My Project 365

by Renee on January 8, 2013

Zonin prosecco all dressed up | Magnolia Days

I did it! I finished my Project 365. It actually was a Project 366 because 2012 was a leap year. The photo above is the last photo of the collection. It represents the celebration of the completion of the project and the day itself (New Year’s Eve). I started the project with one goal: to improve my photography. It turned in to so much more.

A Project 365 sounds easy. All you have to do is take and share one photo every day for 365 consecutive days. Simple. Except some days you are not inspired and others you want to blow it off. Believe me, I came close to skipping it on some of the days. Very close. I’m glad I didn’t skip a day. It truly was worth it in the end. I learned a great deal.

I learned more about photography. I knew nothing about taking pictures. I rarely ever took pictures prior to blogging. I had no clue how to use a camera. I inherited a camera from my dad, an old upper level point and shoot (Nikon Coolpix 8700). I started my project with it and my iPhone. With that camera, I was able to learn about shooting in modes other than Auto. It prepared me for using my current camera, a Nikon d5100.

I learned to see the world differently. Different as in through the camera lens. Objects appear at another perspective. I also saw the world at new angles. I took many shots while I was on my knees or sitting or hunched over or lying flat on the ground.

I learned to notice what will be in the photo. Before my project I would just literally point and shoot. I never paid attention to what all would be captured. You have no idea how many times I uploaded photos to find all sorts of things in the background. Or in the foreground. A beautiful flower does not look good with a gutter down spout in the background. Insects did a great job of photo bombing and it wound up being quite funny after a while. Now I look through the camera and notice all, or most all, of what will be in the photo.

Every day I looked for beauty all around. Every where I went I was on the look out for something nice to photograph. It forced me to see my surroundings in a whole new way.

It is a visual record of one year of my life. It is a photo diary of sorts. I can look back and remember what went on each day and what inspired me. Each photo contains more than the image, it also holds all the behind the scene memories that go along with it. The photos reflect my passions and love of certain things:

My love of nature is very obvious. The majority of the photos are of plants and flowers.

Red-Orange-Yellow Mums | Magnolia Days

My passion for food is there too. It is a big part of my life.

Cooked Bacon | Magnolia Days

My love for my very spoiled hounds (whippets): Lexie, Trixie, and Tiger.

My whippets - Lexie, Trixie, and Tiger | Magnolia Days

Want to see my Project 365 photos? I have the entire collection on flickr. Click here → Renee’s Project 365 ← to see them.

Would I recommend doing a Project 365? Absolutely yes. It takes time, energy, and a serious commitment. If you do, then my advice is to not quit and keep going no matter what. Be sure to let me know so I can follow along with you.

While you are here take a look at what I’ve been cooking. I baked bread, roasted cauliflower, and made a great sweet potato casserole. My food photos are improving thanks to my Project 365 and all the great information from fellow food bloggers and photographers.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyn @LovelyPantry January 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

Congratulations, Renee! It takes so much dedication to do a project 365. And yes, you do learn so much from doing it. For me, taking photographs of my children and food allowed me to grow in photography. I also appreciate nature photography.

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thanks you Lyn! You were one of the bloggers/photographers that helped me in the process. Your photos have always been inspiring to me.

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Stacy January 8, 2013 at 9:11 am

Well done, Renee! That is an awesome accomplishment! I have enjoyed so many of your beautiful photographs, and I am grateful for the open window to your world. Thank you for sharing!

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thanks Stacy!

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Angie @ Big Bear's Wife January 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

I have tried to do one of these 365 day projects before and failed. a lot….
I’m so glad you stuck to it! Congrats! Going to check it out now :)

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

It certainly was tougher to hang in there and keep going that what I initially thought. I’m glad I kept going and finished.

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adam @unorthodoxepicure January 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

Congrats on wrapping it up! Your project also helped me! Thank you.

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

Thanks Adam! How did it help you? I would love to know.

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Terry January 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

Did you do the project365 on Instagram? I just started it 1/1/13 and you’re right about wanting to forget it – 8 th day in and I almost forgot one night to post a pic!! I’m TerdiSue on Instagram ~ follow me!

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

No, I did not do the Project 365 on Instagram. I posted the photos to flickr and my personal facebook page. Mid-year I started posting them on Google+ too. I am on Instagram but don’t use it often. It’s one of the things I want to use more this year.

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DB-The Foodie Stuntman January 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Congratulations on your accomplishment! I don’t think I would have the perseverance.

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Kenna January 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

What a fun project! I’m glad you finished it. It sounds like you had specific goals for having done so. I am curious, did you find yourself using your iPhone more than your actual camera? It seems like this might happen, just out of convenience. When you used your iPhone, did you still feel like you were learning about photography?

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I’m on my own mission to read 100 books in 2013. You can find more about the challenge on my blog or under the hashtag #100Books on Twitter.

Kenna

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I used and still use my real camera more than my iPhone. There are some filters and apps that can help with iPhone photos though. However, using the real camera and my Project 365 helped me to take better photos with my iPhone because of paying attention to it instead of just snapping a photo.
Good luck with your 100 books in 2013! I’ll keep a lookout for the hashtag.

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amy @ fearless homemaker January 8, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I loved following your Project 365 on facebook, especially the pupsters, since you know I have a weakness for pups! What a neat project, + such a wonderful achievement that you completed it!

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Renee January 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Thank you Amy! I do miss the daily photo a little. I’m sure I’ll still share lots of photos this year. I’ll be sure to take some of the hounds too.

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The Ninja Baker January 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Bravo, Renee! You have captured the cuteness of doggies, the bright cheeriness of flowers and the sizzle of bacon. Have you considered selling your Flickr photos? They are coffee table book quality =)

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Renee January 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Thanks! I sure would consider selling my flickr photos. I’m totally open to offers.

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Lane @ Supper for a Steal January 8, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I have enjoyed all your photos, looking back at the beginning of the year ones that I missed now. What a great experience and you obviously learned a ton about photography along the way.

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Renee January 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Thanks Lane. I can see my progress through the year. It was definitely worth it. Glad you enjoyed my photos too.

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Lynn at Southern Fried French January 9, 2013 at 4:35 am

This was a wonderful idea, Renee, congratulations for hanging in there. Now you have a great journal of your year and we get to share it. Lovely photos! Happy new year to you.

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Renee January 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Thank you Lynn! And a very happy new year to you too.

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