It's Photography tip tuesday

Getting through a Project 365 in 10 easy steps

January 4, 2017

What is a Project 365? It’s a photography project that allows you to take a photo a day and document it. You can document it on your website, Facebook, Instagram (what I use), etc. Last year was my first time doing a 365…..even though I lost the hubs I still pushed through and did a photo a day everyday. I used the hashtag #kokoamag365 because I started it off with my magazine! This year I am going to tackle something a bit similar and do the Project 52 where I take a photo a week (instead of a day). I am joining in with two different Project 52’s One will be with Lashawn at everydayeyecandy.com and one with Bethadilly. I will still name each one #kita52 just so you can keep up but I am excited to scale back a bit with these two. I get to still practice my skills but I also get to scale back and post more meaningful pictures and think about them before I just snap.

A lot of people have asked me though….how did you get through the 365 challenge. It wasn’t easy….but here are some tips that helped me.

Try different things to photograph – I didn’t have a specific thing I photographed so I did a lot of photos that had my kids in it or our life. I loved doing that but I wished that I had went out of my comfort zone a bit and did more food posts or street posts or posts of me behind the scenes. I wish I did some more macro stuff too as I have a macro lens and didn’t even use it as much. If you are going to do a 365 pick something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Street photography is a good place to start!

Don’t fret over what camera you use – I used my big boy (Canon 6D) for all of my photos (with the exception of two photos) because I know my phone sucks. If you are comfortable using your phone or have a good one (I am android mine wasn’t that good) then use that and edit it. Any camera is fine as long as you document your day. I think we get so caught up in the cameras that we forget to just capture the moment. I am a victim of this….I was determined to use my big boy and it was tougher on me. Had I mixed in some phone shots it would have been much easier. If you are planning on doing a 365 use what you have!

Not every photo will be perfect – I am a photographer…so of course I like for my pictures to be perfect but no one is perfect not even the best of the best. Take a photo and love what you took and roll with it. If you get so caught up in the photo being perfect you miss the fun of doing the 365 in the first place. A lot of my photos sucked this year and after a while I said you know what……it’s my project I am not competing against anyone (although I did look at other photos sometimes and I threw my phone…I still realized that this project is to help me grow…no one else but me)

Always carry your camera with you – So my big boy fits in my purse and I take it out at the grocery store (I was scared to do this at first) at the doctors office, at the kids school, sitting in the carline, at the boxing ring, etc. I take my camera with me so I snap photos throughout the day. Some of them I just use for my blog posts and others I may use for my project. If you snap everyday you get better and better. I carry my camera with me and I also allowed my kids to pick my camera up from time to time and got a perspective from their eyes. That was always fun because I get to see what they see and they get to join in on the project with me

Think about the prompt – So with a 365 it’s a little harder but if you look at the prompt for the week ahead of time you can kind of get an idea of how you want your photo to set up. For example let’s say this week’s prompts were book you are reading, flower, black and white, joy, cozy, something red, and blurry. You know what the prompts are so think about how you want to showcase them. If the prompt says flower go outside and take a picture of a flower or you can browse a flower on your computer and take a picture of that. You don’t have to match the prompts as others do. Make the prompts your own and do them how you want. For the prompt book you are reading I took a picture of my Click magazine in my purse…..it’s not a book but I am reading it so that worked for me. Don’t try to follow word for word what the prompt is interpret the word to make it meaningful for you.

Don’t allow any excuses to make you skip a day – Yes my hubs died….I didn’t skip that day as I took a photo of the postal trucks leaving the cemetery. Now that photo was actually done on my phone as I didn’t have my camera with me. It’s one that spoke volumes to me and I am so glad I captured it. I posted it because it was special to me and it allowed people to see me for who I was. A widow saying goodbye to her hubs! It allowed people to see me and I didn’t make any excuses as to why I couldn’t take a picture that day.

Set up a personal project and incorporate your own list – So I follow some prompts from some popular people but I also had my own prompts. Mondays was to take a photo in the morning, Tuesdays was black and white, Wednesday take a photo in the evening, Thursday do something colorful, Friday food picture and Saturday and Sunday was a whatever you wanted to post type of day. I set up those guidelines for me so that I could be structured and follow a template for my use. I still used prompts but I thought having my own kind of side thing going on would help me better focus and it did. Maybe set aside a day just for food or a day that you take a picture of your coffee cup or a day where you take a picture from your car. Do those the same day every week and if you can incorporate a prompt from someone do so if not don’t worry about it.

Get out and explore – Don’t sit in the house all day take a picture of your routine! I sit in the carline daily so I always catch the buses coming or take a far away photo of the kids getting on the bus, or take a picture of the boat in the carline……when it’s supposed to be a carline. During my sons boxing there is a park nearby when it’s not cold my daughter and I go there and take photos of everything. There is more to your photos than whats in your house!

Document your photos – I did mine on Instagram because it was easy to do the hashtag. I also got to see what others posted within that hashtag and made a few new friends. Some people use a blog some people use an app, some people use their Facebook page. Whatever you use try to make sure you document it so that you can always go back and look at it to see what you did on what day and to see how far you’ve come with your photography skills.

Use a system so you don’t forget – The biggest thing I used this year was my todoist app. It was the best thing ever as I put on there to take a photo everyday! Before I close down for the night I check off my list to make sure I did everything. I normally shoot early in the day so when I see my list in the evenings I am done. Just in case I forget though it’s on there and I get up and take a photo…even if it’s 10pm at night. This year I am going to use my planner and my todoist app to make sure I don’t forget the weekly prompts for my projects.

Doing the 365 Project helped me to learn that my life isn’t perfect. It also helped me to improve my skills because I picked up my camera daily. I learned how to find the light, I learned how to set up my photos, I learned to not make everything so perfect. I learned about myself and my family……..whatever project you tackle for the New Year make it all about you! Will you be doing a photo project or a blog project this year?



  • Reply
    January 4, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    These are great tips, I am terrible at challenges but I’m trying Lashawn’s for the first time this year!

  • Reply
    Colleen Lanin
    January 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    These are awesome tips! I have tried challenges like this in the past, and I NEVER completed them. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Catherine Sargent
    January 6, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    These are great tips and this sounds like a great challenge. I am going to start this Monday and try to complete this challenge.

  • Reply
    Marcie W.
    January 6, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Sharpening my photography skills is definitely one of my 2017 goals. These type of challenges look like a great way to do that.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 1:43 am

    These challenges are so much fun, I did one a few years ago. These are great tips to keep your sanity and stay focused though out the challenge.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 2:55 am

    I need to get into the habit of taking my big boy camera with me when I leave the house. I usually see something that would make a great photo, but have to make due with my phone, which sucks too. I’ll have to think about jumping on board this weekly challenge!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I agree, pictures JUST in your house can be mundane. And LOL to the boat in the car line. I’ve seen that too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    January 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    This is awesome! I’ve seen such challenges but I am skeptical to join because I know I won’t be able to be consistent and finish it. But you’re right, we shouldn’t let any thing be an excuse to reach our goals. Your tips here are really inspirational! Thank you for sharing! Good luck to your project!

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    January 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    These are really awesome tips! And challenges like this are a great way to enhance your photography skills.

  • Reply
    Reesa Lewandowski
    January 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I am loving this motivation!!!! 365 is such a long time to accomplish anything!!!

  • Reply
    Seattle Travel Blogger
    January 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Interesting article with lots of good tips.
    Great for those wanting to do more photography.

  • Reply
    Chrystal | Nevermore Lane
    January 8, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I love Project 365. I did it a few years ago. Once for iPhoneography and then again for my dslr. I had an amazing time and met some really cool people.

  • Reply
    Kelly Hutchisnon
    January 8, 2017 at 12:44 am

    I love photography, but don’t always take time to take photos. I need this challenge in my life.

  • Reply
    Beeb Ashcroft
    January 8, 2017 at 3:51 am

    It would be so easy for me to make up an excuse to skip a day. Good tip!

  • Reply
    Amanda Love
    January 8, 2017 at 4:28 am

    I think this is a wonderful project and it allows you to documents memories, good or bad so that you can reflect on it when the year ends. I appreciate your tips and I wouldn’t mind trying this!

  • Reply
    Our Family World
    January 9, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    It’s a healthy commitment if I may say so. I’m interested and I think I don’t really have to start with January 1st. Though it just sounds so tempting to have a complete year.

  • Reply
    K. Elizabeth McCoy
    January 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I’m kickstarting my first 365 project the beginning of February. I kind of feel off last year with taking pictures of us and documenting our lives. I’m excited about capturing our lives on film (and in words) and can’t wait until next February when we look back over our 2017.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    This year, I am taking on this 365 challenge. I love taking photos of my children I just have to remember everyday and I love your tips!

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