How to Document Your Year with A Photo Project

How to Document Your Year with A Photo Project

If you’re like me, you’re starting every new year with a slew of resolutions. My list features everything from learning Italian (ciao, fotografi!) to traveling to a new state (see you soon, Utah!) to writing more creative fiction (check in with me in 2021 on this one…).

As I was reflecting on my 2019, I realized that I didn’t document my year nearly as much as I wanted to, so I added another resolution to my list: do a year-long photo project! By sticking to a designated photo project, I’ll be able to hold myself more accountable. Then, at the end of the year, I’ll have so many more memories to look back on.

Join me with a photo project of your own! If you’re feeling stuck creatively, or don’t know where to begin, check out these six photo projects for inspiration:

Photograph every day with a Project 365.

Project 365 is exactly what it sounds like: taking one photo every single day of the year. So as to not completely overwhelm yourself, you can make your own rules for this: use your DSLR or your iPhone, go with a theme or don’t, et cetera. Practicing your photography skills every day will make you a better, more thoughtful photographer. Project 365s are also great for really showing all of life’s moments – even the messy ones!

Still don’t think you can commit to 365 pictures a year? Start off slow with a Project 52, or one photo per week!

Stick to one specific subject outside of your norm.

I bet if you look through your camera roll, you’ll see a common theme. For parents, it’s probably your kids. For pet-owners, it’s most likely your furry bff. Go outside your comfort zone and do a photo project highlighting one specific subject. Some ideas are: bridges, windows, one color, the golden hour, lines, and shadows.

Go through the ABCs.

There are two ways to do an ABC project. You could try taking a picture of something that starts with the specific letter (i.e. photographing an apple orchard for the letter A), or you could photograph something (like a shadow, a gate post, or some type of signage) that looks like the letter itself.

Recreate your family history.

I can’t get enough of looking through old family photos (my sense of style in the 90s was impeccable, to be honest). Pick out your favorites and try to recreate them! Get the subject of the original photo and try to replicate it as best you can. Alternatively, if you’re working with sets of generations, you can have the child portray the parent, for example. You may discover just how deep the genes in your family run!

Document a typical day in your life.

Try doing a day in your life every month! This is similar to a Project 365, but it doesn’t have quite the length commitment. You can pick days that are jam-packed with activity, or a lazy Sunday. Mix up your compositions and play with light to keep things interesting.

Master the selfie game.

Selfies are unfairly vilified (in my humble opinion). Commit to self-love this year and go beyond the mirror selfie by taking self-portraits throughout the year. By being your own model, you can discover what poses for portraits work more so than others as well as perfect your lighting and composition skills.

At the end of your year, you’ll have so many great memories to look back on. Don’t let them live in the cloud! Make sure to print your favorites.

What photo project are you excited to start this year?

5 Comments

  1. This is exactly the inspiration I need. I was contemplating doing a phot a week with a different theme each week but I like the ABC suggestion. I could do both the alpha shape and an item beginning with the letter! Thank you.

     
  2. Reneigh Satterfield

    My daughter in law turned me on to your webpage and I have been extremely pleased.

     
  3. I did a 365 day photo project last year, and it was both very challenging and very rewarding. Definitely helped me to improve my photography immensely, and while it was occasionally a hassle and source stress, (think waking up at 11:30 pm to take a picture to keep the streak alive, oops,) it was also a ton of fun!!

     

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