THE BLOG

How to Succeed at a 365 Photography Project

27/03/2015 18:51 GMT | Updated 27/05/2015 10:59 BST

Three years ago, my friend Sjoerd and I decided to start a 365 day photography project together on Tumblr called "365 Dagen". When we started, we only had a handful of followers but at the end of our project there were over 250 000 people from all over the world engaging with our content, which was an incredible experience.

Producing a photograph every day was and is hard. It forced us to be creative and get the best out of every day and situation. More than ever it made us realise the beauty that is all around us, and that even with a simple camera you can get beautiful pictures on a boring day.

Running this 365 project helped us to understand photography and get to grips with a range of different cameras. It gave us international exposure and took us to different countries for collaborations, including Belgium, France and Switzerland. The project impacted our professional lives, too.

This March will see the publication of our book HASHTAG365, which contains a selection of images from the project.

Here are our top tips on how you can run your 365 day photo project, starting today.

1. Grab a (ny) camera

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

Running a 365 project is a lot easier if you don't restrict your options. Since we started our project we decided that there were to be no limits on what we could take photographs of. The only rule was that we were going to take photographs in black & white only. This meant that we didn't restrict ourselves to one type of camera.

We used both analogue and digital cameras from iPhones, GoPros, to a Yashica T4, Canon SLRs to a Mamiya 645. Different types of cameras worked in different kinds of settings. The GoPro brought us some crazy footage in the Australian waters and the Leica D-lux 6 became a hands-on camera which is perfect for city photography. We found out that smartphones take amazing pictures on sunny days and DSLRs are perfect for the exploring darker urban corners.

If you don't have multiple cameras, ask your friends if you can borrow theirs.

2. Publish anywhere as long the platform has a visual focus.

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

We chose Tumblr as our publishing platform. Unlike platforms like Twitter, it focuses more on the visual side than the copy side. At the time we started, Tumblr was rapidly becoming more and more popular Holland.

There are a variety of different platforms where you can run a 365 project. Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr and even print will help you find an audience.

3. Think Ahead

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

Publishing photos everyday can be hard. One of the biggest challenges we faced was bad-weather and low-visibility in winter, in particularly rain and snow. Learning to think ahead allowed us to side-step these issues. Check the weather forecast regularly so that you can ensure you have the right gear on you.

Always ensure that you have time left over for post-production.

4. Use your eyes

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Whether at home or abroad, we realised how invaluable it is to use your eyes before picking up the camera. What do you see? What surroundings are special in this typical location? Take time to watch and observe, and your next photo will be better.

We started to notice details people often overlook: how people move their hands, for example, or the way a cat walks on a rooftop

5. Work together

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

Working as a team improved the quality of our photography. We checked each other's work regularly and gave each other lots of feedback. This resulted in more focus, dedication and better photos. Without any professional photography experience, and without a teacher to advise, this is the best way to get an honest critique, and also discuss different cameras and settings.

6. Fail ...

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

The good images are just a fraction of the photographs we took. There were a lot of photographs we weren't proud of and failure helped us to become better photographers. So don't worry if one of your photos doesn't look nice. Show it to people, discuss how you could make a better one next day, and keep taking more.

7. Try different things

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

Try different things! A lot of different things. Different camera, different city, different settings. Play with light and darkness. Find out what suits you best and than stick to it and get really good at it. Photography teaches you how to get the best out every situation and to look at things from different angles.

8. Get out of the building

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(c) Spendel & de Jong

There are so many cameras to buy and a wealth of literature about photography. However, all you really need to start your project is yourself and a camera. Set a date, choose your platform, get out of the building and start your 365 project.

HASHTAG365 by Spendel & de Jong is out on March 36 (Clearview Books, £25), available herehttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Hashtag-365-Sjoerd-Spendel/dp/1908337257