One of the most impactful thing you can do to your photography is unquestionably to start a 365 Photo project. The goal is simple; make at least one image per day for a whole year. It may seem very easy at first but let me tell you, when you spent your day traveling or had a very long and hard-for-the-mind time, doing anything else than going to sleep or on the Internet is most certainly the last thing you’ll want. That said, some people have taken it quite a bit further by extending the one-year timeframe to a whole lifetime (e.g.: Woody Campbell).
1. You Get to Accept the Fact that 99.9% of Your Images Are not Portfolio-Worthy
Since you usually are fairly new to the whole photography thing, your photos won’t be as beautiful as possible. While taking the 365 photo challenge, you will get to experience and accept that really good photographs require a lot of time in and out of the computer spread out between Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production. Seeing all those bad images really gives you a reality check and that, in returns, makes you, in the long run, a better photographer. You’ll also start to comprehend what makes a good photograph and what doesn’t. It’s really nice to see an image you’re proud of come up!
2. You Discover What You Like to Shoot and What Your Style Is
At first, for me at least, I shot everything from landscapes to ski passing by food photography and others. In order to be really good at a certain type of photography, you need to specialize. Take a look at the world’s best commercial photographers, for examples, the Rob Grimms, the Lucas Zarebinskis, Dwight Eschlimans or Cody Caissies, they all have a very niche type of commercial photo they do and their style is so defined, you can tell from a mile away that this particular image was made by that particular photog. Not only do you need to be specialized to be in the business, if all your photographing time is spent on Commercial Product, you’ll get so much better at it. How will I know what my speciality and style is, you ask? Just wait, you’ll come to the realization that you tend to shoot said type of images that way, that’s how.
3. You’ll Get Better at Having a Tight Schedule
No matter how old and experienced you are, I feel like you can still get better at organizing your time. With the 365 Project, you’ll have to find a way to squeeze another 45 minutes out of your day. And that will force you to move things around.
4. You’ll Developed Some Real Muscle Memory with Things Such as Your Camera and Softwares
Shooting everyday also mean that you will learn your camera and softwares. A lot. Hopefully, they will become second nature and won’t be a bottleneck in your photographing process. I know that, only a few months in, I knew my camera like the back of my hand. I could change the settings without looking and that’s what you want. Not only will you know the settings, buttons and dials but you’ll get a feel for what its weaknesses are. You’ll understand what’s the sharpness sweet spot for your lens is and at what ISO should you not go over.
5. You Will Critique Everything Around You
...In your head, at least. After having used a camera all this time, you’ll get habituated to framing a composition. And that will carry to every part of your life. No matter where you are or what you do, a little part of your brain is going to automagically convert what you see into a picture composition and will make you think about where is the best place to place the subject, negative and positive space and so on. Also, you’ll observe how light acts and why such shadow is that soft or from where that particular highlight on the bottle at the grocery store comes from.
That’s it. The top 5 most un-obvious reasons to start a Photo 356 project. After all, the goal of this event is to get better at photography and that, you will! If you thought that was a nice blog, please consider sharing it.