8 Tips For Completing A 365 Photography Project

completing a 365 photography project was the  best thing that i ever did for my photography.  it taught me how to see my everyday in an interesting way and how to portray my life through the lens of my camera.  even better, completing a 365 photography project helped me build my camera skill in ways that i never thought possible.  instead of fumbling with my camera and guessing what settings to choose, i learned how to become confident behind the lens and master manual mode.

for those of you who don’t know, a 365 photography project is where you pick up your camera to take a picture every single day for an entire year.  and because i have seen so much progression in my photography through this project, this year i am starting my third 365 photography project.  seeing how successful my photography has become because of this project, i am passionate about encouraging others to complete this project as well.  and although it may sound intimidating, here are 8 tips that will help you complete your 365 photography project successfully.

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8 Tips For Completing A 365 Photography Project

8 Tips For Completing A 365 Photography Project | bethadilly photography

1.  join a community.

this is the most important step to take if you want to have complete a 365 photography project sucessfully.  joining a photography community not only connects you with other people who are completing a 365 photography project too, but it also holds you more accountable with your project.  when you are in a community with others, you feel encouraged to continue photographing because you know others are waiting to see your daily picture.  as a perk, photography communities like #thebethadillychallenge on instagram provide daily photo prompts to inspire your daily photo.  daily photo prompts can be really helpful as you will never have the dreaded excuse of, “i just don’t know what to take a picture of today.”  you are given the prompt every day, and you get to run with it!

2.  get on social media.

just do it.  whether you decide to start a blog or start an instagram account, get on social media.  it is important that you have a place to share your work with others.  it is important to have a place to showcase your work, as posting your photography will help hold you accountable.  just like joining a community is important, so is sharing your work and getting encouragement from others.  and in return, watching other photographers complete their 365 photography project is a great motivator for you to continue yours, as you watch their creativity bloom.

3.  create a routine.

just like any task or goal, creating a routine simplifies everything!  the main reason why photographers don’t finish their 365 photography project is because they feel like they don’t have the time.  not true!  yes, we are all busy.  yes, it’s another thing to add to our day.  but just build it into your schedule.  during my first 365 photography project, i made a point of taking my daily photograph in the morning after breakfast.  after doing this over and over again, it was just another part of my day because it was a built in routine.  so schedule a time to pick up your camera…and do it!  before long, it will just be another part of your day.

4.  reward yourself.

whether you reward yourself monthly with a pedicure, or you reward yourself at the very end of the project with a new lens…pick a reward that will motivate you!  during my first 365 photography project, i decided that i would make a photo book of all my daily photos at the very end of the year.  on the days when i felt uninspired, i would remember my end goal of making a photo book and that really pushed me.  so pick something, whether it is a new camera bag or a fabulous pair of shoes…pick a reward that will motivate you!

8 Tips For Completing A 365 Photography Project | bethadilly photography

5.  download the collect app.

having the collect app on my iPhone is a great daily visual for me to use as i am taking my daily photos.  every month, you are given a blank calendar template and you can place your daily photo on the calendar as you take them throughout the month.  not only is it a quick and easy way to see that you did indeed take your daily photo, but it’s also a wonderful monthly collage of your photography!  and as you complete each month, you will notice your photographs improve as you improve your photography skill.

6.  make a list of happy things.

listen, you are going to get in a photography rut.  i am not going to lie and say that every single day it is going to be easy.  there are going to be the days when you feel uninspired.  but creating and keeping a list handy helps.  sit down and create a list of all the things that make you happy.  whether it is seeing your little one jump off the school bus at the end of the day or pulling a baking sheet of cookies out of the oven, make a list of all those things that bring a smile to your face.  then, tuck that list away in your camera bag and pull it out on those days when you are feeling uninspired.  trust me, this works!  and your list will bring a smile to your face, too!

if you need some extra inspiration, check out my tips to inspire your photography when you are in a rut.

8 Tips For Completing A 365 Photography Project | bethadilly photography

7.  practice a specific skill.

whether it is conquering manual mode or tackling low light photography, pick a skill that challenges you a practice it.  just like you made a list of all the things that make you happy, make a list of all the photography things that technically intimidate you.  then, conquer those intimidations!  for me, i was really intimidated by my lensbaby because it seemed like i just wasn’t getting it!  one month, i decided i was going to pick up my lensbaby composer pro sweet 35 more and more so i could finally conquer it!  and i did.  by simply being intentional about picking it up my lensbaby and using it, i grew more confident with my new lens and it is now one of my favorites to use.  365 photography projects are all about photography growth, so pick some photography goals that you want to achieve and do it!

to read more about what is in my photography bag, take a peek at my photography gear!

8.  take your camera everywhere.

yep, everywhere.  to target, to the dentist, to the park.  take your camera everywhere!  why?  because you never know when a photographable moment is going to occur and you are going to want to be ready for it.  don’t miss moments because your camera is sitting at home in a drawer.  put your camera in your camera bag and leave it there!  my camera literally lives in my journey bag so it is always ready to go when i am.  and yes, i have pulled out my camera during grocery shop outings and pulled over to the side of the road to capture an autumn horizon.  and i do this unapologetically because i don’t want to have any regrets when it comes to my photography.

completing a 365 photography project is going to be a challenge.  there are going to be the days when you want to quit.  but don’t!  it is so rewarding and you will never do another project that will improve your photography skill as much as a 365 photography project does.  just keep these tips in mind as you are completing your project and get going!  and if you want to join us in #thebethadillychallenge on instagram, we would be happy to have you!

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  • Suzanne - such good tips. i am guilty of not taking my camera more places and just relying on my iphone. my goal this year is to pick up my camera more. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Joanne Kirksey Markey - Thank you for taking the time to inspire the rest of us. I am a self taught photographer and came across your blog last week after beginning a project 365 this January. I have read many of your posts and find the information very helpful. It is refreshing to see you share your knowledge and tips so freely to encourage others and lift us up with you. Thank you again.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne Kirksey Markey - Thank you for taking the time to inspire the rest of us. I am a self taught photographer and came across your blog last week after beginning a project 365 this January. I have read many of your posts and find the information very helpful. It is refreshing to see you share your knowledge and tips so freely to encourage others and lift us up with you. Thank you again. @joanneelisephotographyReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Dorka - Love these ideas! I’m very new to photography, so I was wondering how do you go about taking photos when you’re in a public place- such as Target or the grocery store? I feel like I’ll get in trouble by an employee or something hahaReplyCancel

  • Judy Deaton - Hi Beth, I love your work but am an ametuer photographer! What lens stays on your camera most of the time for say your target runs, and just in case a picture worthy moment arises……everyday happenings.ReplyCancel

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