I’m in my fourth year of a 365 photo project – I completed full years in 2014 and 2015 and half-hearted ones in 2016 and 2017. But I keep going, one day at a time. I find it difficult to stop. Not only has my photography improved but I am beginning to develop a style (I think!) I blog a lot about my journey and my processes too – it helps to “got to know my why” and my emerging style.
But this year I have struggled to find inspiration. For blog writing and for photography themes. A lot of people do a 365 photo project to record their lives in a photo a day, others to improve their photography and others to refine a style. Some do it for the social aspect. Usually, this is enough for me. This year has been different. It has been like wringing blood from a stone. Hence a patchy and sporadic project.
I am not ready to give up
I have tried having a break from my 365 project and it does work, but I soon begin to miss the daily interaction and the discipline of posting something everyday. So I return, full of great ideas, which fizzle out after a few days. I know that if I give up on taking a photo a day, my camera will languish in the cupboard and grow mould. No seriously, I had a huge lapse about 10 years ago and my old camera did grow mould!
It is much easier when we go away for a break. I use the photos I take then to post on my project. After 4 years, I’ve made the rule that I can post a photo not taken on the right day, as many of the longer term members do. When I started out in 2014, I would never have contemplated doing that!
So far this year I have tried all of these… hoping for more than momentary inspiration. I’m still here and posting, so I suppose it works sometimes.
When I am at a loss, I always think I can stick to prompts. In an ideal world, it would be easier to do, but work and real life often get in the way and daily inspiration for interpreting the prompt seems to desert me. I’ve dipped into most of these this year – the key word being dipped.
- The free Photoblog calendar, which has a prompt for every day of the year, to guide you through a 365 project (NB: the 2018 version can be found here)
- Katrina Kennedy’s “Capture your 365” monthly prompts
- The monthly 365project.org prompt list, which is kindly put together by a member on the site
- The Dogwood annual 52 week challenge, which is in its 2nd year
- Prompts from many of the blogs on WordPress, such as the Weekly Photo Challenge or Debbie Smyth’s “Travel With Intent” weekly prompt.
My other approach is to come up with a theme. Of course there are lots of sites that provide ideas for themes, including the 365project site that I belong to. I often come up with my own ideas, but often I participate in themes which others on 365project are doing. It is fun to participate with others, to see how they approach a theme and to keep each other inspired.
- February: Flash of Red February
- March: 31 days of same object
- April: A month of gratitude
- May: Half and half (also on Instagram with #dashalfandhalfproject)
- December: Laughing Buddha month (which I am also posting on Instagram this month, see my feed to the right) and SquareSky (inspired by Becky’s blog “The Life of B”)
Often, something in my home will be fair game for a short series: fluffy toys, my beaded animal menagerie, shells, rocks…. you get the idea!
Right now, I’m heading to my bed for an afternoon nap – maybe that will inspire me!
What do you do to keep inspired for photos? Do you record your day, however mundane, or do you participate in themes and projects? Or both!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about inspiration!