The following is a guest post from Awesome Ladies Creative Team member Rachel. Today, Rachel is sharing three strategies for creating a successful everyday photography habit.[hr gap=”15″]
For the past couple of years, I have had the goal of taking at least one photo everyday. While I have missed a few days, I try to not let that discourage me. Tomorrow is a new day! However, over the last few months, I have, like Kristin, been having trouble taking photos every day. Right around the time Kristin published her great suggestions for making photography part of your routine, I was on the hunt for a new strategy for taking photos regularly.
I thought some of you might be struggling with this as well and I figured I would share the various other strategies I have tried or come across. So without further ado, here are the three main strategies that jumped out at me recently:
- Repeating themes: There are some great examples of this on instagram! Fashion forward ‘grammers are all about the Outfit of the Day (#ootd). A number of Project Lifers I follow are doing daily photos of the different cups they are drinking from with #ayearofcups. An entire instagram community takes creative photos of toys everyday (try #toyhumor or #toyphotogallery)! The repeating nature of this sort of project can be helpful for keeping momentum when taking everyday photos. Also, the restricted nature, photos of one thing or subject, is nice because you don’t have to think too much about what to take a photo of but also requires you to be creative. I think #Thursday3 really falls in to this category as well, and it is for exactly these reasons that I love it so much!
- Photo a day challenges: These challenges are my tried and true! This is how I originally got into the swing of taking a photo every day. I started with #fmsphotoaday (started by blogger Fat Mum Slim) and later expanded to other challenges such as #takentoday. I think these work well if you feel a little uninspired and want direction. I got a bit fatigued on them after having done them for a few years and I was starting to feel like the photos I was taking weren’t necessarily representative of my life and what was going on. I felt too ofteh that I was just snapping a photo of a random thing that went with the prompt as opposed to trying to document my life through photographs. One way to get around this is to make up your own prompts. That way you know that you will be picking things that you want to have documented. I enjoyed this when I did it, but it does require a bit of planning ahead, which is where I got tripped up since I had only planned out a week of prompts for myself.
- Gratitude practice: There has been a lot written about how having a gratitude practice can make you happier. Often people suggest a line a day journal (author Gretchen Ruben has suggested this a couple of her books, including in The Happiness Project) or writing a list of 5 or so gratitudes a day (which you can do with an app like Gratitude journal), but I think snapping at least one photo a day of something you are grateful for is a great take on this for photographers! I get really into this strategy every once in awhile. It is great for helping you focus on the things you love about your life and I find that it helps me focus back on positive details and little things when I am feeling overwhelmed.
So, do you guys want to know what I’ve decided to go with?
I am going with a repeating theme.
I decided to do a From Where I Stand project. You can explore #fromwhereistand photos on instagram and see so many different things! I like that this prompt can document the everyday and also exciting adventures. As I mentioned, I am finding the restrictions of the prompt are helping me stay focused. I have also found that being excited about this project has given me more photography energy which has translated into more photos.
Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing an everyday photo strategy:
Revisiting old photos: Every once in awhile I like to go back through my pictures. This gives me a chance to be inspired by photos I’ve taken in the past and to be reminded of things I want to record again. This a great jumping off point for recreating photos and documenting change in your life. That photo you took two summers ago of a tree you planted – what does it look like blooming this spring? That abysmal photo you took of the delicious dinner you made last fall, with the terrible lighting – what are you eating now this spring with the sun going down later and that beautiful light lasting into the evening hours?
Reminders: Kristin mentioned this in her post about everyday photo routines, but I have mention it again. Using a reminder can be so, so helpful! I had tried the Collect app a couple of years ago, but not loved it. After Kristin mentioned it in her post, I thought why not try it again? It is working out SO great for this more focused #fromwhereistand project I’ve taken on.
Think about why you feel uninspired: While sometimes it doesn’t matter why you are feeling uninspired, sometimes knowing what’s causing you to feel that way can allow you to address it. For me, I was mostly feeling run down, so even taking photos sounded tiring or like a lot of effort. I was too focused on getting through duties and my life. I needed a way to reinvigorate myself and feel excited and energized about taking pictures. So far, my strategy is working!
What do you think of these strategies? Have you tried any of them? What did you like or dislike about them?
Will you embark on a new photo project or try to form a new photography habit soon?
Rachel is a photographer, nerd, occasional tweeter, queer woman, and social justice advocate. She enjoys an excellent cup of coffee (or a diet coke), traveling, and discussing thought provoking topics of all kinds. Rachel is going back to school to study Museum Studies and combine her love of nerdy things, museums, and preserving and sharing stuff. Connect with her on instagram or twitter.