If you've been following my blog for awhile, you likely know that I'm doing a 365 project: one photo for every day of the year. (And hey, if you're new here: I'm doing a 365 project!) When I'm not photographing my everyday I'm a Rhode Island family photographer, but photographing things for myself makes me so happy.
Now that there are just a bit more than 100 days left in the year, I feel like I can give at least a partial assessment on why I think everyone should do this project at least once. And by everyone, I mean everyone, no matter your level, no matter the camera or device you're using to take photos.
I'm doing this project freestyle as opposed to following daily prompts, because that's how I roll. If you like prompts, go for it. I've put together some things that I've learned so far from this project. Today is part 1. Read on.
1. There are things you will photograph. A lot.
I do not have children. A lot of people who do this project do have kids and I'm somewhat envious because they often have a built in subject or three. It's a little more challenging when you don't have too many people around the house. But never fear. You'll find something (or somethings) that will be recurring themes in your photography. I have a few of them.
MY CAT. Lionel is like my furry baby. We lost a cat about five months before we got Lionel. I have photos of her, but not like this. I'm like a helicopter cat mom. The very first photo I took for the year was a photo of Lionel. Whatever. Crazy cat lady, party of one.
PHOTOS OF HANDS AND FEET. OFTEN MY OWN. SOMETIMES NOT. I have a huge thing for hands, feet, and partial faces. They show up a lot in my photography.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. I've never met garlic that I don't like. Sometimes this will be a fallback subject for me. If I can't think of anything creative to photograph for the day, I'll get out a melon, or some garlic, or an onion, and put it in some interesting light and take a photo. I think it's because the shapes of so many fruits and veggies are like that of the human face, which I love to photograph so much. Also, they don't complain.
2. You will learn so much about yourself, your photography, and your style. And you will grow.
Again, no matter where you are in your photography journey, what type of camera you're using, how many lenses you do or don't have...you will learn what you like, what you don't like, what common themes you see (see above!), how you use the equipment you have, and what you never want to do again. It's so cool to look back through your photos from the year and see how you've learned, grown, and improved.
I already knew before I started this project that I love long lenses, and I reach for them much of the time. But I've also learned that I love the documentary look that comes from some of my widest primes (24 and 35). I guess I live in extremes.
One other thing that this project has reinforced is that I am, much of the time, a wide open shooter. I know when I need to stop down, and I will. But at least 85% of my photos are shot wide open. There are so many times that I hear or read that shooting wide open is never a good idea, it does not produce sharp photos, and lenses were not meant to be shot this way. To all the people who have ever said this to me or any other photographer, I assure you that you are so, so wrong. To all the photographers out there: shoot wide if your little heart desires. Practice and know when to use it and it will work.
Stay tuned for part two of this blog coming soon. Are you doing a 365 project? If so, let me know in the comments what's the biggest thing you've learned from it so far.