It's that time of year again, when we promise ourselves and others that we will make positive changes to our lives, do more things, be better people... although it's now 5th January and its fair to say that many of these promises will have already been broken by now!! Outside of photography, I have only made two resolutions this year: to eat more healthily and to stop smoking. I'm doing good with the stopping smoking; its day 5 and I'm through the excessive irritability, although I still appear to be struggling with disturbed sleep... but I have more money, I don't stink and I've got less chance of getting cancer. With regards to eating more healthily, I'll let you know just as soon as I finish the Christmas leftovers! I did at least go and buy new bathroom scales this morning, as mine have been broken for ages. I also walked into town, rather than drove, so it's a good start.
Anyway, onto photography... I made a few resolutions with regards to photography this year: to shoot more portraits, to commit more time to personal projects, to develop my existing skills and to learn new skills. All of this can be encompassed in 'Take More Photos'. Now, this may seem like a strange resolution for a photographer, but the reality is that when photography is your business, it's easy to spend a week or more behind the computer editing photos, marketing, liaising with customers, blogging, reading blogs, watching youtube tutorials etc, etc... but nothing will improve your abilities more than actually taking photos, trying new techniques, analysing your images and getting feedback.
I spent some time thinking about how to ensure I could achieve my resolutions, to push myself to shoot more, to be more experimental, and so I decided to commit to a 365 project. For those of you who don't know, a 365 project is basically about sharing one image every single day. This can be of anything you chose. Some people follow prompts issued by others. Some people do 365 self portraits, or give themselves a weekly theme. There really are no rules, other than post one photo per day.
Since taking a photo worthy of sharing publicly every day is a big commitment in itself, I have decided not to follow prompts or themes, but to allow myself the freedom to shoot whatever I want. The only rule I have is to try new techniques. Not every day, but regularly. It's fair to say that some days will be better than others. I've already found that sometimes I have a couple of images to chose from, others I am clutching at straws a little bit. Of course, I could just 'snap' anything and share the image. But I want the project to develop my photographic abilities, and snapping and sharing any old thing isn't going to do that. So I'm going to try really hard to produce images worthy of sharing every day and I'm definitely going to try lots of new techniques. Although I'm sure there will be some food pictures and images of my cat thrown in at regular intervals!
I've already found that the project is encouraging me to get out more, to explore my local area, to be constantly looking and to think more about different things I can try. It's early days, but I'm excited about the images I will produce, and how my skills will have improved by this time next year. I'm sure it won't be easy and there will be days when I want to quit, but it should also be lots of fun. If you want to follow my progress with this project, I'll be publishing my images on Instagram (marked X/365) and on Blipfoto. I welcome constructive feedback! I also want to follow other people's progress with their own 365 projects, so please contact me if you are undertaking one. And good luck!