Photo-A-Day

with 12 Comments

Photo-A-Day
by Jenifer Juris

Hi Everyone! Ever thought about doing Project365 or a similar Photo-A-Day Project? I did this for 10 out of 12 months last year, and today I’m going to share with you the nitty gritty about it all.

What Is the Photo-A-Day Project?

The Photo-A-Day project is one where you take 1 photo every day for an entire year. The subject of the photo is usually “assigned,” but as with each of these projects, the assignments or photo subjects are flexible.

Why Did I Do It?
At the beginning of last year I was wanting to do this project for two reasons.

  • I wanted to get more acquainted with my DSLR and really get comfortable using Manual Mode.
  • I had only been in my new house in the country for 6 months and I wanted to use this project as a way to explore the everyday beauty all around me.

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How Did I Do It?

This was pretty simple. Each month, I searched on Pinterest for a new set of daily prompts, and then I set out each day to take a corresponding photo. There were times I would change or alter the prompt due to weather issues or repetition, but I tried to stick to the topics as best I could.

In addition to this I started a personal blog to document this project. I knew that if I didn’t have a place to do that, I wouldn’t stick to the plan. For me, doing this publicly online was about having accountability, and that really helped me stick with it.

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What Resources Are Available?

There are numerous lists online for daily photo prompts, so many in fact, it can be daunting. The one blog I tried to follow was The Idea Room. They posted a new blog post at the end of each month with daily prompts for the next month. I’ve also discovered that there are entire websites devoted to projects like this. Many allow you to upload one photo per day and offer a community setting where you can leave comments and share your photographic journey together. Here are just a few options:

How Did This Project Benefit Me?
Where do I begin?

  • I learned so much about my camera! Seriously, I shoot in manual mode only now, and I like knowing how it will perform in certain lighting without having to think so hard about it.
  • I learned a lot about my home and where the good natural light is.
  • It helped me enjoy and get to know my new home and the land surrounding it.
  • It got me outside, walking and exploring (which was a benefit for my dogs, too)!
  • I made some new online friends through my blog.
  • It taught me that my life, even though I don’t have children right now, is still worth documenting. I live with a chronic illness and don’t get out much, but I still found something to photograph every day for 10 months last year. Each life is worthy of documenting because it’s your life and that’s what matters.

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What Are the Negative Aspects?
There weren’t many but here are a couple:
  • It is time consuming! Between taking the photos, editing the photos, and posting the blog posts everyday, this takes up a lot of time. It’s a commitment and one not to be taken lightly.
  • It’s easy to get behind. For the same reason as above, if you accidentally miss a day due to illness or a crazy schedule, catching up can be problematic because now you have two (or more) day’s worth of tasks to do.
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What’s My Advice for Newcomers to Photo-A-Day?

The best advice I can give is to jump on it and try it! The benefits of knowing your camera and being comfortable with it are just too great to pass up. If I were to do it over again, I might have posted my photos to Instagram (instead of a blog) because of the large photographer community there but do what works for you.

And speaking of do what works for you, I mean it. If that means you know you can’t commit to a photo a day, try doing a weekly photo prompt instead. I am sure those are out there, too. What worked for me was quitting after ten months, and I’m ok with that. I had accomplished the goals I had set out to do, and a new project that would demand much of my time came along at the end of October that I couldn’t pass up!

So, if you’re on the fence, I’d highly encourage you to give it a try. One great benefit is that I had no shortage of photos to scrap with!

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about this project for me, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Author: Jenifer Juris | Contact Us
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12 Responses

  1. Joan Robillard
    | Reply

    Just a little over two years ago I think it was Jen White who mentioned taking a daily photo and joining one of the websites for this. I joined 365 Project and have never looked back. I work and have a long commute so I don’t necessarily take a picture every day but I do post every day and I think my camera skills have improved greatly. Because you join a community much like here and they help you. I recommend it to everyone that can find the time. I mean when I joined a high key photo was something that happened by accident. I have learned to use my nd filters, to use LR, to produce HDR pictures because I get pushed to try what others have produced. Same as I want to try someone else page style. I shoot in manual only now too. You bet better pages with better pictures.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      You’re right about the community – it does help you want to improve! 🙂

  2. Nann Dalton
    | Reply

    Well you have inspired me Jenifer! I think I will give it a go too.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

  3. Loretta
    | Reply

    I jumped into a group last year but didn’t commit to every day as I knew it wasn’t possible for me. I ended up doing more than the 1 or 2 a week that I thought I would do which I was pleased about. I stopped after 6 months due to the time commitment but was really happy I participated. Yes, it does help with learning a camera and just seeing more photo opportunities along the way. I also learned a lot from seeing the other photos that were posted in the group. Your tips are spot-on. Definitely would encourage others to try some form of ‘regular’ photo challenges.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      I agree that seeing others photos does help one grow, too! Thanks for sharing your story with us!! 🙂

  4. Vivian
    | Reply

    A very timely post. Can’t tell you how many times I have started and won’t tell you how miserably I have failed. You have inspired me to jump back in and REALLY try this time.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      I hope you have fun getting back into it! 🙂

  5. Lana Anderson
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Very helpful.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  6. Sharron Lamb
    | Reply

    I did a photo-a-day a few years back, and was really sick of it before the end of the year. Part of it was that it was so time-consuming, and I made scrapbook pages as well as everything you mentioned. This year my daughter decided to give it a try “for January.” To keep her company and encourage her, I joined to. We’re doing FMS Photo-a-Day (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FMSphotoaday/). I’m not making scrapbook pages…just taking/editing and posting to the FB page, and my Instagram page (lambcrops). Committing to just one month makes the project less intimidating. And I have switched from DSLR to iPhone, so am learning to take better photos with my always-with-me camera. It has been fun to see the photos that other post, and they have also given me ideas for those prompts that are a challenge. Don’t know how long we’ll keep it up, but for now, we’re both having fun.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      A monthly project sounds fun! Having a group like that to be a part of sounds wonderful, too. 🙂

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