Since starting doing my contemplations and preparations for my 2012 Project 365 I have had a few questions on what it is Project 365 is and how to get it to work with Instagram … I thought that this was a perfect opportunity for a post 🙂
What is Project 365 (P365)?
Project 365 is actually really simple … it is just the act and self-discipline of taking one photo a day for a whole year. It can really be that simple. But like many things that seem really simple … they don’t often end up being necessarily easy. I completed it in 2010 and really enjoyed it. LittleMiss was only a couple of months hold and LittleMan had just turned 2. My project in 2010 was alittle more complicated (but that was entirely my choice). I wanted to take 1 photo a day my two children. It made it harder (and trust me there are a few photos of them in bed at night asleep when I had gone … “bugger I have forgotten to take the photo” … and raced into their bedroom before the midnight cut off) … but also incredibly rewarding. I have so many pictures and you can really see how they change and grow over the year … especially with LittleMiss when they change so much in the first year. It was hard work (and I only missed 6 days) but the reward was worth it in the end.
But how does Project 365 relate to Instagram?
Well … my first tip for anyone thinking about doing Project 365 is to always have your camera with you at all times. If you don’t be prepared for Murphy’s Law to strick with a vengenance … at just the moment you think you could take the best photo you won’t have your camera. This is where your Phone and Instagram comes in. Most people take their phones everywhere and even compared to a few years ago the cameras in phones have improved incredibly. I am not saying that they are the same as a DSLR but most new cameras on the market have a 8MP camera. That is pretty darn good for a phone if you ask me. So it makes it just perfect for Project 365.
While there are many phone photography apps out there. I think that Instagram is the best and has risen to be the most popular photography app for the iPhone (and I think android market). I have a few photography apps on my phone but I would have to say that Instagram is my favourite … and I use it everywhere. I love the filters it has, I love its sharing and community, I love how easy it is to share with Facebook and Twitter … and also update on my blog. For me it is great. So for doing Project 365 where I have my phone with me all the time and I enjoy using Instagram it just seemed to make sense.
But is that all there is to Project 365 and Instagram … taking a photo each day?
Well it can be. That is one of the things I love about Project 365 is that you can make it really anything you want it to be. However for me the 2 things I like to get out of it are … improving my photography (and that is why I will be taking some photos with my ‘normal’ camera) and sharing with others.
The sharing component with Instagram is one of the reasons I want to do Project 365 using that app and one of the easiest things you can do is use the hashtags to be able to share you photos with others (including those that you don’t know … yet). People who are familar with twitter will know all about hashtags and they work in the same way.
A hashtag is a “symbol” (or code) that allows web search engines to find and categorize messages, keywords and in the case of Instagram, pictures. For instance, if you type #cat or #cats in the subject or comment on one of your pictures, any user anywhere in the world looking for “cat” or “cats” will easily find your picture and others user’s pictures using the same #keyword
So for Project 365 I use the following hashtags – #project365 , #p365 , and #Instagramp365
So how do I use hashtags?
You can use hashtags in every in the following ways
- With your Instagram User name – Not a huge fan of this method but it can work for some
- With the Subject of a picture: – Add a name or a description to each one of your pictures. For example
Pic of my #cat called Ginger in the #garden – #project365 #p365 #instagramp365
The idea here is not to tag every single word, only the most relevant and important. Adding a hashtag on your cat called Kitty is probably not very relevant for searches; it would be better to add keywords such as #pet or #pets.
- With the comment of a picture: – I often use this one as I like to pick which picture of mine at the end of the day is my ‘pic of the day’. So I use the comment for my hashtags.
What else can I do with Project 365?
Other places to share
There are many options for what you can do with your project 365 photos and ways to share. Here are a few I know of and (most I have tried)
- Check out the Project 365 group on Flickr. It is a great community of people to share photos with and get some inspiration. Here you will also find some old hands who have done it for several years.
- Let’s Do 52 – This is a group from the Photographer and Photoshop Action and Textures Designer Paint the Moon. This is a great group of people that like to take their photos from their camera and do some additional edits to take them to the next level. Might not necessarily be the best with the Instagram photos but a great way to enjoy P365 in a slightly different way
- 365Project.org – I have only just found this. It looks like a nice community of people sharing their photos, ideas etc
Other Apps I can use
There are alot of photography apps out in the market and a few Project 365 specific apps. Here are some I use
- Hipstamatic – My 2nd favourite photography app. I have lots of fun with all the different options and combinations … sometimes I use Hipstamatic to take the photos and edit … and then use Instagram for the share.
- Pudding Camera – A friend on mine recommended this app for me to try. It is a bit out there as all the instructions are in Korean (I think) … but like Hipster it looks very interesting … so it is worth a mention
- Project 365 Remember Your Year One Photo At A Time – (watch out there are 2 with the same name … the one I like has the camera as part of the logo. Not the one with the yellow background) I have only just downloaded this app. It costs $0.99 and it is worth it. Great way to collect your photos in one place and see them from a calendar perspective, has a reminder to alert you to take a photo (I set mine to 1pm … so plenty of time to remember) and also can share via email, facebook, twitter and flickr.
- Flickr app – This is a great way to keep up with what your friends are doing and see your own photos on Flickr
- Tweegram – I have only found this one as well but I am really liking it. If you want to put a message on Instagram .. here you can. And if you get the premium version you can also add a photo (see the featured image foran example)
Scrapbooking Project 365
Project 365 is very popular within the scrapbooking community. Here are a couple of designers that have some cool things you can use to enhance your Project 365 photos
- Biograffiti – She has some wonderful templates from her 2010 project. However they are easily updated for any year. You can buy her templates as part of her ‘Buy her Store’ Offer for $25. Just the project 365 component involves over 100 templates and all the dates and bits and pieces you need to do your project. If you want to scrap it .. it is the easiest (and now very cheap way to do it)
- Kate Hadfield – She has some cool bits and pieces … including a couple of free templates from when she did it last year. But I also think some of her doodles are essentail for a P365 scrapbook album 🙂
I hope that this has been helpful … and if you are doing Project 365 (or Project 366 this year) … Project 52 (just one photo a week) … Please let me know. I would love to see what you are doing… Also if you any other apps, tips or tricks you think are useful I would love to hear … Good luck in 2012.