4 Months and 11 days…


Remember THIS post? It was when the site first opened and it was all about PROJECT 365 — a project to take a photo a day for an entire year.

Well here I am, 4 months and 11 days in and things are going great. I did miss one day — but I will excuse myself since i had just gotten back from an international trip and then spent two days in the hospital with my oldest daughter. Other than that, I have a record of each day of 2009. And you know what? I love it far more than I ever thought I would.

Honestly, I was actually a little afraid of starting it. I thought that I would get bored, or that I would forget, or that I would run out of things to take pictures of. However, that hasn’t happened. It has been the opposite, really. I am constantly thinking of things to take pictures of. I am seeing my life, and the little moments that are in it, in a whole new way. I am able to treasure the every day in a whole new way.

If you are participating in Project 365, how is it going? Are you loving it? Dreading it? Or are even more inspired? Are you more thankful for the little parts of your day? How has it affected you?

If you haven’t started, why not start now? I regret that I thought I had to wait until January 1 to start. I spent half of 2008 just waiting for January to come so that I could start. But there was no reason — you can start any day. Any time. Why not have a Project 365 that runs from May 12, 2009 – May 11, 2010? No ones says you can’t! Or, you can start on a significant day — a child’s birthday, the day you move into a new home, or a day that you decide to start exercising. It doesn’t matter when you start; you’ll love the results!

And after four months and 11 days, here are my suggestions:

  • Always be on the lookout for the ordinary. So much of who we are is made up of the the little things we do or say every day. Make sure they find a place in your project. Things like your daily cup of coffee, medicine you take every day, the television shows you watch every day, the tennis shoes you put on every day before you run. Don’t skip it because it seems so “ordinary.”
  • Take pictures at different times of the day. Don’t always wait until bedtime to get around to taking your picture. Your photos will be much more representative of your life if you vary the times.
  • That said, I often take a photo first thing in the morning. That way, if I forget the rest of the day, I still have a photo. I haven’t had to use it much, but it has saved me a few times.
  • Keep your camera out in the room(s) you use most often. You will be more likely to grab it at the perfect moment.
  • Hand your camera to someone else so that you can be in a photo every once in a while.
  • Take your camera out with when you go, even to do routine things like grocery shopping or the daily carpool. I have a picture of picking up my daughter from school that I adore.
  • Try to download and edit (if necessary) your photos every few days so that they don’t pile up and you see it as a chore.
  • Don’t worry about having technically perfect photos every time. Your real life isn’t perfect, so why should your photos be?
  • Vary your photos. If you tend towards close-up head shots, learn to step back and take in more of the scene around you.
  • Don’t forget about food! What we eat is a huge part of our day. Include some food and/or cooking shots in your project.
  • Take pictures of the messes. Do you have a spot in your house that always seems to be cluttered? Take a picture of it. It is part of your life at this point.
  • Don’t feel like you have to scrap all of your photos. I don’t intend to scrap any of it. Sure, the pictures may end up layotus but I don’t intend to scrap my Project 365. Instead, I plan to have it printed, along with the captions, in a Shutterfly book. I love that the photos are powerful all by themselves.
  • Make sure you are having fun. This project is something that is supposed to inspire you, make you happy, and be FUN. If you view it as a chore, maybe it isn’t the right project for you.