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How to Organize and Execute a Photo-A-Day Project.

Updated on October 1, 2012

First thing's first.....What's a photo journal?

Perhaps you've never heard of a photo journal, but if you Google it, you'll begin to realize that it's a popular project that can be as difficult or as easy as you'd like to make it.

I've just completed my first photo-a-day diary, and I can assure you that it will not be my last. Whether you are a budding photographer, a hobbyist of sorts, or you simply wish to look back months or years from now and reflect, this is a project you really should consider.

What are the benefits of such a project?

It truly depends on what you, personally, hope to achieve. At the very least, it's fun to look back on the things you did or saw. So often we forget the places we went and the people we met. Keeping your photo journal is like maintaining your very own year book, only it can be as personal and egocentric as you'd like to make it. Consider these:

1. You certainly do not need to be a skilled photographer, but taking a photo a day can only improve your skills.

2. If you are a scrapbooker and enjoy keeping albums of your family, consider adding this project to your memories.

3. As a business owner, creating a photo-a-day project can help you build your business brand.

4. Have your friends join in your project and learn more about them.

5. Include your children and expose them to more of the wonders that surround them and often go unnoticed.

6. Once you decided to undertake such a project, it can't be helped that you immediately begin to take stock in your surroundings and begin to see the world, or at least those things that you are viewing, in a different and unique way.

7. Use your photo collection as a gift, a thank you note or perhaps as your next holiday card.

So, how do I start?

First, you need to decide the length of your project. You could decide to take a picture each day for a month or you could choose to take a picture each day for a year.

Which ever you decide, I suggest that you get yourself a bit organized before you begin to ensure that you won't get frustrated, disappointed or overwhelmed, unless, you'd prefer to have a more organic experience. In that case, snap a picture each day and have fun.

Because I always have several projects working at one time, I thought it would be very helpful to print a calendar so that I could keep notes and ideas handy, as well as, keep a log of my pictures in case I didn't have time to upload them each day (later, we'll talk about the various social networks you can use to share your photos).

Life is hectic, keeping the calendar printout with me also served as my reminder to take a picture.


Choosing a photo-a-day theme.

Again, if you opt for a more organic experience, simply take a picture each day for your journal and be sure that your camera has a time/date stamp so you can recall when the picture was taken. You''ll also want to mark where your photo was taken.

There are endless themes that you could decide upon. If it's too difficult to choose just one, mix it up or make your theme broader. Here are a few ideas:

  • The United States/your state
  • A single color/your favorite color
  • Billboards/signs
  • Foods/ingredients
  • Things you dislike
  • A mood/joy, surprise
  • The weather/clouds, rain
  • Your children/your family
  • A season
  • An action/looking through, driving
  • Old things/new things
  • Pictures of things you see on your way to work
  • Create a list of random items and take a photo of each item, one per day
  • fashion/what people are wearing on the street*

* below are several of the most popular street-style photographs collected within the pages of these books. If your goal is to take a picture a day of fashion, definitely take a look at these books for inspiration.

Street-Style Photographs.

Make your photo diary very personal....

A photo-a-day journal is very universal. The list above came from a blog written by Germaine from China.
A photo-a-day journal is very universal. The list above came from a blog written by Germaine from China. | Source

Well folks, it's OCTOBER, what about a SPOOKY theme?

SPOOKY | Source

Need more inspiration? Gather more ideas from here....


...or here.....


OKAY, where were we.........

Oh right, the calendar. So you've decided on a timeframe (a month or a year) and you have chosen a theme (or there are far too many choices, and you've decide your gonna wing it).

Now what? Think about your daily travels and habits. Perhaps there is an ideal time for you to take a photo each day. If you've chosen weather as your theme and you always take a morning walk, that would be an ideal time for you to take your photo. If you're a teacher and each day you encounter hundreds of children staring at you each day, I hope you decided to choose little faces as your theme. At any rate, don't think that there will be a perfect time for you to snap a picture. There won't be. Add it to your daily to-do list and that way it is on your mind and not forgotten.

For my project, I had decided to take pictures of things that I saw at home, meaning my state of New Hampshire. Because this was my first photo-a-day project, I wanted my theme to be a broad one. On those days that I had made plans to visit a particular site, I jotted an idea of a picture on that day. Like this........


A few handy little tips:

Sustaining the energy for such a project can be tough at times. After a long day at work, there is laundry to catch up on, dinner to prepare, homework to help with-WHY DID I DECIDE TO DO THIS PROJECT? Don't give up. BREATH. Follow these tips and you'll be okay.

You've planned this month out, remember? Keep your calendar with you at all times.

If you are using a camera, fine, but always bring your cellphone with you, just in case.

Consider this your-time. Set aside a few minutes each night or each morning to download your pictures. If you are editing them (which you don't have to) now's the time to do it so the entire month of photos doesn't have to be done at once. If you're publishing your photo each day, choosing to use a smartphone camera is the simplest method. Most phones allow you to send your photos directly to Facebook, or your Twitter account with a few simple clicks.

Let's chat about how you share your photos, shall we?

Earlier I mentioned Facebook and Twitter, both are great ways in which you can share your pictures (if you wish to share them, that is). If you have a blog or a website, those are also important ways for you to share your hard work.

There are a variety of other social sites that you can decide to post to as well. Flickr is one. Pinterest is another. Instagram is yet another. Both Pinterest and Instagram are photo sharing sites, however, instagram allows you to alter your photographs slightly giving them a new look. For example, if you've decided to take a month of pictures of your family, using instagram you can then change each picture to a sepia tone and create a family album that looks rather vintage.

Explore each of these social sites and determine if any of them sound appealing to you. All the ones that I have listed here are free and quite easy to learn.

Wish to take a photography class?

29 North Main Street Concord, NH:
29 N Main St, Concord, NH 03301, USA

get directions

Area photographers are keen on sharing their knowledge and know-how. Concord Camera offers photography classes, from basic to expert, digital and film

My Photo-A-Day Project for September...Welcome...

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Now, don't over think it-have fun!

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    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      5 years ago from New Hamphire

      BeverlyHicksBurch, that is a fantastic idea! I also discovered a few phone apps that you may like, especially for your blogs. They create a collage of your's a nice effect. Enjoy the process, good luck and thank you for taking the time to comment. [my apologies for my delay in replying, it appears I missed your comment notification].

    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      5 years ago from New Hamphire

      Yasmins, I hope that you give this a try. It was truly a fun project! Thank you for reading.

    • BeverlyHicksBurch profile image

      Beverly Hicks Burch 

      5 years ago from Southeastern United States

      Hummm, you've given me something to think about for 2014.

      I had a camera stolen in 2011, but fortunately I had another one on hand since I take all the photography for my blogs. I've been wanting to improve the quality so not too long ago, I purchased a new camera.

      What better way to hone a skill than with a project like this?

      So, tonight in my writer's journal, I'll write about a photography journal ^-^.

      Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Yasmins Art profile image

      Yasmin Crawford-Hunt 

      5 years ago from Shenyang, China

      I'd love to have a go at this, I might have a go at a mini 'winter' project whilst on my university holidays. Thanks for the ideas! Voted up and interesting.

    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      6 years ago from New Hamphire

      Hello Rajan. This was a very fun project and would be great for anyone I think. I have no doubt that your's would be wonderful! I intend on doing this again. I mailed my far-away friends the month when it was completed and they tell me that they loved it and made them think dearly of home.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      A great read and excellent thematic ideas. This is a very interesting project idea.

      Thanks for sharing the "How To" of this project.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

      Graham Gifford 

      6 years ago from New Hamphire

      Hi CarNoobz, thanks for reading my hub. Since writing this, I've dome two photo-a-day projects. It's quite fun and it really makes you slow down and look at things in a fresh way. Thanks for the compliments and the Vote up!

    • CarNoobz profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Hey, that hub was packed with ideas.

      I've seen people on Facebook doing something like this, posting their pics every day. It always looked like fun, but for some reason I just never tried it.

      Thanks for making it look so easy =) Voted up and awesome


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