Image number 1 of 366, taken on 01/01/2020
Yesterday I posted the final image in my 366 project. It started as an attempt to give my leap year some focus. Little did I know…
I was strangely attracted to the idea of taking a picture every day and sharing it on the same day. No diving into archives, no slacking, no images of my TV from the sofa. But also, no specific rules or themes. Just one rule. Make an effort.
The project ended up being an accidental diary of a unique year, even though most of the images were not documentary in nature.
Here are some of my favourites and a few things I learned in case your 2021 resolution is to start a 365 project.
1. The first few weeks are exciting as every day presents a new opportunity to try something different. The tough bit comes a few months in when you realise you’re in it for the long run. A guiding principle (‘make an effort’) rather than a theme (‘yellow objects’ or ‘neighbourhood landmarks’) worked better for me to keep me focused.
2. The first lockdown was an opportunity to get me out of my comfort zone completely. No street, no portraits, no travel. Home. Mundane objects. Quirky lighting. Home. Home. Home. I cannot count the days when I took some really shit pictures, then forced myself to retake them and PUT IN THE EFFORT to make them shine.
3. Shit pictures will still happen. Or rather, you may not be able to take stunning shots daily, sometimes even for a few days in a row. That’s life, right? Takes a while to accept it.
4. Eclectic vs orderly. I didn’t follow one style. Like each day, every photograph represents something different. For some, following the same consistent approach works better, I didn’t want to limit my options.
5. I did however limit my options when it comes to gear. The first image was taken with my ancient Fuji X100S I had discovered buried in my boxes. I fell back in love with the camera and shot most of the project on its most recent incarnation, the X100V. I only used my DSLR or my phone a few times throughout the year.
6. Share your images (I started a dedicated IG account for the project and a page on my site), but don’t shoot to share or to please. Shoot for pleasure. For yourself.
7. Don’t abandon the project. It’s not easy to keep going 365 (or in my case 366) days, but once you see it as an opportunity to learn, find new ideas, grow, it becomes great. If you approach it as a chore, well, find a different project.
8. Make it physical. I’ll print my 366 images as an album to browse when I feel nostalgic about what turned out to be the weirdest year of my life. And yours probably too. Keep shooting!