Why You Should Try a 365 Photography Project in 2018


It’s almost the New Year, which means you might be starting to think about the resolutions and goals you want to make for the year to come. Often, the end of the year gives us time to reflect on the year that’s passed, and allows us to think about where our chosen careers have taken us. What did your photography bring you this year? Is there any areas you may want to improve? If there are certain goals that you are trying to achieve in your photography career, accomplishing a 365 photography project in 2018 may be the ticket for inspiration. 365 photography projects push us to create new content, and push our artistic boundaries into new areas.


What is a 365 Project?

A 365 project involves taking at least one photograph every single day for a full year. A 365 project could be a general photograph of anything in your surroundings, or you could choose to focus on a specific theme or genre that you are hoping to improve. The project exists to push your creative boundaries and help motivate you to seek new experiences that may improve your work. While the idea of a daily photography project might seem simple, you may unexpectedly find a new passion for shooting something you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.

There are many different types of 365 projects and groups that exist on photography communities such as Flickr or Tumblr. We’re outlining a few ideas that you can take on for your 365 Project in 2018.

Black & White

Challenge yourself to shoot one black and white image a day. That doesn’t mean editing a photograph you’ve shot into a black and white picture- shoot a meaningful black and white exposure. Think about the light, and the depth and dimensions in your imagery. Study the work of black and white photographers such as Ansel Adams and understand what they do to their images to create impactful photographs without color. 


Monthly Colors

This is a great one for Instagram or Tumblr, and it’s easy if you don’t have a specific subject you’d like to shoot. You pick one color each month, and then shoot with a focus on including that color in every single photograph. So for example, if you select blue your photographs for that month might have a lot of water, blue facades, and blue jackets on your subjects.

One Subject

This works fantastic if you have a pet or a partner who is willing to be your subject. Try shooting one subject, every day, for a full year. Change the environments, themes, and props that you use to photograph them to make each shot unique. This challenge is a great encouragement if you are looking to diversify your portfolio, and practice shooting a wide variety of genres and themes. With the single consistency of one subject, you can compare and contrast how each shoot you designed changed the look and mood of the photograph.

Self Portrait

Similar to the single subject, a self portrait project is another great way to push your creative boundaries. This is a great project if you are a fashion photographer or portrait photographer, to learn how your own body moves and how manipulating a model can drastically change the photograph. This is also a great project if your trying to get better at using tripods, or if your simply trying to step up your portrait game and want to practice.


With long-term projects, especially ones that involve shooting every single day, you might get bored or feel the need to quit half way down the road.  Here are a few tips to keep you going if you feel like giving up! 

  1. Always have a camera with you: We’ve all been there. You have the perfect scenario, but nothing to capture it with. Whether you are using your iPhone or DSLR, always make sure you have something to capture every opportunity. 
  2. Share your images: By committing to post every day to some public channel on social media or a blog, it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable to posting those images consistently. 
  3. Create a schedule: Planning for your project is a great way to keep yourself on track. Try to create a routine or schedule around your project, so that you are prompted daily to keep on track.
  4. Accept that you may miss a day: There may be days when you forget to take a photograph for your project, and that is okay. Things happen. You can always take two the next day! 
  5. Remember why you started your project: Your 365 photography project is a fun exercise to help you improve a skill in your craft that is a goal, not to stress you out. Have a clear vision of what your goal is at the end, and think about it as you progress through your project to re-focus. 


A 365 photography project doesn’t have to begin on New Years, you can start one whenever. If your feeling like you are in a creative rut, or need to focus your craft on something to challenge yourself- a photo project is a great start. Have any ideas for 365 projects you plan on doing? Comment them below to share with our contributor community! We can’t wait to see what you create.

We’re constantly on the lookout for new photographers and videographers
to join the Shutterstock Custom Contributor Community!

Apply to start creating stunning visuals for the world's top brands!

Stay creative!
- The Shutterstock Custom Contributor Community Team