Sunday, 1 January 2012

Project 365: Who's with me?

I <3 My Camera

January 6th, 2010. The UK was hit by an onslaught of snow which ground the entire country to a sudden and bewildering halt. Rather than commuting to a job twenty minutes away I decided to work from home, which was a new experience to me, but a fun one all the same. Sat working in my makeshift office (my tiny bedroom), and in a quiet lull, I picked up my iPhone and snapped one photo which changed my life forever:


Two bears, sat on my bed. I thought at the time, "This is fun, I could do this again tomorrow!" - little did I know that I was going on a life changing journey that has enriched me and taught me so much. I've not only improved my own techniques, I've also made one of the biggest purchases in my life - my DSLR. I've also bought several other big purchases... accompanying lenses.

But it's not just the equipment that really sustains a Project 365 - it really is the attitude you have towards it which makes it worthwhile. (As you might notice I call my contributions to my Project 365 The Daily Snap on this blog. But it pretty much is the same thing.) If you consider a Project 365 you are committing to making memories for an entire year. It sounds like a big mountain to climb, and it is. But for what it's worth, it really is quite simple. Five to ten minutes a day of quality time with your camera, and an additional five to ten minutes of editing/uploading to your chosen source.

Peeking past

Some might wonder what on earth you could possibly take 365 photos of over the course of a year, and you'd be right - it can be a real challenge to find that winning photo for the day. In reality, no day is the same, and there's always something new happening that you could consider taking a photograph of. And what about if you're on holiday or out and about on one day? Go mobile: a camera phone or even bringing your own camera with you will keep you motivated and inspired.

Me, by me

In the beginning I had a lot of comments about my project, such as "Why would you do that, isn't it pointless?" and, "What does it achieve?" - I've discovered that over the course of nearly two years I've kept a visual diary of my life, through the highs and lows, and thanks to the photos I've taken I can pinpoint what I was doing that day, possibly even how I might have been feeling at the moment of taking the photo! The feeling of accomplishment completing my first year of 365 was an absolutely wonderful feeling - it made me feel a tiny bit bereft but then I realised I was going to proceed straight ahead with year two so I had no time to mourn! In the process, last year I encouraged a few of my friends to take part, and one of my friends has just finished hers. Knowing that I've inspired another person to take part in a life changing project like 365 with resounding success has given me the biggest, warmest, fuzziest feeling ever.

And it leaves me with one question? Will you take part this year? Will you join in with me as we document our lives together? The fun, the adventures, the highs and lows? Even if a whole year is too much, you could adopt Project 52 instead, maybe - a photo a week, or maybe just taking part for one whole month? Whatever timeframe you choose, join in. You might just surprise yourself.

And, as a bonus, I shall post here at the start of every month with a bit of encouragement, motivation and advice. I admit 365 isn't easy, but I hope I'll be able to help!

Come on... give it a go!

I heart cameras

Tips for this month:

  • Relax! Take it one day at a time. Don't think about it in terms of one day down, 364 to go. Today is today. Tomorrow is, well, tomorrow.
  • Make sure your camera works well before taking a photo. Check the batteries work and the SD card is clean and ready for use. If you're unsure how to use your camera, have a quick read of the user manual, as stupid as that sounds!
  • Think of how you'll display the project. Maybe you'll upload the photos to your Facebook in a separate photo album or on Flickr, or even blogging it? Whatever you do - display it somewhere in a prominent place!
  • Get your family involved - it'll help them to understand the method behind the madness.
  • Finally work out a time that you'll take your photos - I often do mine after work at about 5.30-6pm depending on what my day's been like and what I've got planned. I work around my life. On weekends I aim for the afternoon or early evening. Depending on your life it could be different for you - work around what's best for you.

I'll be back in February. But for now, good luck!

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