I'm about halfway through my 365, or as it's also known photo a day for a year and thought it was a good time to look back and reflect on taking on a 365 challenge.
It's hard work for sure, don't let anyone tell you it's any different. Whatever format you choose to do a 365 with, whether that's with a phone, a camera or even an instant camera which seems quite popular it's tough going. There are plenty of days when you just don't see a photograph or you just don't want to take one.
But as an ongoing process it's important to keep going. There are plenty of days when you take fillers. These are photographs where you just need to get a photo done for the day, or as happened to me recently you're struck down with illness and the thought of making a photograph for your 365 just isn't in your thoughts. You just have to accept that as a body of work you will have plenty of fillers, the key is not to be too hard on yourself. There have been days when I've beaten myself up over the photographs I'm taking, but I set out with the idea that I wanted to document my day to day life. It's not the most interesting life I lead and so I set my stall out accordingly.
Lots of practical advice exists out there on the web such as lists of things to photograph and projects to undertake such as colours, shapes, materials etc. I'm sure for some this provides a fantastic resource but doesn't really work for me. I work from home and quite often the highlight of my day is nipping out to pick my daughter up from school. If you travel to your place of work, this may work you may have some fantastic opportunities to stop and spend a few minutes taking a photograph, but for me my life revolves more around the home hub so some of my photographs for my 365 are reactive, not pro active.
I've used a mix of camera and phone to record my 365. In essence I see nothing wrong with this - my camera phone is more than adequate for recording a 365 moment and at times I simply don't have my camera with me when a photograph comes along that could be interesting to include in my 365. I did set out and buy a small compact camera to be an every day carry camera but truthfully, it didn't end up going with me most of the time - the phone camera does the job and I always carry my phone with me.
On the whole I have made a lot more black and white photographs for my 365 than colour and feel when I look back over a completed year, I may regret having a mix of colour and black and white photos. I would suggest sticking to one process idea for simply nothing more than continuity.
I've had a great time with my 365 to date. My attitude when I started out on my 365 was to be laid back about the process, record daily life for me, not beat myself up if the photograph for the day was not a classic and also make sure the posting of my photographs wasn't always compromised by being on the exact day - for me the important thing is to stay true to the process and take a photograph for the day.
If you are looking at the challenge of a 365, then I'd say give it a go. Just set out your ground rules for you before you start and that way you manage your own expectations.
If you want to check out my 365, follow the link here