Title image credit goes to @joemuli
So here it is, our favourite time of year - faced with a brand new year with 365 days, or as we like to say, ‘365 opportunities’.
Not only do we get to say a massive Congratulations to our members who completed their first (or maybe second, third or umteenth) 365 project, but as a community we get to welcome lots of new 365ers!
To help our new, and not so new, faces get off to the best start in 2017 we’ve pulled together 10 ways to make every day count! (Don’t forget we also have a Getting Started guide if you’re not sure how to upload your first photos)
365 project is more than a photo journal, it’s a global community of friendly, passionate shutterbugs - and now you’re one of them! So, head over to the Discuss section of the site, check out the latest threads or start a new one and say ‘Hello!’.
In case you’re wondering what to say, most 365ers like to share their username, what country they’re living in and why they decided to start a 365 project and what they hope to gain from it.
Before long, taking a photograph will slip right into your daily ritual, but to get off to a solid start we recommend setting a daily reminder on your smartphone.
Have a think about what might work well in your current routine and experiment with what works best for you. Maybe it’s when you walk the dog, take a walk at lunchtime or get the bus home - prompting yourself when you’re not likely to be rushed off your feet is a good starting point.
Now and again members of the 365 community reach out with the most heart-warming letters of gratitude and one thing that every letter has is common is that people feel they have made new friends and become a part of a the community.
You too can enjoy this new community, especially by introducing yourself via the discussion boards, getting involved in challenges and themes and following other 365ers. Over time, you’ll notice people will start to follow your project; liking photos, leaving feedback and sharing amazing tips and advice. You might even find yourself organising local photowalks and shutterbug meets with fellow members!
If the thought of taking 365 photos ever becomes daunting or you become struck with “Photographers Block”, don’t worry! Like all big projects, it can help to break it down into bitesize, digestible chunks!
Let us do the thinking for you and have fun with the Weekly Theme challenge, where we set a word or phrase and ask 365ers to use a special tag when uploading to enter photographs into that weeks challenge. At the end of the week we pick our favourite five photographs and hand it over to the community to vote for a winner.
This blog post also suggests seven great ideas to help you choose your own mini projects!
We also love hearing stories from 365ers who were once shy and awkward with a camera but have used their 365 journey to learn new skills, techniques and even taken their photography from a hobby to a career.
By getting involved in the community you’ll be able to reach out to fellow 365ers and pick their brains for advice, inspiration and reviews of equipment or courses that you’re thinking of investing in.
Most importantly, practice makes perfect by using your project to experiment and play with photography. Just think what you could learn with 365 opportunities to use your camera in different ways, in different settings, with different effects.
You can also keep track of which photos are getting more likes and feedback than others with the statistics dashboard that is part of an Ace Membership (as well as loads of other perks!).
In today’s world it’s not uncommon for us to reach for our smartphones in any moment of ‘downtime’ - whether we’re standing in a queue, on our commute home or waiting for a commercial break to finish. If your usual vice is social media or the latest addictive game, try swapping it out for working on your 365 project. Whether you’re checking the latest discussion topics, searching for inspiration or uploading your daily photo, you might be able to make a easy habit swap for the better.
Although we don’t have an official App, it’s easy to save a 365 bookmark to your home screen which makes your project just a click away. On an iPhone simply use the “Add to Homescreen” button from your Safari browser.
Staying on top of your uploads really takes the stress out of the project. With a daily reminder set and a habit swap in place, uploading and staying on top of your uploads can be easy.
But if you do find yourself getting a few days behind, don’t worry - we’re all human and life can sometimes get a bit hectic. It’s easy to upload several pictures at a time and most of the time our system will match the date to the data on the photo meaning you just have to add a title and quick description.
Like many projects, starting a 365project with friends can be a lot of fun! Photography is something everyone can do and 365ing is a great excuse to make more time to hang out with each other and something you can look back on together, with hundreds of photos to track your progress.
Even if you just tell a friend about your 365project this will boost your motivation and commitment to yourself - especially if you know they’ll ask how it’s going when you next see them.
Community Challenges - Not only do we set Weekly Theme challenges, 365ers love to start challenges and themes on the discussion boards so if you feel like you need a new challenge, check out what’s going on and get stuck in.
Browse - In this area of the site we have several lists which have been curated to showcase photographs that are getting noticed. A mixture of lists and ranking processes makes sure that even our newest members are showcased alongside some of our most-respected 365 stars!
Search for tags - If you are learning a new technique, focusing on a specific subject or going to a new place, using the search box to view photos with particular tags will give you loads of 365 inspiration for that word.
Finally, taking a photo every day doesn’t mean you have to take an award winning National Geographic worthy image every day. Some of the most successful 365ers use photography as a way of documenting other activity in life, whether it's the food you’re eating, outfits you're wearing, workout you’re doing or another project you’re working through - this is all perfect subject matter!