For 365 days, I posted a photo taken on my smartphone to Twitter. This was just a fun little project I started since I felt like I wasn't utilising my smartphone camera enough. I was literally walking around with a camera in my pocket, so I wanted to make better use of it. I took photos of anything I could think of. Some were of food, some of scenery, some of animals, some of people. I learned a few things throughout this project which I think can be applied to various aspects of our lives, which is what I want to share with you here.
Practice makes permanent
I'm sure we've all heard the saying "practice makes perfect", but I heard an alternate version some years ago, "practice makes permanent". Instead of practising something to get good at it, you practice to develop a habit. When I first started out this project, I often found myself forgetting to take pictures during the day, needing to come up with something staged or random for my photos by the end of the day. But towards the end, I began to instantly notice photo opportunities as though it was second nature to me. I had developed the habit of taking photos and so everywhere I looked, I saw potential for a photo. The best way to make something a habit is to just do it consistently, until you find yourself doing it automatically without needing to think about it.
Better late than never
Thankfully there wasn't a day where I forgot to take a photo during this project, but there were several occasions where I forgot to post the photo I took. Rather than deciding to quit the project because I missed a day, I just posted it the next day as soon as I remembered. I kept my project going, and I managed to complete it. If I had quit because I forgot to post my photo, this project could've ended several times. If you have a goal you want to accomplish, it's never too late to try.
The best way to learn, is to do
I'm not even close to considering myself a good photographer, but I'd like to think I'm decent. And throughout the course of this project I think my photography skills did improve. I saw things from unique angles, I tried to get the best compositions I could, I learned how to use lighting to my advantage, all the things I learned, I learned by actually taking photos. Actually doing the thing you want to learn how to do is a great way to improve your skills. Theory can only get you so far, experience is a great teacher.
There were days when I didn't come across anything interesting, and so I had to get creative with my photos. I found random things and took photos of them from interesting angles, I played around with exposure and bokeh effects, used filters, anything I could think of to get an interesting photo. It's quite amazing what you can come up with when your back is against the wall. Creativity can come in many ways.
Asking for help
One of the things I learned from the book I just finished, "Tuesdays with Morrie", is that we shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. As a baby, we rely on our parents to look after us. When we are old, we rely on our kids to help us. So why shouldn't we also seek help from others in between? This is something I also did for my project. At times when I didn't have an idea for a photo, my friend would give me an idea. Sometimes, she would take a picture for me. You can't go through life on your own, as much as you might like to. This is funny coming from me, someone who prefers to work alone and isn't exactly a social butterfly, but it's true. Sometimes, you need others to help you.
I'm very proud of myself for completing this project. It's great to look back through my album and see all the photos I took throughout the year. I'm very happy with some photos which I think are pretty cool, and remembering the stories behind some of the photos is bittersweet. It was a great experience for me, and I definitely recommend you try it out if you are thinking about it.