There are lots of resolutions you can adopt in January, but what if joining a gym or cutting out carbs doesn’t appeal to you? If you love taking photos, now’s the perfect time to start taking more. And with so many different photography projects you can get involved with, there’s no excuse not to dust off your camera and get snapping in 2017.
But why should you start a photography project? What’s to be gained from getting out there with your camera and capturing more pictures? For starters, the most effective way to become a better photographer is to get more practice with your camera. Committing to a photography project will give you the chance to improve your skills and be more creative, but it’s not just your expertise behind the lens that will benefit.
One of the best things about embarking on a photography project, especially one where you take photographs every day, is that even on the rainy days, or the miserable Mondays, or the days when nothing is going well, you can still find the beauty in the world. In this sense, a photography project can be good for the soul. Definitely better for the soul than resolving to give up cake!
Taking time to capture your daily photograph – whether that’s a self-portrait, the view from your window, or your favourite place to have lunch – will provide some much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle. With time, you’ll see that every day has its moments that are worth capturing on camera – even a dull day in January. You’ll also be able to build up a brilliant collection of photographs to showcase in a CEWE PHOTOBOOK at the end of your challenge or the end of the year, which is the perfect way to chart your progress.
Whichever kind of project you choose, don’t be afraid to experiment. This is your opportunity to be creative and take a leap out of your photographic comfort zone, so grab your camera and dive right in!
Photography projects to embark on this year
From a quick 24 hour challenge to an adventurous year-long project, there are so many different photography ideas to try. Here are a few you could give a go in 2017.
Photo a day
Taking a photo a day is a great way to escape that photography rut you’re stuck in. Whether you choose to take one picture a day for a week, a month or the entire year, it can be handy to have a list of backup ideas to hand in case you’re stuck for inspiration.
Australian blogger Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim shares her daily photos through Instagram, and also provides monthly lists of photo ideas to inspire other photographers to join her project. This is ideal if you’re struggling for ideas, or only want to commit to a month at a time.
If you’re planning to begin your own photo a day project, Instagram is the perfect platform to share your snaps. It might even be worth setting up a separate account just for your photo challenge if it’s going to be a year-long project. This will make it easier to develop a good following amongst your fellow photography lovers, and help keep all your images in one handy place.
Find a theme
If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to find the photography inspiration to take a different picture every day, why not choose a specific theme? This will give you more direction, and will help you develop a collection of images with a recurring motif. From shooting specific colours to focusing on food, you may find it easier to stick to your challenge if you have a theme to follow.
There are lots of existing projects you can join in with, for example the #fromwhereistand project on Instagram, which sees photographers sharing daily snaps of their feet in different surroundings. Some nice examples of this are shared by @footomathon, which depict the photographer’s fancy feet in a variety of settings.
Whether you’re sharing snaps of your shoes or following a different theme, it’s important not to be too much of a perfectionist. Your main aim should be to ensure you take a photo each day; some will be better than others, but by sticking to your challenge and not missing any days, you’ll soon grow in confidence and begin to develop your skills.
Try something a little adventurous
For those of you who really want to challenge yourselves this year, Flickr is home to lots of groups dedicated to more adventurous photography projects. The advantage of these groups is that you can become part of a photography community, receiving feedback on your own images, sharing photography tips and being inspired by the work of others.
One brilliant one we found was the 100 Strangers group, where the challenge is “taking portraits of strangers and telling their stories”. Participants should take at least 100 photographs of 100 people they don’t know. The emphasis is on getting to know these strangers; photographers have to ask permission to take their photos, and are encouraged to learn about their subjects’ lives. Perfect if you’re interested in portrait photography but want to do something a little different.
Key to this project – and, indeed, to all photography projects – is ensuring you have your camera with you at all times. The best camera is the one you have with you, or so the saying goes. Even if you don’t have a digital camera, or don’t have it on you all the time, you can always use your phone. In fact, some of the most fun photo projects we came across were completed using iPhones, with the added benefit of being able to instantly share each day’s picture on social media.
Whichever theme you choose, however long your project runs for, and whatever kind of camera you’re using, challenging yourself to take more photos is one New Year’s resolution that you definitely won’t regret. Each of our lives have their own little moments of magic and beauty, and although you might have to look a little harder for them on certain days, capturing these moments on camera will help you find the extraordinary in the everyday.
Follow CEWE Photoworld on Instagram, where a few of our lovely team members will be sharing their own photo a day throughout this week. First up it’s Sarah, who’s currently sunning herself back home in Barbados (and making us all very jealous with her exotic Instagram photos!).