Learning From One Month of Daily Photos
As you may or may not know, on the first of this year (2010), I embarked on a photographic journey. I committed myself to shooting and releasing one photo every day for the entire year. Such a project is referred to as a Project 365, Photo-a-Day, and so on. Outsiders may think that participants in such a project should be committed. And while I was up to the challenge, I was not expecting to learn as much as I have – and I've only got a month under my belt. With any intense project such as this, there are advantages and disadvantages. Though I have only been doing it for a month, I'll try to shed some light (as I see it thus far) on both.
- Staying In Practice – Shooting every day keeps your creative mind in shape.
- Self Inspiring - Some of the photos you'll shoot will help to inspire other shots. You'll find yourself working within themes, which is a great way to improve.
- Easy Benchmarking - It's difficult to determine what your weaknesses are, unless you're shooting every day and have a large quantity of photos to analyze. Oh wait…you have that. So you can easily analyze your weaknesses and create plans to improve.
- Sense of Accomplishment – Complete one week of daily photos, and you really feel like you've achieved something.
- Establishing a Routine – The only way to improve is to keep shooting. There's no better way to ensure you're shooting often than to establish a routine.
- Small Steps Towards Improvement - Achieving lofty goals requires breaking things down into smaller steps. A daily shooting schedule helps you to make subtle tweaks towards achieving those goals.
- Daily Shooting – Possibly the winner of the most obvious statement: Shooting daily means shooting daily. Sometimes life doesn't grant you such flexibility. It will be difficult to complete your shots on some days.
- Mental Drought – Keeping ideas fresh is difficult. Before you begin such a project, be aware that you will not be happy with all of your photos.
- Time - Time taking photos every day is nothing. Post-processing and workflow are going to eat up some time.
The hindrance list is short, but these three points are very serious considerations. A daily shoot is not for everyone. But for those willing to rise to the challenge, I can attest that there is a lot to learn from such an experience. I will expand on this list throughout the year as I learn more.