It is the first week of January and I’m already seeing all of the Year Long blogging projects being spoken about. Everyone seems to have some kind of blogging resolution and they want to start new and fresh. I can totally relate, but my motto is “chillax” this year.
Last year, I started a year long photo project which also turned into somewhat of a blog project too. I did Project 365 for the first time ever in 2011. You may have seen this phrase “Project 365″ all over the Internet this week, but what does it really mean? Project 365 is committing to taking one photo a day for a year. I’ve seen several different ways to do Project 365: with a DSLR, with a mobile phone, self-portraits, picture of your child, or even a picture of a certain object. I chose to do Project 365 using my iPhone along with the app, Instagram.
You know how to they “it takes six weeks to form a habit”? Well, that is when I hit the wall, mid-February. I was over taking pictures. I am constantly taking pictures but somehow doing Project 365 made it feel somewhat of a job. My husband was shocked that actually made it to February, and for some reason, that gave me the extra push. I can be somewhat of a flake on things, and often don’t finish some of the projects that I start. I became determined to finish Project 365.
Here are 10 Tips Showing What I Learned Doing Project 365 and How To Stay Organized:
1. Take photo with iPhone. I had no particular thing that I was taking pictures of. I took pictures of my food, my son, myself, the weather, flowers, and about anything else that I could find, that looked interesting.
2. Start early in the day with your photos. When you take multiple photos throughout the day, it is much easier to select that “perfect” photo for the day. Also, you won’t have panic at 11pm when you forgot to take a photo, like I did on some of the days.
3. Upload to Instagram for sharing. Obviously Project 365 is something that I set out to do and conquer. But I think that everyone loves a good photo, and most of the time, mine are pretty decent. Instagram is my FAVORITE app on my iPhone. Yes, Instagram beat out Twitter this past year as my favorite. There are some fantastic photographers that post on Instagram. Find me as @AngryJulie over there.
4. When Sharing on Instagram, have photos sent to my Flickr account. I use Flickr for all of my photo storage and blog photos. It is great site to keep everything organized and tagged properly. I use the Flickr Pro version which is $24.95 a year. Flickr has a free version which you can upload 2 videos and 300MB worth of photos each calendar month. I love the Flickr Pro version for unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and archiving of high-resolution original images.
5. Create a set on Flickr to store all of my Project 365 Photos. What is the point of having all of these photos if I can’t find them to look at them? If I didn’t set-up this set on Flickr, all of my cherished Project 365 photos would be lost on my iPhone and my Instagram account. At the end of each day, I made sure that I added my “Project 365 Photo for the Day” into my Flickr set titled “Project 365 2011″ obviously.
6. Label each Project 365 Photo of the Day with the Proper Day Number. Some days I took 5 photos and some days, I took 1. I had days where I found myself at the end of the day without taking a photo, because I was too busy. I went throughout my house and found something funny, or maybe even one of my son’s toys. But I always went back and numbered my photos stating this, “Project 365 1/365″ for each of the 365 days. I kept the title that was already with the photo from my Instagram photo, which was somewhat of a description.
7. Make sure that the numbers on my Project 365 were actually the correct date number. It is easy to do the first month, January. There are 31 days in January. After January, it gets more difficult with Day 32, etc. I thought that I was doing a good job with my numbering and that I was on track at the end of the project. Well, when I was working on my preliminary Week 52 post, I freaked. I realized that the numbering of my days in the Project was off by three days. I took a day and went through ALL of my photos and found the error, which was on FEBRUARY 26th. My friend, Megan, sent me this online calendar to make sure that all of the dates and numbers matched up when I went to fix all of my photos, and all of my recap posts. That particular project took three days.
8. Make sure that the photos are in numerical order within the Flickr set. There are actually people who like to check out the photos that you take for Project 365, and there are also Flickr Groups that you can join to add your photos too. I like to make sure that the photos are all in order. You can do a “batch” organizing, and re-arrange them “oldest first” which will start the group with Day 1.
9. Do a weekly recap post. Every week on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I did a recap week of all my Project 365 photos for the week prior. Since January 1, 2011 was on a Saturday, my weeks went from Saturday to Friday, 7 days. I labeled my posts, “Project 365: Week 1″ and so forth. I also have a button on the sidebar of my blog with the “Project 365″ category for easy access.
10. Be dilligent about organizing your photos daily. If you use some of the tools and steps that I’ve outlined above, it will much easier to accomplish this project. If you are a big photo taker like me, it can be difficult to go back a few days and properly organize, tag, and label your photos.
It was a fun project to do! I am really happy that I finished it. But seriously, I am a bit exhausted. I may have shaken my fist in the air, and shouted, “YESSSS I’m done, I’m really done” last Saturday night. I posted my last week here, Week 52. I giggle to myself a little when I see everyone posting their Project 365 pictures on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. But seriously, so glad I did it. Maybe in 2013, I will try it again.
While I was working on this post, I was chatting with Janice Croze from 5 Minutes For Mom on Skype. Janice is VERY similar to me, as we are both a little over-the-top with our perfectionism. She kept asking me questions about Project 365, and what it was. I tried to explain to her what it entailed by cutting and pasting some of the verbage from this post while I was typing it. But she wanted me to quote her on this little statement that she made.
“SO, what happens if you miss a day? Do you have to kill yourself??? Cause I am a perfectionist – I don’t think I can handle the pressure OR the empty space.”-Janice Croze, 5 Minutes For Mom
Janice has a good point. What if you miss a day and forget to take a photo? Will you be fired from Project 365? Do you have to stop doing it? Can you cheat? Obviously, you are just cheating yourself, because this is your own self-guided photo project. But I have to admit, there were a few days that I flubbed. I had some really long busy work days where either I had nothing interesting to take a photo of, or my iPhone was dead and needed charging. I admit to taking an extra photo from the day prior or the next day to fulfill 2-3 days within the project. I know what days those were, because my photo upload date to Flickr is different than the actual Project 365 date. Those days were totally haunt my OCD/perfectionism. So to answer Janice’s question, “will I kill myself? No, but I know, I will always know…but I’m ok with that, because YEEHAW I’m done!
I hope that my tips will help you on your journey of 365 days and 52 weeks of Project 365 or in 2012, Project 366!
Here are some other great tips for a successful Project 365: