Monday, June 30, 2014

Recap: A 365 Project

by Dotti



Have you ever done … are you now doing … have you/are you contemplating a 365 Project?

A year ago in this space, I shared with you my intention to begin a 365 Project on July 1, my second but not done consecutively. Today I’m happy to report to you that I have done 364 of those photos. The final photo will be taken on the same day that you read this post, June 30.

Today I want to share with you some observations and some tips that I learned along the way as well as some of my favorite photos. There are so many more I could have shared but I restrained myself.


I strongly suggest that you keep your photos in one place, either in an album in your personal Flickr photostream, or a dedicated folder in your ‘Pictures’ file on your computer/backup drive, whatever system you use. It makes it a lot easier to troll back through the memories of your year.


I also documented my photos on my personal blog, Camper. This is not necessary unless you just want to do it. I actually found that it limited some of the things I would like to have posted on some days, the photos and the ideas just didn’t always mesh. So if I do another, I likely won’t document it fully on the blog. If you don’t do a blog, be sure to join some kind of 365 group … it will keep you accountable and that will lead to a greater probability of success.


You should also consider some way of getting these photos off your computer and out into the real world. I think I’m going to do two photo books, one for each six month period.  But get them out where your family and friends can readily see them and so your family will have them in years to come. After all, this is a peek into your heart and mind as well as a collection of memories for them.


Beginning my 365 on July 1 instead of January 1 turned out to be a godsend. In the summer I take a lot of photos; in the winter … it’s much more of a struggle. If I’d just been starting out in January when inspiration seems to ebb, it might have severely dampened my resolve to complete the project. As it was, when winter came along, I was too deeply invested to give up!


Which brings me to another point: don’t expect each and every day to produce a masterpiece. It isn’t going to happen … and that’s okay! After all, this is a collection of photos in this particular time frame of your life. Just as each day in your life isn’t perfect, each photo won’t be either.


When you find yourself looking at a clock that says ‘9 PM’ and you suddenly realize you don’t have your photo yet, get creative. Here’s one example of the results of my 9PM Panic.


What was the most challenging time for me? These last few days! My life became uncharacteristically filled with a series of challenging days and some days … well, see the paragraph above and the photo below.


No matter the quality of your photos, when you troll back through your 365 Project, you’re going to say, ‘Oh! I’d forgotten that day! That was such fun.’ And you’ll be eternally grateful that you have that imperfect photo to remind you that … nothing is ordinary.


 And ... don't be afraid to use your phone camera! There were many days that my iPhone saved my 365 and now I look at those with very warm memories of when and where they were taken.

Am I going to do another 365 Project beginning tomorrow? I think not. But to keep myself engaged in regular photo-taking, I think I will do a weekly mosaic with the highlights of my week. And then, at the end of the year ... make a photo book of that. Because this is my life!

It's your life ... what are you going to do with it?


PS - The Theme for July is Simplicity and you can find more information in the tab above. If there is a better time for 'simplicity' than summer, I don't know when it is. So ... with that thought in mind ....  you'll be seeing a slightly pared down version of FOL for July and August. There will still be beautiful photos and inspiration to share but we will be paring down our posts so you, our valued readers, and those of us who bring you FOL can enjoy some of this easy livin'. Don't miss it!

12 comments:

Sarah Huizenga said...

I completely agree with everything you said about the 365 project. I began mine on September, only two months to go yay! But I began a From Where I stand on July 1, a whole year of where I stood. So like you happy to have this be the last day at least for one of my projects.

Viv@within the Frame said...

Dotti starting mid year seems to be a much more sensible idea, and also creating a folder just for 365. Who knows maybe I'll try again...

heyjudephotography said...

Dotti! I am so happy and proud of you. I've tried twice now and failed twice, but yiurnidea of not.beginning in January and the cold makes so much sense. I love the photos ouve chosen and I would love to sit on your porch and look through those books when you have them made. For me, i don't think another 365 is in my future. It just isn't for me, but like I said, congrats and so happy for you. Yay Dotti!

Cathy H. said...

An amazing accomplishment! The photo books sound like a perfect place to keep the memories of this and year and be able to share them! I've enjoyed seeing a little bit of your daily life! Your new project sounds like a great idea, too! I'll look forward to seeing your collages!

Carol said...

Do you know what I love about this? You reminded us of the joy at the end. I have read (and written) so many posts on how difficult it is. It becomes like those miserable looking joggers you see on the road - why are you doing this to yourself?! But the idea that you are giving the next generation a peek into your soul, reminding yourself of days that would have been forgotten and practicing your craft at the same time, almost makes me want to start another one@! Congratulations - and great shots you've chosen here!

Melinda said...

Congratulations!!! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, Dotti- I liked that you gave yourself permission to use your iPhone as well as the big camera. I did 2 back to back 365's a couple years ago (almost killed me. . .) with the intention of learning to use my DSLR. Maybe I should do one with my iPhone now?!?! I also liked that you are printing books- which I have never done with my blog photos. I love the variety, as well as the artistry, of your photos and the peek into your life! Bravo!

terriporter said...

So awesome that you've completed this wonderful project! I can see the wisdom for you starting in July for the reasons you stated but for me and our weather here, starting in January works better, when the weather is good and I am outside more. This year I began a Project Life album and am current in that (yay, six months completed)! I used both my big camera and my iPhone pretty much equally. I chickened out on making a verbal commitment on my blog (just in case I failed) but everything gets printed to go into my Project Life album, pretty much on a daily basis. I love the words + photos approach of Ali Edwards and every photo is accompanied by a 3x4 card of journaling. This is something I can see myself continuing beyond this year. Yes, there are days when it's hard to think of what to photograph but that's when the creativity comes out, like in your photo of the Scrabble board. I love your idea of doing books. They will be such treasures!

Linda/patchwork said...

I'm doing my first 365. And, it could be my last...lol I'm very impressed that you've done two!
There are those busy...or, boring...days, when I find myself taking the 'required' photo. That wasn't why I started this. It was supposed to be to learn more...about my camera, and photography in general.
I like that you're going to do books. That's another thing I don't do much..get all these photos I take off the computer and onto paper.
Great inspiration.

kelly said...

yay dotti! congrats! it's such an exciting feeling to have an entire year documented in photos. and it's such a treasure! you know me - I am totally for getting those pictures printed out some way. :) looking forward to seeing where you go next! xo

Linda said...

yay! You did it! I'm still plodding along, halfway through mine! You've really got some good advice! I enjoyed your year too! These are really just a small sample of what you captured, how nice to create a book for everyone to see and share! I love how you said these pictures are a "peek inside your heart and mind" so true! and I'll be the first one to say not everyone is a masterpiece! I have several that will not be publicly shown on flickr! So far I have one from everyday but it doesn't look like it there! I'm sparing myself the embarrassment! Well done, my friend!

AFishGirl said...

You did it!!!! Cheering and clapping from your Seabright fans. Way to go, Dotti.

Deanna said...

Oh good for you....I didn't last very long, but I am so proud of you and all who do this project. And what memories that will remain with all of your shots!! Hurrah!

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