Header and thumbnail image credit goes to @toinette

Happy New Year, 365ers!

For many of us, 2020 fell (very) short of what we anticipated! Despite the many challenges we faced, both individually and as communities around the globe, we firmly believe that somewhere amidst the gloom were a few sprinkles of glitter. For us, there is no doubt that the 365 community brought us some much-needed sparkle throughout the year!

It'll also be a year that goes down in the history books and we look forward to the day (when life feels a bit more normal) that your documented photos become a precious reminder to make each day count - the same words that sparked the idea for 365project almost 15 years ago!

We're so grateful to every single one of you for making the days count in a difficult year. Thank you to everyone who uploaded photos, took part in discussions, spent time enjoying and liking photos, and writing thoughtful comments - that will have made someone's day.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to raise a glass to everyone who completed their 2020 365 project, even against the odds! Perhaps some of you were able to embrace a slower pace and carve out more time for photography. So, whether it's your first, second, third or thirteenth year - Congratulations!

As we ease into 2021, we wish you all a happy and healthy year ahead! We're also VERY excited to offer a warm welcome to lots of new faces who are ready to start their own project.

Every year we feel honoured to help new 365ers adopt a new hobby, improve their photography skills and find an incredible community of like-minded shutterbugs scattered all over the world!

And so, in 365 tradition, to help our new, and not so new, 365ers kick start their 2021 project, we’ve rounded up our eight favourite photo-journalling tips for making every day count:

(Don’t forget we also have a Getting Started guide if you’re not sure how to upload your first photos)

1. Make 365ing Your New Hobby

Unlike some of the more typical ‘New Year Resolutions’, starting a 365 project shouldn’t be a chore or feel like another burden to tick off on the weekly to-do list. Instead, we want to help you discover a fun new hobby, which has the potential to bring so much joy into your life.

While some days will be easier than others, it can help to remind yourself of the great things you’re signing up for:

  • You can decide what photography skills/styles to focus on. Maybe you want to take better portrait shots of your kids, capture the beautiful birds in your garden, or nail sunset and landscape shots on your travels. The possibilities are endless!

  • You can decide how much to invest in equipment - photo journalling is a hobby that can be just as fun with the camera on your Smartphone as it is with high-end lenses and gear.

  • You can control how much time you spend 365ing. Taking a photo every day can be as quick as documenting your daily outfit/breakfast/dinner/workout every day, or as involved as going on photo-walks to set up a perfect shot every day - or a happy mix of the two! Just work out what suits you best.

  • You get to look back and enjoy the memories you’ve captured!

2. Set a Daily Reminder

Before long, taking a photograph will slip right into your daily routine, but to get off to a solid start we recommend setting a daily reminder on your smartphone, sticking a post-it on the fridge or adding it to your diary.

Top Tip: Include WHY it’s so important to you, for extra motivation.

Also, 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 walk home from work - prompting yourself when you’re not likely to be rushed off your feet is a good starting point.

3. Stay on Top of Uploading

Staying on top of your uploads really takes the stress out of the project. With a daily reminder set for taking a photo, also think about when will be convenient to upload each day. Top tips from the community are to upload while commuting home on transit, watching your nightly fix of Netflix or just before heading to bed.

Remember, 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’ll only have to add a title and quick description.

If you like uploading from your Smartphone 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.

4. Share 365 with Friends

Like many projects, starting a 365 Project 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.

5. Introduce Yourself to Other 365ers

Members of 365 project often reach out with the most heart-warming letters of gratitude about how they have made new friends and become a part of the community.

We’re a global group of friendly, passionate shutterbugs - and now you’re one of them! The best way to get stuck in and meeting new friends is by introducing yourself via 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, why they decided to start a 365 project and what they hope to gain from it.)

As well as getting involved in challenges and themes you can also follow 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 photo walks and shutterbug meet ups with fellow members!

6. Break Your Year Down into Mini Projects

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!

Some of the most successful 365ers use photography as a way of documenting other activities 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.

This blog post also suggests seven great ideas to help you choose your own mini projects!

Better still, you can let us do the thinking for you and have fun with the official 365 Theme challenge, or one of the community lead challenges, where a word or phrase is set and 365ers around the world take photos to fit the theme before sharing them. It’s a great way to keep your project fresh and exciting, while also pushing your comfort zones each week.

7. Get Camera Confident

We 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!).

8. Find Extra Inspiration

Last but not least, go make yourself comfortable with the Browse area of the site, where we have several lists that 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!

You can also search for tags - to find inspiration when you’re learning a new technique, focusing on a specific subject or going to a new place.

And that's a wrap. If you have any extra top tips, please share them with the 365 community in the comment section below!

Happy Snapping :-)

January 2nd, 2021
Terrific inspiration and wonderful words of advice.............all reasons I am still around! Thanks for all you do to keep this site connecting all of us around the world!
January 3rd, 2021
@taffy @jgpittenger -- Imagine my surprise scrolling down this and seeing the photo I took of you two! "365-photobuddies"
January 3rd, 2021
No!! THANK YOU. You have engendered a safe site, where there is no ( or if any I've not seen it) nastiness, only support. Ross you act on queries quickly, and dispose of spammers just as soon as notified. I've learnt so much in my nearly five years here ( and I was only going to do 30 days!!)
January 3rd, 2021
i echo the thanks so far, rachael and ross. thank you so much for all you do to keep this wonderfully friendly, enthusiastic and supportive site going. and indeed we needed it more than ever in 2020! happy new year to you both and wishing you all good things in 2021 ;)
January 3rd, 2021
This is truly the warmest community I've ever been involved with - both physical and virtual. I am often heard to say that 365 is my happy place.
I have learned so much about photography here, and know that every year I will learn so much more again!
And the people are just awesome, so thank you for giving us this wonderful place to call home from anywhere in the world.
January 4th, 2021
@jyokota So fun -- thanks for alerting me to this! It is a wonderful introduction for new members and fun to read as a long-time participant.
I can't believe we are starting year 9!
January 5th, 2021
@grammyn @30pics4jackiesdiamond @pistache @koalagardens @taffy Thank you for your lovely comments! It means so much to know how much our special community means to everyone! ✨
January 5th, 2021
Happy New Year to you Rachel @bilbaroo & you Ross @Scrivna too. Thanks a million for all your hard work here on this happy place. You are really essential workers, for all of us. And this is areat blog post to describe, what this place and the community is about, and why it means so much to us shuttrbugs. Happy to start in my 7th year now. :-)
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