Photography Tips - Start a Project

3 minute read

New Year, New Project

So, I know we're already into the New Year, but it's never too late to start a new project.  The first 365, photo-a-day project I joined in with, I started in April that year!  

I've always found that having a focus or a driving inspiration to create on a regular basis is helpful and something that I really enjoy.  A photography project can help give you ideas and you'll end up with a collection of images that you can look back on to see your photography skills improving or to give you memories of what you got up to this year.  

Here are my top tips for starting a new photography project:-

1. Choose Your Theme

You can go with a regular timed project such as a daily photo (366 this leap year!), weekly or monthly, bearing in mind the time that you think you'l be able to devote to your project (a daily photo might be a bit too demanding!).  An advantage of the regular timed ones is that there's a natural end to the project after a year, so you know when you're finished and can have that goal in mind.  

Alternatively, just choose your own theme and then photograph accordingly when the opportunity arrives or when you have time.  Whether it's capturing sunsets, manhole covers, or documenting your kid's progression learning a hobby they're into, pretty much anything can be your theme.

 From our summer holidays project last year when I took a daily photo

From our summer holidays project last year when I took a daily photo

 From   Project: Gratitude   which didn't have a specific time, just photographing things you are grateful for whenever you wanted

From Project: Gratitude which didn't have a specific time, just photographing things you are grateful for whenever you wanted

 From My 365 photo-a-day project, 2014

From My 365 photo-a-day project, 2014

 In response to 'All you need is love' lyric from The Beatles' song of the same title, part of a weekly project with lyrics set by   The Photographer Within

In response to 'All you need is love' lyric from The Beatles' song of the same title, part of a weekly project with lyrics set by The Photographer Within

2. Get Social

A big part of photography projects for me is sharing and interacting with others on social media, especially Instagram.  It gives you accountability to keep going if you've committed yourself to posting your daily or weekly images.  

If you're thinking of joining a daily photo project, I'd recommend checking out one of the many Instagram accounts that set daily themes to inspire you for that day, such as @my_365, @365_today, @sunnypicchallenge or #fmsphotoaday.  It's an interactive and fun way to share your project and if you spend time checking out other participant's images and those featured by the main accounts, you can find inspiration for your own photography.  You might even be featured yourself!  Just check the prompts on one of the accounts and make sure you tag your images with the correct hashtag.  Your Instagram account also needs to be public if you want your images to be seen by fellow photographers or the main account.

3. Print!

If you've reached the end of the year or you think you'd like to finish your project and move on to the next, choose a way to collect and commemorate your photos by selecting a few to print for your walls or creating an album.  It's up to you how you compile your photos, whether you select your favourites or include all of them for completeness.  Whatever you do you'll be glad when you have them in a physical print that you can share with your family and that won't get lost in the histories of social media and old data files.

My current project is my month of portraits that I'm posting on Instagram.  January is Jorja's month, then I'll spend February on Dexter.  So glad I started as I'm loving it so far!  

Let me know in the comments below or at @jenharpers on Instagram if you start your own project and I'll follow your progress.  Happy snapping!