I started a 365 photo project — here is what I have learned so far
365 project: daily.hafur.com & Instagram
365 days — those are a lot of days and a lot of photos
Doing a 365 photo project is a great way to challenge yourself and document your life over the course of the year. When I started the project, I thought posting a photo daily would be quite a challenge.
After all, 365 days are a lot of days, and that’s a lot of photos! I was right; keeping up with the project is quite challenging, but I’m also learning a lot along the way.
Habit creation is everything
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is the importance of creating a habit of taking and posting photos daily. Making this project successful is making it part of my daily routine. I set aside a few minutes daily to take a photo and then upload it to my project. This way, I can stay on track and consistent with my project.
One of the most essential habits (apart from posting a photo every day) is actually taking photos daily. During a typical work week, there are only limited opportunities: Walking to daycare, going for a run, or simply commuting to work. The weekends provide more opportunities when there is more time to spend time outside.
Instagram to sparks creativity
In addition to my 365 photo project, I recently started uploading my photos to Instagram too. I chose to do this for a few reasons.
I have found that Instagram helps me to select a particular photo simply for one reason: Aspect ratio. Instagram’s aspect ratio is 1:1. On my homepage, I only upload pictures in landscape format and only in 3:2 (sometimes 4:3). Sometimes, it helps to view photos in 1:1 as it provides a different focus on the subjects.
Secondly and more importantly, I love that I can add music to photos on Instagram. I try to find a song that relates to the photo. Example: I posted a picture of a cheese shop in Amsterdam. So, of course, I had to find a song with ‘cheese’ as the topic.
Process of uploading a photo every day
The process of uploading a photo every day can be daunting at first. But it is actually relatively straightforward.
I usually do this at some point in the evening, which generally takes me around 15 minutes.
I start on Instagram and select a recently taken photo. Sometimes I also choose a photo taken a while back. For example, my wife and I talked the other day about our trip to Japan in 2018, and I was browsing through the pictures taken on that trip. One of those photos could be the one selected for the 365 project.
Once I have identified the photo, I find a song whose lyrics somehow describe the photo. Sometimes more apparent (like the cheese example mentioned above), and sometimes more ‘creative’.
Once I am happy with the photo and the song, I schedule the Instagram post for the following day at 8 am.
I also upload the photo to my server, where it is picked up by a Cronjob the next day at 8 am. The Cronjob resizes the image, converts it to a more efficient file format (webP), and updates the homepage on daily.hafur.com.
Conclusion — Yes, I will continue
It is only March, but overall, I’m really enjoying my 365 photo project so far.
One of the main reasons for starting this project in the first place was the hope that it would force me to take more pictures. So far, it definitely helped with that.
It has been a great way to document my life over the course of one year, and I’m learning a lot in the process. Doing a project like this is a challenge. Still, it can also be an excellent opportunity to develop your creative skills.