Photography Tips

Photo-a-Day Challenge: Could You Do it for a Whole Year?

We have another guest blogger on the site today, Louise Russell. Here she talks about why she is doing a photo-a-day challenge, and has been since 2012….

Have you ever considered starting a 365 photo a day challenge? Well, neither had I…that was until 2012.

I have been a keen photographer for many years both with my DSLR and trusty iPhone. I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of time available to get out and about and take photos. In 2012 I decided this needed to change. I set myself a challenge, a 365 photo-a-day challenge.

Photo-a-Day Challenge

I decided the best way to succeed with this photo-a-day challenge was to use my iPhone, purely because it is with me all the time.

Sunset on the Ridgeway 2012

Image: Sunset on the Ridgeway 2012

Above is one of the photos that I took in the first year of my challenge in 2012.

Now we are in 2015, and I am still continuing with my project.

When I started, I never thought I would complete the photo-a-day challenge, let alone carry it on into 2013 and beyond.

Photography Themes

In 2012 I simply took a photo of whatever I wanted to, whatever caught my eye. In 2013 I needed a focus to help with my project for that year. I decided to allocate a colour for each month which turned out to be a fun experiment that really opened my eyes to the colours that we take for granted everyday that surround us.

28 Shoelaces (Colour theme White) 2013

Image: Day – 28 Shoelaces (Colour theme White) 2013

Cowgirl (Macro theme) 2014

Image: Day 42 – Cowgirl (Macro theme) 2014

Having enjoyed the themes I set for each month in 2013, I once again decided on themes for 2014, including Macro Photography, Black and White, and Buildings.

I find that if you are choosing themes, then choose ones that will be of interest to you, accessible and challenging.

This will help to develop your photography skills. I use Instagram (@louruss), Facebook, Bliphoto (Louruss) and Flickr (Louise Russell) to share my projects. This enables me to share my photos with a wide audience.

Of course, you don’t need to share your photo-a-day challenge snaps with an audience at all, but I do find the comments and feedback I receive from people most helpful and encourages me to improve my photography in ways that I might not have considered.

Snail Reflections (Reflections theme) 2014

Image: Day 254 – Snail Reflections (Reflections theme) 2014

Keep it Simple

I think the key to my success with the projects is keeping it simple. Just using my iPhone, and having a focus has helped enormously.

Using your phone for photography is easy as the camera quality on a phone is amazing, enabling the user to take great photos without too much fuss. Using an iPhone to take my photos gives me a lot of flexibility, getting down low with a phone to capture morning dew drops or blades of grass covered in frost. It is far easier to do this than with a DSLR.

External lenses are available for phones, and are not at all expensive. I own a macro lens and wide angle fish eye lens.

The macro lens is one of my favourites, enabling me to get just that little bit closer to an object and capturing details that sometimes the naked eye cannot see.

Leaf and Dew Drops (Autumn theme) 2014

Image: Day 293 – Leaf and Dew Drops (Autumn theme) 2014

Rule of Thirds

I am, by no means, a photography expert, but I know how to take a photo (not always with the right outcome) and enjoy taking photos. The main thing to remember when taking a photo is the composition and the rule of thirds.

Now, although the rule of thirds is there to help you compose your photos, it’s OK to break the rules sometimes!

I use several apps on my iPhone to help me complete my projects and to remind me to take my photo, such as project365.

I also use Snapseed to edit my photos and occasionally VSCOcam.

Coffee For One (Looking Down theme) 2014

Image: Day 224 – Coffee For One (Looking Down theme) 2014

As we start 2015, I have found myself embarking on yet another 365 photo a day project. Once again, I have decided to focus on a theme for each month. I have planned my themes for the year in advance, and they are themes that I hope will challenge me and enhance my photography skills further. I hope I have inspired you to take up the 365 challenge. Who knows where the journey will take you? Whatever you decide on, the most important thing is to have fun with it and enjoy the journey.

What a wonderful idea don’t you think – will you join Louise?

About Louise Russell

Louise has been taking photographs for many years and enjoys using film cameras, digital cameras and her iPhone. Photography is a passion of hers, and something she can’t get enough of. She wishes there were more hours in the day to spend taking photos.

She is a busy working wife and mother, which can that mean it’s not always easy finding the time to take photographs, a key reason for starting the challenge.

She takes quite a few photographs; but does not specialise in any particular area. She likes to try her hand at almost anything. However, she enjoys macro photography and has recently purchased an Instax Polaroid camera which she is enjoying learning how to use.

If you would like to see more of her images then please visit: