The best way to perfect something is to practice. If you do something regularly it becomes part of your muscle memory and helps you get better at it. Its why athletes work on the technique all the time. To build that muscle memory.

Photography is no different. It might not be physical muscles but it is building pathways in your mind to create. Its building knowledge of how to make the images that you want to create happen.

The hardest thing about shooting every day is working out what to photograph. This sounds silly but its amazing how your mind can become completely blank once you have your camera in your hand and you are looking for something to photograph. The secret here is projects.

Firstly, lets give you some tips around making projects happen. We are big believers in planning to succeed.

  • Set realistic goals – Be sensible with what you are capable of from a time perspective. Make the goals realistic. Don’t say you will do a photo a day if you simply cant find the time in your schedule to do so.
  • The devil is in the detail – depending on how big your project is, make a project plan so that you can keep track of where you should be and how you are traveling.
  • Be kind to yourself – sometimes the unexpected happens and we need to be ok with that. One day at a time. But don’t let yourself make excuses forever. If you miss one goal, just rework your project to suit. Or better still plan ahead to have some recovery time.

Working on a project that you can do regularly is a great motivator. Here are some great ideas to help you decide a project that is right for you.

 

Calendar challenges. There are 12 months, 52 weeks or 365 days in a year. You can base projects around these as timelines. So you might try a new technique per month over the 12 months. Or you pick your favourite photo each week as photo of the week as the 52 week challenge. Or really dive in and do a photo a day. These time ideas can work well with other project ideas. So for instance If you want to really delve into food photography then a 365 day food photography challenge would have you shooting amazing food photographs by the end of the year and would make an amazing Instagram feed. The idea is that practice regularly will improve your images immensely.

A day in the life: this is all about documentary photography. Choose a person or pet that you can hang out with for a full day and document their every move. This is great if you have kids or pets because they wont be concerned about you following them around all day with a camera. And don’t forget to do a day in the life of yourself.

12 shot challenge: once a month decide on a location that you will visit and you are limited to only 12 photographs. This project I love because you have to slow down and really think about the shot before you take it. A great way to not be firing off thousands of photos of one place and hoping that one works out. Its about taking time to look at what you want to photograph and then designing the image before you take the shot.

Just iphonegraphy: this could be a 365 project (one photo a day) or a project 52 (one photo a week) project but has to be done using just your iphone.

a-z list: start with the letter A and end with the letter Z. one photograph for each letter of the alphabet. If your really good you could create a kids book from your images at the end of the project. This is a great one if you love the idea of learning how to do layflat layouts. finding lost of things that start with a letter then laying them all out is a great way to learn this skill. or you can go out and find actual letters. or you can find subjects that start with the letters.

What ideas have we missed? Let us know below if you have done a challenge that has really helped your photography.