Yesterday, I looked at some of the reasons why, having completed Project 365, I would recommend it to others. I also looked at some reasons not to do it; though I hope I haven't put anyone off. Anyway, today is the next logical step: For anyone who is interested in undertaking Project 365, some tips on based on what I found useful.
Variety is the spice of life: It would be quite easy to take a picture of the same scene every day. Indeed, it may even make a useful study to find out how the light varies and how that in turn affects your pictures. Very soon though it is likely to get dull. For me, covering the biggest range of subjects and styles possible was part of the fun.
Enlist the help of family, friends and pets: It’s always handy to have a model or two to sit for you. In particular kids and pets can be a saviour when there’s nothing much going on. That said, they can be quite a drain on your time and money, so if you haven’t got them there should be no excuses for not getting out more.
Volunteer for work trips: They don’t have to be to really exciting places, but a day spent in another town is bound to throw up things you’ve never seen before. Just be careful not to leave your schedule so tight that you don’t have time for any non-work activities. Of course if you’re a person of leisure, so much the better. Just visit some other places with no need to spend the bulk of the day working.
Putting just the right amount of gin in the tank makes the fish swim in an unusual manner: OK ok, I didn’t do this and I wouldn’t. It’s not even my joke, I pinched it from Viz comic. The lesson here though is that it pays to have something in your locker for those short winter days when it’s dark before you get home. I always made a point of having at least one idea in reserve that I could shoot late at night if need be, in the event of all other possibilities failing.
Study the calendar in advance: I always felt quite pleased with myself (well bloody smug, if I’m honest) if I could prepare a shot that matched some anniversary or event that happened on a given day. I found that there’s an almost endless stream of ideas to be had too if you want to use this as a source of inspiration.
Get yourself some props: I had Croquis Dukke and some old Action Men (GI Joes, if you prefer) and a string of other toys that have been parked in the loft as the boys abandoned them in favour of the latest unsavoury twitchy thumbed shoot em up. These always came in handy for setting up little scenes. They were far easier to work with than living models as well.
If you can afford it treat yourself to some new kit part way through your project: These can act as both a reward and an inspiration.
Find yourself some friends: Ones who will look at your pictures regularly and provide buckets of support, critique by the teaspoonful, and praise by the shovelful. Look at their work and you’ll get new ideas too. I’ve found that the best way to do this is on Photoblog. In fact when I started out here I had no idea that anyone would come and look at my pictures, I was amazed when people did. And for me it was one of the most motivating forces of all. How could you possibly quit, when you’ve made such a very public commitment? Thanks very much for your help everyone.