February 22, 2011

My 365 Photo Project

 In January 2008, I start the 365 project. If you were a reader back in the beginning (are any of you still around?) you may recall my posting it up in my first entry with my birthday goals that year.

I took tons of photos, so this project just seemed to fit. This was the next step. I was pumped. This was going to be awesome. Each weekend, I planned to upload the photos and display them on this blog.

Week One - January 22, 2008
I had even started writing captions for them in iPhoto!

dang driving... reached 50,000 today on the way home (i had already taken a photo from this day, but thought I should 'document' this.
Birthday RootBeer Float! From Famous Daves!
mmm. chinese takeout. To bad once I opened my food, it wasn't what I ordered :(

 Week Two...
There were only a few of these photos... ditto with week 3 and 4...

It was hard to tell where exactly I stopped taking the daily photos. Even without committing to one photo per day, I still took around 10,000 photos in 2008. Yes, Really. I somehow could find things to take hundreds of photos of in a day or so, here and there, but not one photo each day.

 Fast forward to December 2008. I took this photo on December 29, 2008. Dakota had crawled under the tree, and stood up. Of course the tree fell over, and Dakota ran like H. E. Double hockey sticks. He did come back to investigate. The stand was broken...

I continued to take at least a photo each day. Not wanting to set myself up for public disappointment, I did not post photos or updates on my blog. I only briefly mentioned it in my goals, and let it at that.

 This time, it was fun. I enjoyed the challenge of looking for something new each day. Sure, there are a lot of Dakota photos, however each photo, regardless of subject, has a story to tell.  I continued the project until one day I realized I forgot to take a photo the day before. I was devastated. What should I do? I had done so well. I became frustrated with myself and wanted to quit.

The perfectionist in me said I needed to quit. I failed. However the artist in me continued to take photos. I sat down one night and started printing what I had so far. Then, like a gift from above, I realized I had so many photos I could borrow one from a connecting day to fill the gap. It was brilliant. I printed out the first few months of photos and was in L.O.V.E. It was so refreshing to look back at the pictures, remembering, laughing, taking in those moments all over again.

In the meantime, I had found page protectors at Archivers on super clearance (something in the range of pennies per sheet). They were the ones that hold 4 photos and 4 strips of negative film per side. I pondered for awhile, believing I couldn't pass up this amazing deal.  I quickly realized how very perfect these protectors were for my 365 project. 8 photo slots in a spread allowed for a 4x6 date card, plus 7 photos for the week. The Negative slots could be used for journaling with each photo. Brilliant. I calculated and bought enough for 2 years of the 365 project.

Though some days I did feel stressed about making sure I took a photo, I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I became totally and completely in love with the challenge.

One day, when I was uploading and sorting several months worth of photos (I did struggle keeping up with organizing), Alan mentioned he took a couple photos on his cell phone while out walking Dakota. PERFECT! I was stoked that he wanted to be involved in this process! From that day on, I always grabbed both our cell phones, our point and shoot camera and our SLR when uploading photos. It was exciting to see what we each captured over that period of time. Sometimes we had similar photos, yet I was always more interested in the days our view of life went in different directions. We were truly capturing our life.

 Now fast forward to today.

I continued the 365 project through December 29, 2010. though I have only the photos from 2009 printed and in the album (I'm using a We R Memory Keepers album).
I used mostly scrap paper to slide in the places under the photos. I have not written on them, however it will happen. I can say this positively will happen because each time I flip through the album, memories appear. I'm taken back to the day when Alan's grandparents came to visit, or the weekend when Alan and his brother remodeled my craft room, or the day Dakota sat on my one and only strawberry in the garden. I remember the smell from the grill during Dakota's birthday, the sound of seals during our California vacation and the frustration from the day Dakota ate my glasses. Alan has even promised he would help journal on the photos he took!

I am so happy I did this project. It is an amazing record of our life for two entire years. Once I have the 2010 photos printed, It will be the most complete scrapbook I have ever done.

Whether or not you have ever considered this project, I highly suggest you give it a try. I know many people have their own spin on it. I just suggest you make it your own and do not stress over missing a day or 2. Also try to at least sort the photos into a 365 folder every couple of weeks. It will make it so much easier when you go to print them!

Have you participated in the 365 project? If yes, what did you learn? What were your successes and struggles? If you haven't given it a try, what is holding you back?


  1. I just stopped in to say I heart you and your blog and all of your photos. I love to stop in here and get a pick me up when I see whatever you're working on. I've never done a 365 project though we started one on Flickr called Baa & Friends. The boys and I keep saying we need to do that again. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftsbykatie/sets/72157614452871452/)

  2. Love this!! Thanks for telling me about it!! I've had a lot of fun with my 365 project. It's helping me get better at taking pictures and editing. Thanks for the tip to upload them every week or month or so. Or been posting them on my blog but I should get a blurb book going!
    Love this post!

  3. I'm three months into Simon 365, a photo a day of Simon for his first year. Haven't missed a day yet and don't plan to! I did the same project for Charlie's first year but I did miss several days. I didn't beat myself up over it, though, because these things happen.

    I want to do a self portrait 365 one year and maybe an object 365, a project where I photograph a non-human/animal each day for a year. We'll see. :)

    Have you seen this?


  4. I've got several friends who are doing this for 2011. I love it! Such a fantabulous idea. The perfectionist in me won't let me start late so it's on the to-do list for 2012. :)

  5. I'm working on all my 2010 Project 365 pictures. I want to make a scrapbook with them. I'm doing it again this year. I really enjoyed taking pictures everyday.

  6. I never really thought about doing a 365 project, but I think you've convinced me to try. I loved reading about how going back back through your pictures brought back the fun memories--it's the little things that happen all year long that make life worthwhile, you know? Thanks for sharing. Awesome job on the albums, by the way! No perfection allowed, because that's not real life! :)

  7. oh wow! Love your scrapbooking style! You have inspired me to blow the dust off mine and get back into it. Oh, and we have a chocolate lab too! She's our purdy, purdy princess.