What It Means To Be An Everyday Photographer

I wrote this post six years ago, but each year I find myself coming back to it. I savor the photos a little more with the passing of time. Even when my photos show the learning curve I’ve been on, I’m grateful to have so many details recorded.

What about you? Are you an everyday photography?


Everyday photography is a style of its own. We are the photographers dedicated to creating a moment when none may appear. We are the photographers who seek out good light on the darkest days, even if that means opening our refrigerators. Nothing is really off limits. We’ll carry our cameras anywhere to get “the shot.”

Somedays our photos happen in one click. Somedays we find ourselves clicking two hundred frames to find one we call the photo of the day.

Somedays our photos find us naturally, organically. Easily.

Other days we jump out of bed at 10PM to grab a photo of anything. Anything to keep our habit growing.

It is a habit. A ritual. A part of who we are.

People around us look in shock if we walk out of the house without our cameras. They ask us if we are feeling okay? They point out photo ideas and ask how we are going to shoot it. They remind us that we haven’t taken our photo of the day. They help us make the decision of which one to pick when the decision between two becomes too difficult for us to make.

They don’t question our external hard drive space and they know that our most coveted gifts are the technical kind.

For some of us we strive to improve our camera skills. Clicking away each day to become intimately familiar with every button and menu our camera contains.

Others strive to capture our lives. Grab the moments. Preseve the details. For ourselves. For others. But preserved, nonetheless.

Maybe we journal along with our photos or maybe we let the photo tell the story.

We learn how to light flowers. And legos. And dessert. We try techniques to get a great silhouette. Or shoot the moon. Or expose for faces in the dimmest of light. We practice painting with light and starbursts at Christmas. We’ve shot bokeh on street corners and carried a string of lights around our house, looking for subjects.

We’ve experimented with long shutter speeds and macro lenses. We’ve tried macros without any special equipment.

We’ve lit our scenes with speedlights and flashlights and candle light.

We’ve taken photos at dawn, dusk and times in between. We’ve played with good light and no light at all.

We’ve shot candid and posed. We’ve taken still life and action. We’ve grabbed the group shot and the self portrait.

We’ve taken photos with our big cameras, a point and shoot and so often our phones.

We’ve shot breakfast and dinner and the drink at the table next to us.

We’ve asked strangers for a smile and stopped in at laundry mats for the experience.

365 has been our personal project. Made up of smaller projects. Created through the challenge of seeing our world through the lens. Made by the challenge to make this year’s photos different than last, even when the characters haven’t been changed.

We are photographers. Everyday Photographer is our special designation. It is our lifestyle as much as our title. It is who we are. It becomes how we see the world. It is our passion. Our love.

And best of all? We know there are others who share our love. Know what I mean?



  1. Tina Fowler

    Nice article, and I now find myself doing most of the things you listed. I carry my camera with me always, to work daily and even on my lunch break, my camera goes with me– everywhere. I’ve sat in my car at a traffic light and whipped it out of its bag, I’ve pulled into parking lot just to get that ‘steeple’ image (lol). My husband has decided to join me rather than fight it (lol) he now ask what my word is, and have I posted my POTD, offers suggestions and on occasion has been my assistant. I’m looking forward to another great year filled with learning much and photographing lots!

  2. Rhadonda

    You nailed it. Have you been stalking me? LOL Totally what I do, carry my camera everywhere, sits on my lap in the car on trips etc. The funny thing is that now people say “can I have a copy of that photo?” So maybe I’m not so weird after all, I’m doing the thing they all wished they would have done. Such a great read. I can see why it’s your fave article. Love this project. Love this community. Thanks for all you do!

  3. Deb Murray

    Hey, it’s me!!!! What a great article 🙂
    Thank you so much!

  4. Deb Murray

    Hey, it’s me!!!! What a great article 🙂
    Thanks you so much!

  5. Melissa Wilbur

    This article/story is like looking into the mirror; I can relate to this 150%. I’m new to your blog and site, and thus far I’m so happy for the daily “nuggets” of ideas when trying to answer the question ‘what will you shoot today?’. I used to be ‘afraid’ to take my point n shoot with me to parties and outings, thinking I would look like the odd person out when taking photos, but ever since my husband purchased a DSLR for a Christmas present for me, I’m rarely without it. I don’t care what people might think of me when I have my camera in hand, since the shot I want to capture might be the one I just took. I now know I’m not the only one who loves taking photos of their every day life, thank you for all you do and what you post, you are helping me in so many ways 🙂

    • YOU are not alone!

      I’m so glad you’ve found us too! Life is so fleeting, why not capture it before it’s gone!

      Welcome to CY365!

  6. I loved the article. I am a new 365 member. I find life going by to fast. I found myself not taking time to see what is going on around me. I am going to slow down and look around and take inventory of what is meaningful to me. Taking pictures is a great way to do that. My children are grown. I want them to know what is meaningful to their mom now.

    • Happy to read that your children are grown, so are mine and I too want my kids to lean more about me through my photos. At the end of my life I want my photos to tell my love story: the love for flowers and color, rain and laughter everything about faith and life and love. I enjoy reading all the post but I get really excited to see some followers that are in my age bracket . My goal this year is to ‘learn something new’ and so begins my new journey with photography…. and I’m luv’n it!

      • Tina, you’ll find the CY365 community is filled with people in very similar situations to you! It’s such a diverse and supportive group! Glad you stopped by.

  7. How did I miss this post? It is perfect. I have thought these words so many many times. Thank you.

  8. ViolasViews

    That could’ve been me writing that piece. I think I’ve done almost every one of those things!

  9. Marty Ward

    Loved this post, and can really relate!

  10. “Other days we jump out of bed at 10PM to grab a photo of anything. Anything to keep our habit growing.”

    OMG! I did this the other week and wasn’t proud of myself. And made my husband not all that happy with me either. 🙁 Ooops! But had to keep the habit going!

  11. Hello May i ask you what sort of lenses you used
    for your photo’s??

    • Hi Yvonne,
      I have four lenses in my bag:
      Canon 50mm 1.4
      Canon 17-40mm 4.0
      Canon 70-200mm 2.8
      Canon 100mm 2.8 macro

      Most of my everyday photos are taken with the 50mm or the 17-40mm.

      • Melissa Wilbur

        do you recommend a specific website on where to purchase your lenses?

  12. What a great post!
    I am a newbie and started this year’s Project 365+1 on January 1st while also doing my online photography course and taking care of two kids. What you said about going around the house at 10PM just to find something, something to shoot rings true in my case, as it happens more times than I’d like.

    I am yet to find my style, and looking forward for your May ideas for inspiration.

    • Ayu,
      Thank you.

      You’ll find your style. Let it naturally arrive. The first months of 365 can definitely be the hardest as you work to find your groove.

      So glad you’ve found CY365!

  13. I came to this realization of being an everyday photographer… (though thanks, Katrina, for giving it a name)…when my first grandchild was about 10 months old. I kept trying and failing to get the polished portraits like a professional photographer gets. One day it dawned on me that I could pay someone for the dressed-up photos. What I could not buy however were the photos of my grandchild doing ordinary things in normal surroundings. That day changed my photography forever and I have loved documenting my grandkids’ (now I have 4) lives ever since.

  14. I found you through a Pinterest link. I love how that stuff happens.
    I finished my first 365 Photography Project on New Years Eve 2011. I’m so grateful that I accomplished it without a miss the very first year I tried it. I’ve been pretty much an everyday photographer since I first picked up my camera and started a blog several years ago, but deliberately taking a shot a day without fail was harder than I imagined. I only recently got a phone that would turn out a decent picture, so about 98% of my 365 were with my big DSLR. This year I decided to do a 52 project, but didn’t want to give up on the 365 – but chose instead to just allow the habit to go on. If I miss a day, that’s OK because the only FIRST 365 is in the books. However – I didn’t know what to label my daily photography journey and to tell you the truth, it’s kind of been bothering me. I, like Holly in the comment above, love the term Everyday Photographer. That will be my title! Thank you! Thank you so much.

    (I’m always long winded – so just bear with me)

    I love the eloquence of the description you provided of the everyday photographer. It’s almost like a song in my head and I’m sure I’m going to read this a few times. I hope this post is read a million times by photographers near and far, it is truly lovely.

    I am taking a month off from blogging (down to about two weeks now) but the shutter is clicking along.


    • Kristin, I’m so glad you found CY365! I think you echo the feeling many of us have. I love that you’ve made 365 your own and now have something to call it! Thank you for stopping by!

  15. Yes!! I shook my head after every sentence 🙂 I love the title I am now going to give myself. I am an Everyday Photographer.

  16. Well put! I can relate to a lot of this now that I’m nearing the end of my first year. *Psst* In the first sentence it should be “its” not “it’s.” That’s a pet peeve of my husband’s so I know he’d never forgive me if I didn’t say something.

  17. I loved your post and have written about it here on my blog
    Little did I know when I was writing the post that my house would be robbed hours later and my camera taken. But at least I have something to write about for that day on Project Life.LOL

  18. What a great post. You captured exactly how I feel about taking photos and my camera. I don’t participate in Project 365 but I take a lot of pictures each week and its one of the most therapeutic things I do, especially, as you described, “dedicated to creating a moment where none may appear.” What a great quote!

  19. This is a beautiful post. Thank you for this! Photography is a lifestyle and doesn’t stop after one click. Sometimes, as a photographer, I get a little distracted from the purpose of my work. What you said is true and every moment is incredible. We are eternal witnesses to the universe’s gifts.

  20. Well said!

  21. i love this!!! thank you! when i’m feeling silly for taking 10 shots of a pile of laundry to get *just the right one* i’ll think of this post. 🙂

  22. OH YES!!!! You have describe me to a “T”!! I love every day photography and though this is my first year at a 365, I’m loving it and haven’t missed a day!! I’ve learned so much these last 6 months and know the next will be just as wonderful!! I just found your blog, through Becky Higgins FB post and will love following it!

  23. Nicole

    I have been an everyday photographer for 5 years, 3 months and 25 days… Since the day my oldest daughter was born. I can relate to everything that you wrote here! It is definitely a part of who I am! And I wouldn’t change a thing – I love the way that looking back over my daily photos brings me back in time to each moment that I photographed…

  24. I am so inspired by this post! I am still getting into the habit but your words make me want to go out there and just capture life

  25. Amen sister! Well said.

  26. I started taking pictures “on purpose” six months ago, and have enjoyed this journey so much! I see life differently now. Mostly I see photo ops where ever I go. Thank you Katrina, for helping me to start this journey. Your blog and gallery are the first things I check, in the morning.

  27. It is a habit. A ritual. A part of who we are…

    It just dawned on me that whether I pick up a camera every day or not, I still am a 365 photographer. Driving to the store, playing with the kids – I see what I would shoot if I was holding a camera. Thank you Miss K. It is about the way we see the world and hopefully, get a shot of it!

  28. Wouldn’t have thought this of myself a couple of months back, but I’m identifying with this now:)

  29. So well said!! 🙂 I found myself nodding in agreement as I read along.

  30. o-girl

    I enjoyed this piece. Everyday life photography has become a part of me, like breathing almost, I can’t NOT do it. Ya know?

    You mentioned your external hard drive….mine is having issues. I got a message that it’s now ‘corrupted and unreadable’ ¦*( I’m just wondering if you ever experienced this and if so what you did to remedy it. If you have been fortunate not to have been through this and have no answers, no worries. 🙂

    Thanks for this site/blog. It’s one of my favorites.

  31. Yes! I do know. And I share your love. Thanks for all that you do!

  32. Carol E.


  33. Definitely know what you mean! 😀


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