Guide to Starting Your Own Photo Project in 2019

Guide to Starting Your Own Photo Project in 2019


It’s that time of year when everyone is goal setting and for me that means a new photo project. This time of year you can basically split people into two categories- those who set New Year’s Resolutions and those who don’t. Haha! Anyone else agree? One of the resolutions so many of us (especially moms!) are making is to do a better job documenting our days through photos.

So today I want to share with you two simple tips for making your photo project a success. I’ll also share some inspiration for types of photo projects you could pursue this year.

Simple Tips to Make Your Photo Project a Success:

#1 Pick specific & measurable goals.

I’m a firm believer that any goal you set needs to be specific and measurable in order to be successfully attained. You can’t just say, “My goal is to take more pictures this year!” and expect it to happen.  Instead you need a specific goal for photo taking and steps to help you achieve it. For this reason setting a specific photo project for yourself in the new year is a great way to set yourself up for success. You should also give yourself guidelines within that specific project. How many photos will you plan to take? How often will you have your camera out- daily? Weekly?

#2 Share your photos.

Simply sharing about your photo project is a huge step towards holding yourself accountable to actually follow through with it. Perhaps you’ll share your goal with family or friends, announce it on social media and share your progress or join a group of other people who are also taking on a photo project this year. Check out my photography group on facebook if you want some encouragement as you pursue your own photo project. I’ll be sharing my own photo project in that group throughout the year.

Types of Photo Projects

Project 52

A project 52 is photo project based on the idea of taking a photo one photo for each week of the year. Typically a project 52 has a different theme or goal for each week. This could be a simple prompt such as “hearts” or “eyes” or it could be a prompt that challenges you to explore more technical aspects of photography like the rule of thirds or leading lines.

A project 52 is a great way to challenge yourself to take more photos while giving yourself a specific and measurable goal.  You can join up with other taking on a project 52 and find prompts for the year in my photography Facebook group here! 

Project 365

As you can probably tell from the title, a project 365 means taking a photo everyday of the year. While this is a great way to simply document life, no prompts necessary, you may find that having a prompt for each day or theme for the week is helpful in guiding you and keeping you focused throughout the year.

It’s been my experience that, like any long term goal, it’s easy to start out strong and then let a project 365 dwindle if you don’t have clear goals and and an idea for what it is you want to accomplish through this project. Are you simply looking to take a greater number or photos throughout the year or are you looking to improve your photography skills? If you answered the later one, than having something to guide you through the year is probably your best bet for achieving your goal.

Self Portrait Project

A self portrait project narrows down the focus of your project to just taking photos of yourself. Different than just a selfie, a self portrait is a great way to get in the frame while also pushing yourself artistically to explore light and composition as well as storytelling through your photos. Be sure to set a measurable goal for yourself by deciding ahead of time how often you will take a self portrait. Monthly or weekly goals are a great place to start.

Themed Project

There’s so many great options for a themed photo project. This could be a great way to improve your technical or artistic skills. Choose a skill you want to focus on for a month and then move on to another skill the next month. For example, spend one month focusing on photographing catch lights in your subjects eyes and another on composing your photos to use leading lines. There are so many ways you can go with this kind of project.

30 Photos of Summer

Not ready to jump into a whole year long photography project? Consider doing a photo project that last only for a set amount of time so it doesn’t seem as overwhelming. The last few Summers I’ve hosted a 30 Photos of Summer challenge which is a super fun way to document your summer without the pressure of a year long photo project.

30 Photos of Thanks

Another photo challenge I’ve hosted for the past several years, this one takes place for the whole month of November. It stems from my own desire to cultivate a heart of thankfulness through the photos that I take.  (If you want to find out when this or the 30 Photos of Summer photo challenge start sign up for updates HERE.)

iphone Only Photo Project

Push yourself to take better photos using just your phone! I am a huge supporter of taking photos on your phone. You can read all about it HERE or download my free guide to iphone photography as well.

Print Your Photos

Maybe your goal isn’t to take more photos this year, but to do something with all the photos you already take. If this is the case there are some great options for printing your photos that I would love to share with you! I have a whole post on how to print your photos so you can enjoy them for years to come.

One of my quick and easy solution is chatbooks! If you haven’t tried to these super easy to create photo books then now is the perfect time. You can use the link HERE to receive $10 off your first order.

Don’t forget to join me on Instagram and in our photography facebook group where I’ll share my own updates to my 2019 photo project. I would love to share in your photography journey and see your own project as well! Join me HERE.