A new year means new photographic opportunities, and one of the best ways to make the most of them is by committing to the 365 photo challenge. Here’s why you need to get involved.
Read time: 5 minutes
Rise to the challenge
For any passionate photographer, the chance to capture a beautiful photo every day of the year is the dream, but for most of us, that’s all it is. There is a way to actualise, though: the 365 photo challenge. The concept is simple. Take a photo every day of the year – wherever you are, whatever the subject matter.
We can’t promise you’ll finish with 365 of your most inspired shots, but what we can say with confidence is that, in the end, you’ll thank yourself.
If you want to, you can publish your photos on social media or on a photo site like Flickr. You don’t have to, of course, but we’d advise it. Why? Well, you can look back on them at the end of the year, get feedback, follow other people’s 365 photo challenges, and keep yourself committed and on track.
Freedom and inspiration
Our editorial director, Roger Payne, set a high bar with his efforts, but that’s to be expected after a few decades in the industry. He added short comments with each of his photos, as well as the day’s newspaper headline for context. You can find his project here.
Image Another selection of Roger’s photos. All these great shots were captured within three weeks, and you could do the same! Credit: Roger Payne
If you want total creative freedom, don’t set yourself any further parameters. If you need a little guidance, take daily suggestions from social media or a dedicated 365 photo challenge calendar, or set yourself an overall theme like landscapes. Our head of digital content Daisy photographed her dog Roxy, with undeniably heart-warming results. Here’s what she had to say…
“I first started a 365 project in 2013, spurred on by the purchase of a new camera and the desire to keep myself creative outside of my day job. A colleague I was lift-sharing with also agreed to the challenge, and I found having a comrade in the project encouraging. It was harder than I thought, and life can really get in the way of being creative! I decided to embrace this rather than fight it, and tried to turn mundane situations into interesting subjects; the rain on your car windscreen illuminated by streetlights on a miserable Monday during winter, you get the idea.”
“Find your groove”
Daisy adds: “I continued for five continuous years, and for variety one year just took shots of my dog, Roxy. This was one of my most enjoyable years, and I love looking back on the pictures. In place of keeping a diary it’s a wonderful way to remember experiences.
“After three years off, I’ve decided to pick things up again for 2020 and if you want to join me, my pictures can be found on Instagram under the hashtag #DD3652020! My advice for others would be to find your groove, and not be too punishing if it doesn’t always go to plan. Try to keep focused on the reason you’re doing it in the first place. You might want to create an award-winning series of carefully curated images, or you might want to simply push yourself to pick up – and use – your camera every day. Most importantly – try and have fun!”
Click the images to see a larger view
Images A selection of shots from Daisy’s year of Roxy. A lot can be done, even with a single subject. Credit: Daisy Dickinson
If you’re convinced – and we really hope you are – here are a few things to keep in mind.
Keep it realistic
Not every photo is a winner, and you really can’t expect to produce consistently incredible results every single day. Don’t punish yourself if you’re lacking great lighting, can’t find a good subject or just aren’t motivated.
With that said, put as much effort into your 365 photo challenge as you feasibly can – otherwise, there’s no point in doing it. Carry your camera with you so you’re ready for any opportunity. Your project will benefit from it, and it’s a great habit to get into regardless.
If you can’t find a good photo, make one. Within this project and beyond, the perfect photo isn’t just going to fall into your lap, but sometimes, you can capture great shots from unexpected subjects by thinking creatively.
Make your photos yours
A 365 photo challenge can be a great time to explore different genres of photography, and the varying results this can produce can be pleasing, but there’s also something to be said about personal style.
Capturing your photos with intention and consistency can really help you develop your identity as a photographer, and there’s plenty of opportunity when you’re capturing a photo every day.
Just like overly ambitious expectations, be careful not to become bogged down in this, or risk losing interest in the project altogether.
Will you be taking on the 365 photo challenge? Maybe you’ve already completed one. Either way, let us know and show us your photos on social media by using the handle @PhotonewsPN.
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