1/365: "Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." ~ Tony Robbins I began this project on January 1 and thought about it for months before I committed. I wanted to be sure that I could succeed, so I contemplated what I wanted to achieve and considered everything that would be a possible problem. I spent time reading advice from people who have done this project in the past. I looked at different projects to see what others had done.

The notion of a 365 project seems easy enough, but the challenge lies in the fact that rain or shine, with or without time or motivation, one must put up that picture! It's a formidable task when it's a challenging day, let me tell you! The only time you don't have to put a picture up on the day is when you cannot get to a computer with an internet connection, such as when you're on vacation. In that case, pictures are still taken for each day, but they are not put up until after the vacation is over. In my book, that's the only time it's fair. Life throwing you curve balls is part of the challenge!

My research showed that one of the biggest reasons for project failure is burnout. People get so excited that they take pictures like maniacs for the first few weeks and then put their camera down for many months because they totally overdo it. In fact, I watched this happen to dozens of people at the beginning of my project--a month into a 365, people dropped out left, right and center! However, I knew this was a risk and I have restrictions built into my day. I stop taking pictures before I want to. I won't take pictures that are calling to me, especially if I know I probably have my picture of the day already. I restrict my time to the point of getting very annoyed because I haven't satisfied my desire to take pictures for the day. However, this tactic has worked beautifully, and I've maintained 100% of my passion and lust for photography! There are certain days where I have the opportunity to visit a special place or go on a hike or whatever, and on those days I let myself go crazy with photography, but I also know that I won't be processing most of the pictures and some may not even get looked at. Time is too short!

131/365: "Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream." ~ Debby Boone [Explore] My main goal of this project is to improve my skill as a photographer, and as I write this on day 147, I can say with confidence that I am much better in all regards! Every day I push myself to find a better subject, angle, focus, bokeh, mood, or what have you, and it's working. What better classroom to have than the whole world in front of me, and myself to push myself to do better than yesterday? I depend on my countless friends who are on ipernity and Flickr to inspire me and show me their brilliance. These images stick in my head and have helped me so much when I am out taking pictures.

In addition to the daily photo requirement, I have imposed the condition that every picture must have a quote that fits. This quote can be poetry if it works well since it's still quoted, though not what you would conventional call a "quote". Also, if necessary, I can occassionally change a word to match my picture, though this is not something I'll allow on a regular basis.

Funny enough, it sometimes takes more time to find a proper quote than it does to take and process my picture! That can be so annoying, but it's a fun challenge unless I'm really under a time crunch!

Doing a 365 project has been a lot of fun for me, and something I would recommend to anyone who wants to improve their skills as a photographer. It takes time, discipline and dedication, but the rewards are well worth the effort. I look forward to each day's new pick of the day and the lessons I will learn with it. Challenges and rewards are a daily gift with the 365 and I'm proud to be part of this project!