Back when Flickr was the cool place to hang for photographers, I would surf it endlessly looking for creative ideas. I stumbled upon this idea of a “365 Project”, which is where you take a photo a day for a year. So on some random morning in 2011, I decided to start my own. Then, after I finished it on March 10, 2012, I felt amazing briefly, then I stopped taking photos for a few months.
So, in the summer of 2012, I started another one, which I called 365 Season 2.
I didn’t finish that one.
Once again, after that, I just didn’t take photos much anymore.
In November 2013, I had gotten fed up that I wasn’t making anything. Once I stop the daily discipline of pursuing a new photo every day, I would go back to my old ways. Just like exercise, when I don’t have a plan or a daily task my plan to get fit always falls apart. I need a daily goal, a small deposit in the bank of that particular goal. In November 2013, I started 365 Reloaded, where I got back to taking photos daily. This one was the best quality one I had every done, I was clearly beginning to get better.
Once 365 Reloaded ended, I took a quick break for Christmas, but I was back to it in 2015. This time, I wanted a tougher challenge, so I used it to shoot a portrait every day. This was a tough one, but I ended up completing it and made the best work I had every made up to that point.
Right after my “portrait only” 365 (Titled IV), I decided to keep going but challenge myself in a new way: A video a day. So that’s what I did for the next 300 days, I filmed and edited a vlog every day until it drove me totally insane. I’m not super into the videos I made during that time, but now I get paid to film and edit videos from time to time, a skill I owe to my 2016 daily video project.
Then in 2017, I did an unofficial 365 project while I was deep into my day job called #willstills2017. I shot a photo a day for the most part, and it’s where I really started getting obsessed with my 24mm lens that almost never leaves my camera.
In 2018, I was making the move to go totally full time with photography, so I started the daily photo series 365 Strikes Again! where I documented my year of transition as I prepared to leave Chattanooga, TN after 8 years of living there. During this time, I did some of the best professional work of my freelance career that is carrying me to now, where I’m now self-employed in Upstate South Carolina.
But guess what? I’m not doing a daily photo series, and when I’m not doing freelance photo work, I’m not spending my time coming up with new ideas. Granted, I’m a salesman now, so I spend a lot of my time managing contacts, writing emails, calling people, and budgeting. At the end of the day, however, I’m a photographer, and a photographer takes photos.
It’s the time in between my daily disciplines that really charges me up to start them again and again, because that daily discipline has been the biggest driver of my photography career over the past 8 years.
During my 2018 daily photo series it began to occur to me: Why would I ever not take a photo a day? Why do I get all this momentum, and then throw it away, just to start over in a few months?
I’m prepping my next 365 project, but this time, I’m dropping the “365” idea. I’m going to a daily photo series indefinitely.
Of course, I’m gonna miss a day or screw up at some point, but having this daily discipline has always been an absolute good for me and my career. That said, I need to think of a way to make it sustainable, but also, to get other people involved.
That’s right, I want help. I want others to join in.
As of now, this is how it’s going to work: I’m going to gather a huge database of “photo prompts”, some submitted by you guys and others I create. I’ll have one section that will contain photo methods (self-portrait, landscape, street photography, etc) and another group of prompts that will be a word to go along with it (brown paper, blue, bubble wrap, fire, etc), can be anything. I’ll draw them both each day and I’ll have to figure out how to create a “Blue Self-Portrait” or “Fire Street Photography”, etc. I’ll post the daily prompt on Instagram every day for anyone to follow along with and try out themselves as well.
I’m going to start this thing on March 10, and in the meantime, I want you guys to submit daily photo prompts that I’ll choose at random every day. Each morning I’ll get up and do the morning photo prompt drawing, and I’ll create a hashtag for people to join in with.
I’m excited (and a little scared), so let’s do this!