Ah, personal projects. They're all about growth, bettering yourself, reflecting, commitment, consistency... so on and so fourth.
I started my first Project 365 back in 2014. It was my first year of really using my camera. I mean using it in the way it was intended to be used, manual and raw. I sought out a new year and vowed to myself that I would shoot everyday to better myself and learn.
Being self-taught these are the types of projects that help you learn, like a get-your-hands-dirty-not-afraid-of-failing type of learn. There were so many fails in 2014 in my photography journey, and just around the corner there were great successes. I can reflect on my first year with the camera and see my growth, and that's amazing.
Beyond that... I have moments frozen in time of my little ones. As they were at ages 3 and 1. It's priceless really.
So I skipped 2015, focused on other aspects of my growth, really dug into the business side of things, and hit some amazing goals. It was my first year in print, I made pro at both Clickin' Moms and In Beauty & Chaos, partnered up with my amazing friend and started shooting weddings, and my own business took off. I am SO grateful.
The end of 2015 I was feeling nostalgic. I had just finished "busy season" and felt like I hadn't dug into personal work in so long. So.. project 365 (this year 366) seemed fitting.
Why start one? For all the reasons I just mentioned above. Start one for growth, start one for reflection, for commitment, start one to better yourself and your skill.
This is my month of January. Above all, I started this project again to document these guys. The reason I was given a nice camera Mother's Day 2013.... "to take pictures of my children".
When you decide to do something like this, it's important to have a goal or a "reward" at the end of it all. My reward will be a big fat album filled with 366+ images from our year together. I'll flip through the pages years from now and remember my boys as they were at ages 2 and 4 and a big of 3 and 5. How many people can have that?
So challenge yourself. Don't expect it to be easy... because it's not. Some days I don't even want to look at the camera, touch a memory card, or upload and export on the computer. But it just takes one shot a day. Don't strive for perfection. You're just not going to get it everyday. You'll have favorite shots and you'll have some shots that aren't your favorite. That's okay. I promise at the end of it you'll look back and love the collection as a whole.
Tips? Of course! Take a shot every morning before the day really kicks off... the light is beautiful, you have a fresh mind, and you'll have one image that will do if you don't pick up the camera for the rest of the day. If you can't upload it, that's fine! Pick a day maybe mid week and upload them in a batch. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, but also get in a habit. Then it just becomes second nature.
I label each of my images by day so at the end of it all I have a folder on my desktop and it will have all 366 images labeled by day. I'll stick them all on album stomp and BADDA BING! A year in a snap. And it will be SO AMAZING to look back at both your family and your growth for the year.
If you skipped January and are still thinking about doing this, it's not too late<3
Just pick up that camera and start today.
The reward is priceless.