Project 365 | What’s Your Purpose?

Start your 365 project with your purpose in mind.

  • Do you want to document your everyday?
  • Do you want to improve your photography?
  • Do you want to practice a technique or theme?

Documenting Everyday

Documenting your everyday details is the easiest way to get started with your 365 project. Look around you and you’ll see nothing but potential photos. Every detail around you can translate into your photo of the day. Consider including events, moments, refrigerator contents, and anything else that crosses your path. The daily email prompt can help you when you get stuck.

Improve Your Photography

The practice of using your camera every day will improve your photography. If your primary purpose is to improve your photography, consider grabbing your manual and working your way through it. Learn how to use every button and dial as you work your way through the year. Each Wednesday of 2012, I will post a “Grab Your Manual” prompt. You’ll be challenged to grab your manual, read something, share it with us, and apply it to your photo of the day when possible.


100mm f/2.8 Macro

Practice A Technique or Style

The more specific your 365 purpose, the more difficult your project is going to be. Not impossible though if you are up for the challenge. If you are ready for the the challenge consider a macro project or photographing strangers. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Self portrait project
  • Landscapes
  • Tiny details
  • Reflections
  • Stranger on the street
  • Lego a day

You can always incorporate these ideas into your every day photos. It will give you a lot more flexibility with your project.


Enjoy The Process

Knowing your purpose will guide your entire year. Let it stretch you, but not too a breaking point. If you aren’t accustomed to picking up your camera daily keep your project manageable. Avoid choosing a very specific subject or format you will photograph each day. If this is your fifth year with the project you may need a little more challenge. Consider a subject, technique, or style for your photos.

It’s also okay if you decide a photo each week is all you want or the more flexible framework of project life. Know what matters to you and what you expect from this project and you’ll be much happier in 365 days. Make Project 365 work for you!


What is your purpose?


  1. My purpose is to start, because I always wanted but still couldn’t. So now purpose is to try to capture anything a day – very flexible. I need to say I loved your blog and all the resources you have here for us… thanks for that.

  2. In 2009 and 2010 my purpose was mostly just to document life. In 2010 I got serious about photography, got my first DSLR, and began trying to improve my skills. In 2011 I still had the purpose of documenting life, but I was also hoping to improve. I had long periods of time when I was discouraged, but I never gave up completely and near the end of the year I’m finally feeling more confident.

    I haven’t decided yet exactly how I’m going to do my Project in 2012, but I’ve definitely got both purposes in mind again.

  3. blissmamaof3

    I love the December Daily album you posted! Where did you get the template? I’d love to use it for my 2011 holiday images. I have the paper copy I completed for this year but really want to do more with the rest of the images I took. Would you please let me know? Thanks so much for your inspiration, really looking forward to the 366 countdown series. Ready to gear up for another year in pictures!


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