A 365 day photography challenge is the perfect way to work on your photography skills while documenting more of the little moments in life. Even with the best of intentions, it’s difficult to stick to such a big commitment. As with many long-term challenges and resolutions, most people give up within the first couple weeks. The following tips will help you get the most out of your 365 day photo challenge and complete it successfully.
Carry your camera with you everywhere
The single best way to ensure you take a photo every single day of the year is to carry your camera with you at all times. If you don’t already have a camera bag, invest in a bag so you can carry your camera with you safely.
Pay attention to your everyday surroundings
During a 365 day challenge, you’ll take a lot of photos in places you spend time every day, such as your home and office. The challenge is a perfect excuse to check out new areas of town, but there will be days you only have time for a quick photo in the evening at home before you edit and post the photo and head to bed. Think about photography opportunities in these ordinary settings, such as a great area for lighting in your living room or a funny toy sitting on your desk at work. Some of your photos of seemingly boring objects may end up being your most interesting compositions.
Consider using themes
There are no set rules for completing a daily photography challenge besides taking and editing a photo every single day. You may find it freeing to work through the challenge with no themes, which is completely fine. However, you may find it easier to stay motivated when you use themes or create challenges within the challenge. Photorec.tv has a weekly Instagram challenge, which is perfect for photo challenges. The 52 Week Dogwood Challenge is another great way to find themes for your challenge and connect with other photographers.
Post your photos publicly
Posting your photos publicly keeps you accountable for the duration of the challenge. It’s scary to put yourself out there creatively, but it’s also exciting to share your photography and get feedback on it. Posting your photos publicly allows you to connect with other photographers who are completing 365 day challenges. If you post your photos on a social media account, use relevant hashtags, such as #365daychallenge or #365dayphotochallenge to boost your exposure.
Brainstorm ideas for future photos
Some weeks of your year-long photo challenge will go smoothly because you’ll be out and about every day, and you’ll have tons of ideas for photos. Other weeks you may find yourself in a total rut. Brainstorming ideas regularly will help you get through the tougher weeks. Keep a small notebook with you or create a document or note on your phone to record ideas. You don’t have to use all the ideas you brainstorm. Having an ongoing list ensures you’ll always have the next idea in mind.
Keep up with your editing and posting
Get into a habit of shooting, editing, and posting a photo every single day. It may be tempting to wait and post-process an entire week’s worth of images at once. Before you know it, a week turns into a month, and you haven’t posted a photo online in weeks. Then you have a whole pile of photos to edit, which may get overwhelming. Editing and posting a single photo takes a few minutes. Set aside time for this task every evening so you don’t get behind.
Don’t expect perfection
Not every photo you take during the 365 day challenge is going to be amazing. There will be days that you get really discouraged and want to give up. Stick it out through the tougher days with mediocre photos, knowing that over the course of the year, you will get a few truly amazing photos that make you really proud.
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a few days
Inevitably, there will be a day or two during the year that you simply forget about the challenge or have such a crazy day that getting a photo in just doesn’t happen. Don’t get discouraged when this happens. When you miss a day, you can skip over it and keep going or you can make up for it by taking two photos the next day. Either option is completely fine. The important thing is to keep going! Don’t let a missed day stop you from finishing the challenge.Have you completed a 365 day photography challenge? Do you have any additional tips? Leave your insight in the comments!