I was quite amazed that yesterday, Sunday the 10th of March 2013, was my 800th day in a row of taking a photo and posting it to flickr.
I never missed a day.
Anyone who knows me knows that this is quite an achievement, as I normally give up most things within a few days.
This is different, I've found that I truly do love photography. Taking a photo every day has really improved my knowledge of my camera and flash and made me love photography even more if that was possible.
At this stage too taking a photo every day has become routine just like brushing my teeth.
So to celebrate I thought I'd try to put together some of the things I learnt over the last 800 days.
- Things are always easier when you have company
- Keep a little notebook of ideas for shots
- Having a deadline is very motivating
- Be willing to fail and make mistakes, they are bound to happen
- Look at everything as a possible photograph
- You have to learn about lighting and it's not as scary as you might think
- You'll never ever find the time to do a 365 project you have to make time for it
- If there is nothing to take a photo of...make something
I didn't do this project on my own, I had the company of my wonderful hubby Scott. He motivated me to keep going and was always around to bounce ideas off. Creative projects are so much easier if you have other creative people around you, it seems to be contagious. Scott is an awesome photographer and far more driven than I am, he has the ability to think outside the box and on nights when I really couldn't think of an idea for a shot he would say "do you really want to let me win this?" which of course I didn't, I'd never hear the end of it :) If you're really lucky like I am you will also have the support of family and friends who follow what you are doing and even appear in your photos as wonderful models :) I am also very lucky to have a wonderful son who is always willing to be a wonderful model for me, I hope that when he grows up he'll have some half decent photos of himself as a kid because of this project :) If you don't have on hand support there are many wonderful 365 groups on flickr full of people more than willing to support and motivate you.
I have a few little notebooks that I doodle ideas in when we go for coffee or I'm in a queue, or a passenger in a car, or reading in bed or wherever an idea might come to me. If I don't write them down I often forget them and a little notebook full of ideas is handy when you are stuck for a shot at 11pm on a cold winters night.
Knowing you have to take a shot before midnight is a great motivator for getting your camera out. As someone who has always left things till the last minute many of my 800 shots were taken at the last minute. What I found was that sitting trying to think of what to photograph didn't work, taking my camera in hand and going around the house picking up things and looking at them through the view finder was often enough to trigger an idea. Many of my favourite shots happened this way. The one that springs to mind is the night I picked up a lightbulb I had just changed and figured I could use it in a shot about needing more ideas :)
Great ideas often don't work out as you hoped, or don't work at all. Having a deadline makes you have to re-evaluate what you are doing and see if it can be done in a different way or if there are any creative solutions to your problems. Sometimes you just have to accept that the shot is naff and resign your self to posting it anyway. You can do better tomorrow.
Simple everyday objects can make great photography subjects. Taking your camera with you every-where you go makes it easier to get your shot taken for the day, you never know what you'll find if you have your camera with you.
At the beginning of my first 365 project I didn't know how to use off camera flash. Living in Ireland and having long winter nights means that sooner or later you are going to have to take a shot in the dark, try out your flash,but don't be afraid to try out lamps, torches and long exposures to get the shot you want. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Like everything in life you want to do you have to make the time for it or it just won't happen. I've found that I'm quite willing to give up house work to allow more time for photography :)
For me my 365 projects have made me realise how much I love making things and being "crafty". I never did art at school but being stuck for something to photograph has given me the motivation to make things to take a picture of. It's actually the one thing I love most about this whole project. If I hadn't taken it up I would never have found out I'm quite a dab hand at making things from paper and very fond of it too.
- Remember why you're doing it!
One thing that helped me a lot when frustrated and running out of time and ideas is to remember that I'm doing this for fun and because I love doing it, if ever that fails to be true I'll stop :)