On March 6, 2010 I learned about Project 365 -- a photographic way to document your life everyday for one entire year.

You might think at first that the idea is along the lines of the popular YouTube video where the girl takes a picture of herself every day for three years, but it's actually broader than that. With Project 365, you take a picture of anything (you, people in your life, items, food, anything...try to vary your themes) and post it somewhere where you can keep all 365 of your photos.

Overall, Project 365 aims to collect photos documenting 1 year of your life. You build a picture of the little day to day things that make your life special and unique.  It's a great way to see those small changes, see what's important in your life, become a better photographer and notice the finer details.

Why do Project 365?
Imagine being able to look back at any day of your life and recall what you did, who you met, and what you learned… Sometimes it's hard to remember what you did a moment ago, last night or yesterday, let alone week ago, a month ago or a whole year ago. Project 365 is like a little mini-snap shot of moments in your life, a map of where you have been or things that make up your life. This year-long photo album will be an amazing way to document everything, from your travels and accomplishments to your haircuts and relationships.  It's amazing how slow things seem to go while you are living them, but when you look back, especially over a year, time really has gone by very quickly.

Another benefit: taking a photo a day will make you a better photographer. Using your camera every day will help you learn its limits. You will get better at composing your shots, you’ll start to care about lighting, and you’ll become more creative with your photography when you’re forced to come up with something new every single day.

How do you do it?
1. Get in the habit of bringing your camera everywhere! Grocery stores, restaurants, parties, work, school, etc. Going to a movie theater? Snap a pic of the movie poster in the lobby – there are photo-ops everywhere.
2. Try to make posting easy so that you actually do it.  Maybe set-up a folder in Photobucket, Flicker, or on Facebook to store your photos.  Share with your friends, so they can see what you're up to each day.
3. Vary Your Themes - Try to capture the day’s events in a single photo. Perform photographic experiments. Take a photo of someone new you meet, something you ate for the first time, or something you just learned how to do. Take a photo of something that made you smile. And don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at least once a month so you can remember how you’ve changed, too.
4. Tell a Story - Use your blog entry, or your photo description, to explain what’s going on in each day’s photograph. How good did that dinner taste? What made you want to take a photo of that stranger? It’ll help you remember down the road, and it gives friends following along a better appreciation of why you took the photo you did. You don’t need to write a lot, just enough to add some color.
5. The hardest part....Don’t Stop, No Matter What! This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You WILL get tired of taking a photo every single day. Some days, you will consider giving up. Don’t. The end result is worth the effort. Get out of the house and take a walk. Or stay inside and look around. Take a photo of something important to you. Take a photo of the inside of your house so you can see how your taste has changed over the years. Take a photo of anything, just don’t stop. Remind yourself why you wanted to do it in first place and don't forget to tell your friends so they can keep encouraging you to keep moving forward with the project.
6. Post early, post often - Plan on going through and posting your photos at least once a week so you don’t get backlogged and feel overwhelmed. Ideally, post every day or two. Again, spend the time up front to make sure it’s quick and easy to post. It’ll make all the difference.

A little background information about Project 365.  Taylor McKnight started it in 2004 and then repeated it the next year.  Soon afterward other people began to pick-up the idea and now it's grown even bigger.  You can find more information about how to do your own Project 365 here: Project 365: How to take a Photo a Day and See Your Life in a Whole New Way.

The challenge for me is that I want to go back in time...this is the first year we ever went to New York City for New Years Eve, so I feel I started the year off with something new and exciting.  It makes it hard not to want to also include that; however, as I didn't also record every single day since then, it wouldn't be accurate and would be missing big chunks in the middle.  So, I think I might also do a Project 12. :) Where I can have a photo-snap shot of ONE big even each month.  Maybe that will make sure I do at least one exciting thing a month.  I don't know I'll see how it holds out at the end of the year. :)

Here's a place where you can upload your photos in a photo journal setting:

Well, I'm off to take a picture...see you soon!


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