Welcome to January.
As I posted in my ‘How to succeed at a Project 365’ post (here), it’s a good idea to have some targets and get yourself into a routine. Routines, in my experience, are a lot easier if you start out as you mean to go on. It becomes second nature from word go. Trying to get into a routine after is a lot harder.
So let’s start out properly!
Positives of January
- You’re motivated. The whole photo a day idea is fresh and you want to succeed. It’s a novelty.
- You’re relaxed. Most people will have just had a big holiday and had time with family. Usually there isn’t that much going on in January so there is plenty of time to grab those shots.
Negatives of January
- It’s dark. Dark when you get up, dark when you get back in from work. It can be hard to think up shots, especially if you’re not used to snapping things in and around the house
- The weather can be a bit hit and miss. This depends on where you live. I live in the UK and our weather is all over the place.
- Join fellow 365ers and build up a support network. January is the best time to do this as everyone is eager and in good spirits about the whole thing. I would advise that you choose a few people to interact with regularly rather than trying to keep up with loads. As the year goes on it will seem like a chore at times (It really will, even with all the best intentions!), but it is more than worth it overall.
- Get into good habits/routines. Take a ‘insurance’ shot early in the morning. Set an alarm in the evening to remind you to snap a better one.
- Train your mind to take ‘mental’ shots of seemingly ordinary things. There are lots of different things you can shoot all around you, you are just so used to seeing them that you don’t even register them any more. I’m not suggesting shooting all of these things in January (you will need them later in the year!) but starting to think about ‘normal’ objects from a photography perspective is a good habit to get into.
- Keep a record of your year. Depending on what your goals of the year are, it’s a good idea for some of your shots to remind you of events which happened throughout the year. Even if it’s not the best photo in the world if it has sentiment then it’s a good shot for you so don’t get rid of it, keep it and use it!
- Go out. Chances are you wont see much light in January, so make the most of it when you can. Go out on your lunch break, go out for a walk at the weekend, snap what you see.
- Make sure you start working towards your goal. Baby steps in the right direction mean that you are more likely to meet your goal in the long run. Read blogs or books and experiment.
- Don’t fall into the trap of buying stuff. The first year I did a P365 I did it with a compact camera (admittedly I didn’t complete it, but I got as far as October and gave up because I deleted lots of pictures without having a record of them on the computer…), the second year I did it I did the entire year with a beginners SLR and the kit lenses which came with it. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you will put more effort in if you ‘just buy that lens’. You shouldn’t need to think like this. A project 365 is an achievement not an investment.
- Don’t go overboard. This is a year long project. I would recommend that you go out of your way to photograph unusual stuff in the first month, then when the boredom sets in (which it more than likely will at some point!) or when you are ill you have some more mundane back up things to shoot around the house later in the year.
Want to share your previous Project 365 January shots or tips? Feel free to add them in the comments below.