor job of this year. Looking back at my pictures, I can only remember taking probably half of them. Many were not memorable moments. I wish I had included more of a caption to explain what was going on in each picture, but many were just of my son being cute!
Say "Cheese!"
5. Know the rule of thirds

If you don't know the rule of thirds, here is a quick explanation. Imagine your picture is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Where those lines intersect is where you should place your subject. It subconsciously makes your picture much more visually appealing.

My final piece of advice: Keep with it! There will be days where you don't feel like taking a picture, or you are lacking inspiration. Don't give up on it. If you make an effort to do it every day for several weeks, it will become a habit. Take a picture each day, but don't feel like you have to update your website each day.  

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below. Have fun!

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