What is project 365?
Basically, you take a photo a day for a year (aka 365 days).
With that possible question cleared up, many of us set forth on New Years day with the ambition of completing this project, but ideas do grow slim, creativity fades, time just simply doesn't allow it, ambition and excitement over the project grows weary... simply put; interest gets lost along the way here and there.
Thus, this year, armed with your fresh new, Project 365 Survival Guide, you are ready to start your project and FINISH!
Why do it?
There are quite a few reasons to take on project 365
* to improve your photography
*to keep a visual diary of your life for a year.
ALWAYS, always, always take your camera with you!
This is a pretty basic concept, but an extremely useful one, if you have a compact, keep it in your pocket. SLR, keep your bag on hand. Personally, I keep a camera in my car/purse
This is going to be the most helpful advice I can give you! Ever see something and think 'I wish I had my camera?' well, since you are now going to have taking a photo on your mind every day, you're going to see that even more. Plus, it will fit into your time schedule a little bit better than trying to schedule a photo session every day.
IF, you forget your camera but have a camera phone, use it! It might not be the best quality, size and general photo, but it's still a photo, regardless.
Have a goal & support
What's the point of doing a project this extreme without a goal? So you have a collaborative collection of photos for a year sitting around your hard drive? Some, do this to improve their photography skills and make a chart or meme (day 1, day 25, day 50, day 75... so on and so forth.), personally, I decided to turn my into a book. So I can look at it sitting on my coffee table one day and say, hey, that was a pretty nifty year.
I've heard of some that say "for every month completed I can get myself...", treat yourself. If you work better short term with a reward at the end, go for it! At day 100, I bought myself a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I had to share, but I still felt rewarded.
Also, tell your friends or family what youre doing. It's hard to get excited and stay excited about something when you're the only one that knows about it in the middle of the night sitting in a room by yourself. Let them be your cheerleaders. Even if they aren't interested in photography, most of the time, they can still support your goal, and they probably wouldn't object to a quick over view every once in a while.
Don't wait until last minute!
Imagine this... It's 11:54pm, you remember I STILL NEED A PHOTO! it's dark, it's almost over, and you're potentially tired... even though, like we said, we're not looking for masterpieces, we're looking for something a little more than your muddy shoes by the front door. Take something earlier in the day, if you take one later, it's like having a backup just in case. You've got something to fall back on, in case in that 6 minutes all you can find are your dirty socks, broken hair ties and a bag of stale chips.
Plans & Back-up Plans
* We're not talking Monday - sunset, Tuesday - flower, Wednesday - person; but get to know the area around you. If you're a nature photographer, check out local wildlife parks. Go on a mini-day trip one day. Let this also be your chance to see and adventure into the world around you. You'd be surprised how many things I've found/learned since I started my project about things I saw every day (some, I didn't even know I saw!)
* So, you're sitting there, your daily photo is finished, but you just had a brilliant idea. Write down your ideas. In a notebook, note on your computer, a memo on your phone, ect. Just keep a list, because there will probably be days where you're just simply not inspired, and when those days come along, there's a list of ideas you can use. (another suggestion, try an 100 theme challenge, you can complete two challenges at once! *w00t*)
* You can also join online groups, blogs, tweeters(?) that offer daily/weekly/monthly photo prompts.
Project 365 is the perfect chance for you to experiment and try new things. You're in this for a year, so why not have fun with it? If you take a photo of the same thing every day, not only will your project seem bland in the end, but you'll likely lose interest in it after so long.
Try some things you've though about but weren't sure you could pull off.
This is 365 photos, NOT 365 masterpieces
This is a tough one for a lot of people. You're not going to get a perfect photo everyday. Don't scrap everything because you didn't get a great photo for the day. One think you'll notice throughout the project is the improvement you've made. What took you all day in the beginning may only take you one or two shots to get at day 100.
So day 104 isn't as good as day 4, it happens. Especially if you try new things, or maybe the lighting wasn't right. It could be a number of things, don't focus on it. Just let things be as they are, take your best and keep going with your project.
Promote your project
Let people see your work! Make an album on facebook, create a blog, a flickr account, ect. Let the world see your photos. Not only does this open the chance to share your project and perhaps get some feedback, it also keeps an organization to your photos.
This isn't the most important, but it is very helpful. Create a specific folder titled 'project 365' and put your photos for the project in there. It makes it easier to keep track of where you are and see your improvement than having them scattered about your computer. If you have a special folder for art, you can always move the photos into there later.
If you upload them online to share with friends and family on facebook, in a blog, on a site (i.e. flickr, deviantART, ect.) make a certain section just for them.
* Don't have time for project 365? try a 52 week challenge. A 52 week challenge is a less intense version of project 365. Instead of a photo a day its a photo a week.
* Pick a date that works for YOU - sure Jan. 1 is quite memorable, but, so is your birthday. Christmas when you got your new camera, ect. I started mine April 1. Spring reminds me of a 'fresh start'.
* ENJOY THE RIDE! - this isn't supposed to be a chore, it's a fun project involving something you love. This is your project, your rules, your photos!