The most impactful thing I’ve ever done for my photography is long term photo projects.
I’ve completed several of them, including two full Project 365s and a handful of Project 52’s. Not only did they boost my technical skills beyond anything I could have imagined, they also gave me a structured and accountable way to document my family’s everyday lives.
Start Your Own Photo Project
So the only question is… what project are you going to start?
With the 1st of January just days away, I’d love to encourage you to start your own. It’s such a fantastic feeling to kick off the year this way!
Read on for my tips on how to finish your own year long photo project and come out with a beautiful record of your year – the big days, the little things, and all the bits in between.
Project 52 – The Easy One
One image a week isn’t a huge commitment, so I didn’t find my Project 52’s hard to stick to. Also, having a pre-set prompt gave me a starting point for inspo in weeks where I wasn’t really feeling it.
I choose a specific word, prompt or theme to focus on and then set about capturing one image to fit that theme each week throughout the year. Examples of words I’ve used include ‘storytelling’, ‘pause’ and ‘intentional moments’.
I also completed two Project 52’s themed around light where each week called for an image showcasing a different type of light. That one really pushed my creative and technical boundaries, forcing me to think outside the box.
The Support of Community
I also joined a number of Instagram loops to showcase my Project 52 images each week, and that accountability and community of like-minded photographers kept me motivated.
Click Love Grow’s newest workshop is a year long guided Project 365/52 starting on 1st January with a dedicated Facebook group… so the ultimate community. You can find out more about it here.
Project 365 – The Challenging One
A Project 365 is much more challenging, there’s no pretending! But it’s also exciting knowing it’s going to push you to really commit to carving out time to shoot. And your skills and creativity will grow more than you can imagine.
And that’s the whole point of photo projects, right?
Finding Inspiration Every Day
The year always starts off fine as we’re all on holiday and I’m surrounded by frame-worthy moments at the beach or doing fun holiday activities. But as school goes back and I find myself sitting at my desk working by myself at home all week long, the moments of inspiration are much harder to come by!
But this is the beauty of a photo-a-day project – when ideas are slim pickins’, you’re forced to dig deep and your inner artist is revealed.
As such, my p365s are a glorious mishmash of documentary-style captures, posed portraits, experimental creative techniques and spontaneous self-portraits.
Stretching Yourself Creatively
On days when I found it really hard to find something – anything – to photograph, I’d think outside the box. I’d switch up to one of my Lensbaby lenses, or my 200mm, or challenge myself to shoot at a superwide aperture for a sliver of focus.
By trying something new or different, I’d often find a spark of inspo.
Make Your Own Rules
Whatever project you decide to start, this is important.
As I headed into my second p365, I reminded myself that the only rules I needed to adhere to are the ones I make myself.
Giving myself the grace to be flexible was key to successfully making it to the end of the year with 365 images locked in.
If that meant taking a photo with my phone the odd day here and there, or shooting an extra image one day to make up for missing the day before, then the only person judging me for that was me!
A very big thank you to Emma Davis for her words and images! If its inspired you to start your own photo-a-day (or week!) project on 1st January so you can capture a year’s worth of memories frame-by-frame, come join our brand new workshop!
Just for starters, you’ll get 366 prompts to see you through the leap year, and loads of motivational tools, creative content aaand CLG support to get you through to the end!
The CLG Project 365 is ON SALE NOW… click HERE to find out what’s included!