Why Everyone Should Take A Photo A Day
Updated: Oct 16, 2018
For those of you that don't know, this isn't my full-time gig. The past two years I've been taking a full load of graduate courses, and working part time for the university. That meant that my passion was on one of the side burners.
Obviously, in that time I've photographed lots of families, babies, weddings, engagements, and the like - but my fully loaded schedule didn't leave a whole lot of time for marketing my business. As a result, the less biz-heavy months (I'm looking at you, January) of those years have gone largely unfilled creativity wise.
So, I decided to tackle something that I haven't done since 2013 - a Project 365. One photo, every day. I haven't missed a day yet!
I've learned a lot (both creatively and personally) from this experience already, and here's why I think everyone - photographer or not - should do a project 365 at least once.
1. It forces you to appreciate the little things.
We have plenty of days that are boring. Cleaning the house, cooking meals, trying to recuperate from the daily grind. Doing this project has forced me to see the beauty in the mundane, to notice those tiny little details that seem redundant and reevaluate them in the bigger picture.
As a kid, I used to insist on my dad putting up Christmas lights all over their house. Then, I got a little older and we all didn't go as overboard on the holiday, and eventually I moved away and the lights never came up, the train track stayed in the basement, the decorations weren't as plentiful. This year, Riker was old enough to be excited by the lights, and it was like being a little kid all over again.
2. It makes memories.
Memories I might not cherish otherwise, because (especially with a little kid) phases come and go in a flash, and before you know it you're so focused on the new one that the last one is an after thought.
Every time that I look at this photo, I'll think of his big goofy grin as he climbs into every window when he hears something big pass the house. I'll remember the pure excitement of him yelling, "MA, A TRUCK, A BIIIIIIIIIG TRUCK" literally every. single. time. that he sees one.
3. It breaks perfectionism.
Because, spoiler alert, there are days that are anything but perfect. There are days that we are sick, and tired, and over worked. There are days filled with crappy light and low moods and stifled creativity.
Having such a simple little task forces you to still show up, and make something. Anything. There are days when that quick act of picking up the camera has made me stop and shift my perspective (both literally and figuratively) and move on with my day with a renewed sense of clarity.
4. You will take better photos.
I mean this one is simple, right? Practice makes (maybe not perfection but) PROGRESS. Creatives especially, I think, are particularly hard on themselves. Almost every time I walk away from a shoot, I am thinking of what I should have done better. And even though that stings in the moment, it's a good thing, because it means I'm growing as a photographer. I've only been at this project for half of a year, and there are already ways that I see myself pushing and shifting in my work.
5. IT'S FUN!
Everyone needs a hobby, and this one is definitely more beneficial than playing the comparison game on social media all day. I find ideas popping into my head that I decide I have to make happen, and spending a little time just getting creative and messy. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but that's not the point. The point is that there's too little time in this life, and that having small things that brighten your day is really, really important.
And if you don't believe me, science says it's pretty good for you, too!
I still have just over half a year to go, and I'm excited to see what moments will be captured in that time! If you'd like to follow along, check me out on Instagram where I post these snaps daily at @kbernauerphoto
Have you done (or are currently doing) a #Project365? Tell me about it in the comments.