January is a popular time to start a 365 project. One photo a day for an entire year. Does this sound overwhelming to you? Nine months ago, I started my first Project 365 and have managed to take a shot everyday for 269 days! For me, it was easy. I had a new baby and I took a million photos of him every single day. About 2 weeks in, I started picking my favourite daily photo and saving them to a great app called Collect. Once I started saving my photos to Collect, I inadvertently started my first Project 365.
I have had so much fun with Luca’s 365 project, that I have decided to embark on a new project. My goal with this new project is to focus on subject matter other than Luca. Below, you will find ten tips that have helped me achieve my project 365 goals. These tips will help you complete any project, no matter what the subject matter!
1. Back Up Your Photos
Earlier this year, I left my phone in the stacks of the public library. I didn’t realize it until I got home from the library three hours later. I felt sick to my stomach. My phone was the only place where all the photos of my four-month-old baby were stored. If you can believe it, I got extremely lucky and a kind soul found my phone and took it to the lost and found.
The first thing I did after this unfortunate incident was BACK MY PHOTOS UP!! I use the Collect app to back my 365 projects up. Collect allows you to save and store your photos in a monthly calendar. In addition to saving my photos somewhere other than your phone’s memory, I find displaying my photos on a calendar helps keep me motived.
2. Edit Your Photos Daily
One of the things I love about phoneography is how easy it is to edit your photos on-the-go. In contrast, when I use my DSLR, the photos sit in RAW format on my memory card for weeks before I get my ass in gear and edit them. Daily editing is a great way to ensure you you stay on top of your 365 Project. These days I do the majority of my edits in VSCOcam. If I am feeling extra lazy, I will do them directly in Instagram.
3. Mix Up Your Composition and Capture the Small Details
When using a phone camera, you don’t have the fancy lens, zoom and technical options that comes with a DSLR. I find focusing on smaller details helps create interest and variety in my photos from day to day. To create powerful phone images, you need to use need to rely more heavily on your observational skills. Successful phoneography requires a high level of precision in your framing your shots. This means using your feet as the zoom and getting right in there with your subject!
4. Have Fun With Clip Art and Text
Using clip art is a fun and easy way to spice up a photograph. Adding text or a border can help draw the eye in and give the photo some context. There are several apps you can use for this including Letter Glow, A Beautiful Mess and Obaby. When I add clip art or text to my photos, I always save the original picture without text.
5. Include photos of Yourself
Get out from behind the camera and include pictures of yourself. This will help add interest and variety to your set of photographs. I think this is especially important if you embark on a 365 project involving your kids. Years down the line when your kids look back at your photos, they will to want to see their mommy and daddy in the frame.
6. Share Your Photos with Family and Friends
I share my photos on a regular basis with my family and friends. Encouragement and likes from my family and friends help me stay motivated and on track. Luca’s first year is of particular interest to grandparents, aunties and uncles and they often ask where the latest photo is if I miss one or post late.
7. Pay Attention to Light
Good light will make or break any photograph. So keep your camera close and make a point to shoot your photos in the best possible light. I find that varied lighting situations help keep my photos fresh and interesting day after day. I try to shoot in natural daylight or close by a window to reduce camera grain.
8. Bring Your Camera Everywhere
Since you are using your cell phone, this one is easy. I try to keep my phone in a easily accessible place. The fastest way to access your iPhone camera is to swipe from the bottom of the lock screen and click on the camera icon in the bottom right hand corner. This means you can bypass the touch id or pin number and access your camera directly.
9. Don’t beat Yourself up If you Miss a Day
There are days where you will feel super inspired and there are days where you just can’t be bothered to pick up your camera. With this in mind, sometimes, I cheat. I find this works OK. It allows me to pull photographs from others days or shoots where I was feeling particularly inspired. I try to keep my cheat photos to within a week of the day they are posted.
10. Create a Photo Book at the End of the Year
Completing a 365 project takes a lot of dedication and hard work. If you make it to the end, give yourself a pat on the back and splurge with an album that showcases your work. How cool is it to look at the progression of your photography over an entire year? There are tons of print options out there such as Artifact Uprising or Printstagram.