What is a 365 photo project?
A 365 photo project is one of these projects that you decide on in order to advance in your photography. These projects exist in a large variety, for example
- 365 images a year (= 1 photo per day)
- 52 images a year (= 1 per week)
- 12 images a year (= 1 per month)
In addition, and depending on your needs or desires, you may add additional constraints like
- only black and white or only color
- only square format
- only with a specific lens or only at a specific aperture
- only a specific type or range of subjects
- or a combination of several of these constraints.
The goal is to “force” yourself in a certain mindset to achieve the best you can under given (or self-imposed) restrictions.
Why did I do this project and why at that specific moment?
At the end of 2015, I was really not feeling well. I had a very strenuous job in which I couldn’t find myself anymore and I had just barely escaped a burn out. I had put on some weight, was less active although I love doing sports (running and mountainbike). This was the moment I decided that I had to mentally quit my job and that I wanted to actively look for a new job.
I had been active in photography for almost 15 years at that time, but in the last years, I didn’t have the energy (and, probably, didn’t really take the necessary time) to shoot a lot, except on holiday trips and some rare occasions where I really felt motivated.
In this situation, I decided to take again care of myself and do more of the things that make me happy and so I decided to start a 365 photo project at the end of the year 2015 with the following “constraints”:
- (at least) one image a day
- avoid the easy photo of the morning coffee mug
- (if possible) all images should be shot on a dedicated camera (so no smartphone)
Point. No other restrictions as this was already challenging enough for the beginning.
How did I start my 365 photo project?
Well, the most important step was to make sure that I always have my camera with me and so I got into the routine to have my camera bag (with batteries fully loaded) and my tripod ready by the door when I leave the house.
As I was fully employed at the time, and as I started my project at the darkest time of the year (from a daylight point of view), my only options during the week were to shoot on the daily commute or at lunch break.
My first month
When I looked back at my first month’ images today before uploading them, I must say, I was frankly shocked: all these images are so dark and gloomy. Of course, I had to take them at times where daylight was more or less gone, but still. When thinking back to my situation, and with the emotional distance of 2 years since I shot them, I must say, they really reflect my mood and my personal situation at the time: frustration, work overload, lack of job perspective.
In my next blog post next month, I’ll report more in detail on my progress and personal feelings for the second month of the project, February 2016.