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Ideas for a 365 photo project

Updated on December 30, 2011

One pic a day, how hard can that be? Quite hard, actually.


One photo a day. Everyday. For a year.

A 365 photo project usually involves taking (at least) one photo a day everyday for a year. The end result can be fascinating, poignant, funny, interesting, quirky, educational, inspirational, all of the above and more. More often than not 365s are a great example of the sum of a collection of work being far greater than the individual elements. Quite ordinary images can become compelling when seen as part of a year long photography exercise.

Sounds quite easy really, doesn't it? In reality it can be a big commitment thing and at times take a good deal of effort to persevere when the creative urge isn't really sparking up. However like most things in life you get, as they say, out of it what you put in and the end result is a body of work that will have if nothing else great personal satisfaction and meaning for its creator.

365 photo project examples | Source | Source

What to shoot?

There are all sorts of approaches to undertaking a 365 and a little searching will bring up lots of examples to provide inspiration. The simplest, and perhaps from a personal perspective often most fulfilling, approach is to commit to documenting each day photographically, whatever that may bring. At the end of the year you'll have a visual record to remind you of everything you did, achieved and experienced. It is so easy to forget that this can be quite an eye opener and indeed an real confidence booster not only in achieving your 365 goal but in reminding yourself what you've done and been through.

Many great 365s are put together with a theme that runs through the year giving the images you produce a continuity that often makes them more interesting to an audience that may have no knowledge or personal connection to you. This is where a bit of forethought is really required and will pay dividends when you actually start your project. Having a clear idea of what you're setting out to shoot can make the task much more manageable

Some 365 ideas

I'm setting out to shoot more stock images in 2012 by publishing a new stock photo for each day on my blog. The idea being the challenge should help ensure I produce more and varied content on top of what I'm shooting already. That's the theory!

While I'll be blogging lots of variety I think many great 365s are built of a consistent theme. Self portraits are a common subject and have the obvious benefit that you can be sure your subject is always to hand. Or how about shooting something you eat each day, someone you meet, where you are at a given time each day?

Some ideas are a little harder to think how you might manage to shoot every day. I like the idea of shooting a scene, for instance a local tree, everyday through the changing seasons but not many people can guarantee they'll be around for the full year. This could be a great project for a small team of friendly photographers to undertake together and then perhaps stage a group exhibition the following year.

Prepare for success

Having a clear idea of what you're going to shoot and how you plan to use your photos will greatly improve your chances of success; meaning sticking with the task through 365 days! Of course there is no reason your shots should go any further than your own hard drive (assuming digital capture here) but it's more fun if you share and publishing your images somewhere also helps motivate you to continue knowing others may be watching! Images don't necessarily need to be added each day, just one shot for each day perhaps uploaded once or twice a week.

Plan where you might show your images; there are plenty of suitable free blogging platforms like wordpress and blogger, photo sharing sites like Flickr, or sites specifically designed for daily photo blogging like blipfoto. Ideally you want a publishing platform that is as easy for you as possible to help you stick to it!


Why shoot a 365? Well it could be a multitude of reasons and many may be related to the specific task you set yourself. Two things are for sure though. One, you'll create a unique body of work, may it be an eccentric documentation of your socks or a priceless record of a year in your family. And two? You'll emerge out of it, a year later, a better photographer. Guaranteed!


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    • alexhd57 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks for your comments ESA. You're right it is indded challenging, but then that is what makes it worthwhile. Even after only two weeks I've made photos that I wouldn't have otherwsie done if I hadn't set myself the daily task.

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 

      7 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      This was very insightful. I checked out your blog and there are some interesting photos. Your work is very good. I like the cleanness of them. They are very professional looking.

      I have a friend shooting a 366 this year and he has shared that it is more challenging than he expected. I am enjoying seeing the random shots, especially since it is tough when working full time and in a state where you enter work in the darkness and leave in the darkness. The randomness of the photos has been entertaining and inspiring.

    • alexhd57 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Are you shooting a 365? Drop a link in the comments to share your project!


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