This is my second year of a Project 365 as a photography project, and I think it's been one of the best things I have committed to as a photographer - firstly because I do feel it helps improve your photography skills, and secondly because you capture so many random moments and things that otherwise might not have bothered to photograph!
However, it can be difficult to commit to taking a photo a day - although it can only take a few minutes to take a picture, there are times when you feel there is nothing to capture that day, or you simply are too busy to remember to do it! So here are a few tips to help you complete your 365 this year.
1) Always have your camera with you
This is something I really wish I could get into the habit of doing! So many times I've seen something that I would like to capture, but don't have my camera. However, I nearly always have my iPhone with meso I can take a snap with that - there are always a few phone shots in my 365 each month! It really doesn't matter which camera you use, as long as you get into the habit of having at least one camera with you, as you will then have so many more opportunities throughout the day to take an image, which in turn means you are less likely to miss a day!
2) Realise every image won't be perfect
This is probably the main one actually - understanding that you are probably not going to capture a perfect image every day. There are days when you literally snap a photo of your feet with your phone at 10pm at night and think "that'll do". (And maybe it won't just be one day!) You know what, that is perfectly OK - you'll have lots of other opportunities throughout the year to capture those amazing images, when you are feeling inspired and creative, and accept there will be days when you just aren't feeling it :)
3) Resign yourself to the fact that you'll miss a day
There are going to be days that you will forget to take a photo. It will happen, and understanding that early on in your Project will help take some of the pressure off! The trick is to not let that one day turn into three or four days, or worse, weeks. Accept the fact that you have missed it and pick up your camera again the next day. (I have been known to take two photos in one day to make up for it, usually one that is of something we did that day, and the second something "creative" that it wouldn't really matter when it was taken, but I do try to keep that to a minimum, otherwise it kinda defeats the point!) I have a gap of a couple of weeks of my 365 back in June last year, which I do regret, but I'm mainly glad that I started up again soon after.
4) When boredom sets in, use themes or projects
If this is your first year of a Project 365, you're probably going to have a good few months where having to think of a photo to take that day will be easy. You will be inspired and loving taking a photo a day. But, after a few months, or by the time you are on your second or third year, you'll probably need a little inspiration from time to time. The good news is there is lots of way you can get inspired! You can find daily prompts just about everywhere on the internet and groups on Flickr, or you can create a theme to shoot to - for example self portraits, black and whites, the color red, and so on. You'll find a list of photography project ideas here, which will help you come up with some!
5) Share Your Images
How about posting your images daily to Instagram? Or starting a photography blog? Or sharing with a Project 365 group? Regularly sharing your images is a great way to make sure you stay motivated and holds you accountable. I had intended posting my 365 images each day on my Instagram feed, but never really got off the ground with that since I am usually so behind with uploading and editing that I couldn't keep up! Instead I post a few of them monthly here on the blog, but as I do think committing to sharing regularly helps keep you on track, I've made a resolution to share more on Instagram - even if it means sharing a few days after I've taken it :)
6) Create a Routine
If you feel you are regularly missing days and want to do something about it, consider setting a time each day for taking your daily image - for example, take one after breakfast, or within the first hour of the kids leaving for school. Alternatively, you could have a set time that you share that days image (or the previous days) to your blog or social media account. That way you have a prompt each day to remind you to take a photo if you haven't already done so. Either way, building your 365 into your schedule will help you maintain it as it becomes part of your daily routine.
7) Do something with your images
A great way to encourage yourself to take a photo a day is to do something with the resulting images - either create a collage or a photo book. I use a photo D ring binder with loose photos that I added each month and I love it! That book has been such an incentive for me to continue my 365 into another year - just looking through all the images at the end of 2015 was enough to convince that I wanted to keep going. I might consider something different for next year: Blurb do great books (I use them for my family photo albums) and I really love the look of the ones from Artifact Uprising, which are uber stylish.
8) Remember the Goal
Try to keep in mind the reason for starting your Project 365: if it was purely to improve your photography, then jot down some ideas of things to work on that you can use for your daily image practice. If it was to document your life, think about what little things have gone undocumented and make a list of them, so you have something to refer to. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will help keep you focused.
I honestly love this particular photography project, and I would urge you all to give it a try! If you don't like the idea of committing to an image a day, how about one a week? Or taking an image every day for 30 days? Great for dipping your toe into the world of a 365!