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A 365 Photography Project - What are the Drawbacks?

Updated on June 19, 2013

A 365 Photography Project has both Benefits and Drawbacks

What is a 365 photography project?

A 365 photography project is a photographer’s commitment to himself to publish a new photograph every day for a year. There is more than one web site that specializes in assisting a photographer to publish 365 photography project. A photographer may even use flicker or Google plus. A 365 photo project can help a newer photographer develop a personal style can help to improve that photographers work.

The sky detail was added from the photograph of the sunset above
The sky detail was added from the photograph of the sunset above | Source
Mottled Sunlight on Dogwood
Mottled Sunlight on Dogwood | Source

A 365 project gets you out shooting every day. Part of the problem of learning photography and becoming a great photographer is the lack of practice. Not only is the lack of practice problematic but also a lack of self-critique will hurt the new photographer in the long run. Shooting, shooting, and more shooting is the only way for any photographer to be good and at their craft.

A 365 photo project helps you familiarize yourself with your camera. Shooting every day also familiarizes you with your camera. The modern DSLR camera has numerous features and practice and experience are the only real teachers. For instance can a new DSLR user be able to articulate the difference between evaluative, centre weighted and spot metering? If you have never used the three different metering methods can you predict the results? Not without some experience so a 365 photo project does help in these respects.

Experience provided by a 365 photo project helps a new photographer start to recognize what’s good and bad in photography. Through experience only will a newbie understand that what is in your mind’s eye does not always equate to what the camera sees.

Some 365 Photography Challenge Drawbacks

It’s all out there good, bad and downright ugly. If you are a rank beginner I would suggest you spend some time refining you skills before taking on a 365 photo project. In a couple of years you may be an exceptional photographer but those early shots remain in cyberspace for a long time. Imagine someone googles your photography and finding really bad shots when you are bidding on work.

When you’re working in a 365 photo project you probably will not have enough time to practice Photoshop skills. Unless you have nothing else to do when are you going to get time to refine your shots through Photoshop or other good editing software? This is another reason I would suggest that you think long and hard about doing a 365 photo project before you become at least semi-skilled in photo editing.

Lastly, some days you produce stuff that should be erased but there is a pressure to publish so you take the best of a bad lot. This does two things. You are putting out crap which will never help you and because you may try to rework the shot with cropping or other Photoshop techniques you actually convince yourself that the shot is great.

Steam Gauges
Steam Gauges | Source
Minimalist Photography
Minimalist Photography | Source

An Alternative to the 356 Photography Project

An alternative

Don’t take on a public challenge until you are ready. If you have completed any sort of photographic education you may be ready right now but if you got a new camera for Christmas and are just getting your feet wet with photography take some time to do some reading, analyse a few hundred shots on flickr, get to know what your camera can do and maybe try to befriend some professional photographers or some good amateurs in your local camera club.

Try to shoot every day but maybe only publish weekly and call it a 52 photo project! This will give you time to sort out the really good shots and edit them as necessary. I think you will be more proud of your results and may serve to keep you more motivated.

So there are a few things to make your time shooting more fun and rewarding. I’m not against a 365 photo project but I think you must be in the right frame of mind to complete it and have enough training to make it all worthwhile.

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