It’s that time of year, I see a lot of Moms/Photographers starting the new year with a 365 project. What is a 365 project you ask? There are many different versions of a 365 project but they all share one thing in common – taking at least one photo a day for an entire year. I have tried multiple 365 projects and have failed miserably each time, but I have also gained some valuable insight on how I personally function best creatively.
While some people can be very successful completing a 365 project (some, even multiple years in a row – hats off to you!) I have learned that this project is not for me. Although I do love shooting daily life and I take a lot of photo’s throughout the year, I have learned that I produce my best, most meaningful work of my kids when I’m not forced to create for the sake of crossing that photo off my “to do” list for the day. That is exactly what became of my 365 project. I felt disconnected from what I was creating.
I need time to be inspired, to feel the urge to reach for my camera, to be thankful for what I’m creating and really feel connected to my art. If that means I fail miserably at a 365 project, but stay connected to my art and don’t burn myself out then I’m ok with that.
Rather than aiming for an image a day, I aim to shoot when I’m inspired and oddly enough I actually do shoot almost daily. But there’s a difference. Giving myself the freedom to shoot creatively at my own will has actually allowed my inspiration and creativity to flow more abundantly. Nothing is forced. When I look back on my photo’s, I want to remember why I was inspired to take that photo and why that photo is so special to me (and/or my kids). I also want my kids to know that they’re an inspiration for my photography when I am taking their photo – and that I’m not just checking one more thing off my list of things to do for the day.
There are a lot of benefits that can come along with personal projects and shooting daily but not every project is for everyone. Make sure the projects you choose are serving you creatively and allowing inspiration and empowerment to come in to your life.