In the photography world there is a thing known as Project 365 where the objective is to take a photo everyday for one year, hence the 365. There are many reasons for wanting to tackle a project like this, if you are a photographer the the simple fact of shooting everyday will help increase your skill. For people that do not consider themselves photographers taking a single photo everyday for a year is a great way to document their lives, a visual record of what their year has been like. The biggest reason I like the challenge is because it forces you to start looking at things in life in a different way and in my own life it is a great tool to help me get out of creative ruts. I am an elementary school teacher, which means for the majority of the year my life follows a simple routine of waking up early, going to school for 10 or so hours and then coming straight back home. I see the same things everyday and a sense of familiarity sets in after a while. During the winter months I hardly even see the sun as I am at school right around the time it is rising and leaving just about when it is going down. All of this can sometimes make it hard to feel creative and find things that I want to snap photos of. That is why I love Project 365, by committing myself to taking at least one photo a day I am forced to look around each day, often in places I normally wouldn’t, in the hopes of finding something new to take a shot at. I have to look at things I see everyday and have seen a thousands times before and try to look at it in a new and interesting way so I can photograph it. It gets you looking at everything in a new way and gets you asking yourself new questions that ultimately turns your creativity up.
The only issue I have with the project is that it is too long. 365 days is a long time to commit yourself to doing anything daily. I have tried it several times in the past and I always run into the same problem where eventually I miss a day due to any number of reasons. That is why I have shortened it to a 30 day challenge which I simple call Project 30. I have found 30 days to be the perfect length of time because research shows that if you do something daily for 21-30 times it starts to become a habit. I wanted to write a blog about this project in the hopes that it might inspire some of you to begin the project as well. Please don’t think that it is not for you just because you don’t consider yourself a photographer. The goal does not have to be to make yourself better at taking photos (although this will happen), it can be as simple as getting yourself to look at things in a new way, to notice things you have never noticed before. I encourage everyone to give it a shot. Don’t think that you need a great camera to do this either, the camera on your phone will do the trick, and is great because it is always with you, you never have to worry about missing a shot. There is an old photographers saying that says “the best camera for the shot is the one you currently have on you”. So what are you waiting for? Start taking those photos and try it for 30 days. If you miss a day don’t worry, just get back at it. Give it s shot.