365 Projects involve taking a photo every day for a year. These can be random or on theme and I was told by a friend that sticking to a theme was the best thing to do-so that’s what I did.
When I was pregnant with our eldest daughter, my mother-in-law gave me a lovely little Bump to Birthday book. It was brilliant because I filled it full of all the lovely memories from that time, like little stories of what we had been up to, scan pictures, cards and lots and lots of photos.
When I started taking photos for this book, I thought it might be nice to do my own 365 project of our daughter, from the day she was born till her first birthday. I tried to take pictures that documented key events or milestones, for example when she first crawled/walked or trips to favourite places.
I know that to some people I will probably make myself sound like such an amateur photographer, but I found that the best tool for this project was my phone. It was great for this kind of thing because I did not want the act of ‘needing to take a photo every day’ to take over our lives and I certainly did not want to be lugging around extra cameras with me, on top of the huge collection of baby/toddler stuff! My phone was always relatively close to hand, so I could just quickly grab it and snap away without distracting my daughter from whatever she was doing. I wanted to use a digital camera because, for an ammeter like me, and with a subject that is constantly on the move, I liked to take a few pictures of the same moment and then pick the best one later on to include in the project.
I love digital photography because of it’s instant and flexible nature, but I miss the fact that it does not directly result in a set of prints. I like to make albums or scrap books of my photos and I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I really struggled to find photo albums specifically for 365 projects. I could find lots of places for sharing 365 projects online (365project, Flickr etc), but I didn’t want to share all these pictures of my children on the internet and instead I wanted to build a lovely little keepsake to give to them when they are older.
I have a MacBook Pro and used iPhoto (now Photos) for my pictures, so for me the easiest way to make a photo book was to order an Apple one directly from there. I think they produce really good quality photo books and I like the way that, if you use Photos, you can just build your book directly on there. In my book, I included each of my 365 photos but I also broke the rules a little bit and included a few extra photos for the day she was born and her first birthday. I also included an extra section of pictures of my daughter having her first hugs with friends and family and put in a poem which my mum had written for her first birthday.
I did the same thing for our youngest daughter’s first year and they both love flicking through each others books and reliving everything.
Once I finished the 365 projects for my daughters’ first years, I wanted another little artistic challenge to focus on. I decided to create an account with 365project.org and, starting from the 1st November 2015, I used this to take a photo of something arty every day for a year. This consisted of either a beautiful photograph I had taken, something arty that inspired me or a photo of some of the art I have produced that day (whatever stage of completion it was in)! I really enjoyed doing it, but at times it was quite hard to keep up with so I was glad when I finished and I didn’t HAVE to take a picture each day.