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Project 365

Project 365 

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure – measure a year?

Seasons of love from the movie Rent (click on the link that says Watch the cast sing “Seasons of Love” and more!). Words and music by Jonathan Larson.

What better way to start the New Year than with a new project. Well, to be truthful I have a number of projects whizzing around in my head these days but this is the first one that I am doing something about.

The other day I came across Project 365 which is all about taking one photo a day for an entire year as a means of representing your personal story.

When Taylor McKnight started taking a photo a day on January 1st, 2004, he never imagined the project would not only serve as a way to remember a year, but also help him understand what was important to him in his life.

People have extended this concept in many different ways: create an mp3 a day, distribute 365 paintings through viral means, write 100 words a night over 365 days, and so on.  

This sounded like an interesting challenge. In essence it would be creating a visual representation of a year in my life. I wondered if I could keep it up; then again I suppose I won’t know unless I give it a go.

I have created a new category (creatively titled ‘Project 365’) and a new page (check out the tabs at the top of the screen – the Project 365 tab will direct you to the Flickr site where I am storing all my photos) in this blog rather than start up a separate blog. Choosing one photo to represent my day will be a different kind of reflective process for me. I am much more comfortable with words so trying to capture thoughts, feelings, and experiences within one image will be a different experience. 

Taylor provides the following tips for creating your Project 365:

1. Bring Your Camera Everywhere
Yes, everywhere. Get in the habit. Grocery stores, restaurants, parties, work, and school. Going to a movie theatre? Snap a pic of the flick with your phone–there are photo-ops everywhere. If you have one of those tiny tiny cameras, you have no excuse not to have it in your pocket all the time. And if you don’t? Camera phones are a great substitute.

2. Make Posting Easy
You can install blog software like Movable Type or WordPress on your own site and create an entry for each photo, but for true ease of use, try a photo sharing site. Flickr will let you post a week’s worth of photos in 2 minutes flat, and fotolog and Photoblog.com are geared toward a photo-a-day workflow. Making it fast and easy means you’re much more likely to do it.

3. Vary Your Themes
Try to capture the day’s events in a single photo. Perform photographic experiments. Take a photo of someone new you meet, something you ate for the first time, or something you just learned how to do. Take a photo of something that made you smile. And don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at least once a month so you can remember how you’ve changed, too.

4. Tell a Story
Use your blog entry, or your photo description, to explain what’s going on in each day’s photograph. How good did that dinner taste? What made you want to take a photo of that stranger? It’ll help you remember down the road, and it gives friends following along a better appreciation of why you took the photo you did. You don’t need to write a lot, just enough to add some colour.

5. Don’t Stop, No Matter What
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You will get tired of taking a photo every single day. Some days, you will consider giving up. Don’t. The end result is worth the effort. Remind yourself why you wanted to do it in first place.

There will be times you’ll think there’s nothing interesting left to take a photo of, and times you’ll think you didn’t do anything exciting enough to take a photo of. There’s always a great photo to be made.

Get out of the house and take a walk. Or stay inside and look around. Take a photo of something important to you. Take a photo of the inside of your house so you can see how your taste has changed over the years. Take a photo of anything, just don’t stop.

N.B. It helps if you’ve told your friends about the project and asked them to follow along. Their encouragement will keep you going!

6. Post early, post often
Plan on going through and posting your photos at least once a week so you don’t get backlogged and feel overwhelmed. Ideally, post every day or two. Again, spend the time up front to make sure it’s quick and easy to post. It’ll make all the difference.

I do hope this project doesn’t just become another pressure to produce something as this is the last thing I need. At the moment I am really excited about this whole project and I am determined to make it work. I see this as time I am dedicating to me. My intention is to try and integrate the taking of photos into my life as seamlessly as possible. I already always carry my camera in my handbag with me and there is always my mobile phone available as a back-up (although I am forever forgetting to charge my phone and more often than not I go to use it and it is dead!).

Please let me know if you also decide to take up this challenge. I look forward to sharing this reflective journey with you.

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3 Responses to “Project 365”

  1. […] If not, then you might like to read Marica’s post about Project 365 – it’s a project where you take a photo per day and blog it as a visual diary for the year. It’s a lovely way to focus your blogging I bet and, judging from Marica’s first few days, seems quite effective too! […]

  2. […] 4. Plans for the new year. Marica is planning a daily post for a year, one of many bloggers to do this of course . . . Marica’s Meanderings […]

  3. […] year I attempted a project where I committed to taking a photo a day for 365 days. If you look at my Flickr page dedicated to this project you will notice there are not 365 photos […]

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