We all have our reasons for completing a 365 project. For me it was so that I could learn to stretch my creativity. I wanted to learn photography but I didn’t know what to take photos of day in and day out. I used the prompts to help me become creative and to give me an opportunity to pick up my camera every day.
But, 365 days is a big commitment. It’s hard to stay motivated to pick up your camera every day for 365 days. I bet you’ve had periods where your motivation has lagged or stopped completely. Picking up the camera becomes work and it seems like the joy you once felt has gone. We’ve all been there.
So, what can you do when you seem to have lost your motivation? I hope that in this blog I can give you some ideas to try when times are tough. I read a lot of articles when I first started out about how to maintain your motivation. Most articles suggested a 365. Perfect suggestion as far as I’m concerned. However, we’ve already discovered that we will all face some motivation blocks throughout those 365 days.
I came across a number of unique challenges to help you pick up your camera and challenge your creativity. Give a read through the suggestions below and see if any of them resonate with you. Is there one that you could try?
1. With one object shoot 10 photos
Pick one object, and use it as the main subject of your photo. Can you photograph it 10 different ways? If you use an object that transforms your options increase. For instance, if you use an egg as your subject, you can photograph in its raw state, in its broken state and its cooked state. Once you get started you’ll find that you come up with all sorts of creative ideas.
2. Find a specific area and shoot for 30 minutes
Use your backyard, a room in your house, a garden, anywhere really and set a time for 30 minutes. Shoot purposefully during that 30 minutes. Your area may be small and 30 minutes may seem like a long time but that will force you to get creative with the photos that you do take.
3. Create a photography bucket list
Who are your favourite photographers? What do you like about their photos? Review your favourite artists and your favourite shots and create a list of photographs that you’d like to capture or recreate. It could be a specific place or it could be a specific technique. Start a list and when your motivations is waning check your list and see if there is technique or photograph on that list that you could do. My bucket list includes, photographing a dancer in action, concert photography, capturing lightening and photographing the northern lights. I continuously update my bucket list as I come across photos that grab my attention. I had always wanted to photograph fireworks and this summer I finally got the chance to do so. It was fun striking something off my bucket list!
4. 365PictureToday gives you weekly themes...
...but I bet you’ve noticed how some members create their own theme for the week to coincide with the prompt theme. Lori Sullivan paints her nails the colour of colour week. Amy Roach gives us Ruby Tuesday, featuring her dog Ruby once a week. For still life week I used the same old suitcase as my background for every photo that week. Can you come up with a theme to try for a week? How about including a specific object in every photo for the week. You could use quotes with your photos for once week. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few other suggestions:
- Use only one lens for a week of photos - use a prime lens instead of a zoom.
- Use your phone instead of your camera or vice versa.
- Photograph using objects that begin with the same letter of the alphabet.
- Use the same backdrop/background for the whole week
- Use the same model/subject for the whole week
5. Go for a photo walk with a hula hoop or other object you can toss
I came across this next technique that I thought sounded quite interesting. It suggests you go for a photo walk with a hula hoop or other object you can toss. Throw the hula hoop and throw it in the air letting it drop and bounce and come to a stop. Stand inside the hula hoop and take 5 photos of anything but do so purposefully. When you’re done, toss the hula hoop in the air in any direction and repeat the process. If you don’t use a hula hoop just throw an object and walk to it.
6. Learn your camera or phone.
Our devices do so much more than we are even aware of. Pull out your manual or use google to learn more about your camera. If you use a DSLR and shoot in Auto, learn to shoot in manual. There are lots of articles out there that will help you with this. If you shoot with your phone, learn about what it offers and try a new technique.
If you've made it this far in your 365 journey, congratulations. It is not an easy feat. Have you used any of the above projects to help you maintain your motivation? Do any of these pique your interest? If so, give them a go and let us see your results. I'm sure many of you likely have other techniques you use to maintain your motivation. I hope that you'll share these with us in the comments. This is such a creative group and I love that we can all learn from one another. Just keep going, you're almost there.