A New Project 365 (+1) for 2012

by Wendy Copley on January 9, 2012

Porject 365 Week 1

Hooray 2012! Hooray Project 365! I’m going back to taking a photo a day this year and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

I’ve done two 365 projects previously — one in 2009 and another in 2010 — and I blogged the photos once a week. Taking a photo a day can get pretty intense and blogging it can be even harder, so after two years in a row I was ready for a break.  It was a tough decision for me, because I’ve really loved having the photos I took in 2009 and 2010, but last year I decided not to do Project 365.

And then something interesting happened. Guess who ended up taking photos nearly every day of the year? That’s right — me. It turns out that if you have a camera with you all the time and are constantly using it to take photos after 700+ days you kind of form a habit. In December as I looked back at my photo archive I started to realize that taking the photos wasn’t the part that was hard for me. The hard part was blogging the photos. Hmmmm.

I decided I needed to look at this project closely, think about what I wanted to accomplish and then prioritize. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Taking the photos is the most important thing to me. I’ve been taking photographs regularly for more than 20 years. It has always been an important hobby for me, so important that I don’t really think about it much. I don’t spend much time working on improving my photographs or trying out new techniques — I just take pictures constantly. For the most part I’m happy with my photos, so that’s worked well for me for many years now but I’m feeling like it’s time for me to bring a little more thought and finesse to my photos. I’d like to use this year to spend some time studying photography, experimenting and taking things to the next level and Project 365 is a great venue for that kind of experimentation.
  2. Having a way to look at the photos at the end of the year is a very close second. I’m not an arty photographer and I don’t take photographs for the sake of taking photographs. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) At the end of the day, my goal for Project 365 is to capture my life and the lives of my family and to give all of us a way to look back and enjoy those photos. In previous years, I purchased Project Life kits and my technique for filling them was to order my Project 365 photos every three months or so, stick them in the photo pockets and then go back to my blog where I’d written about the photos and transfer whatever I’d written there into the album by hand-writing it onto the journaling cards. Copying text off a computer screen by writing it out in long-hand is tedious and boring and I hated it so what I ended up with was two albums full of photos and empty of stories. I love flipping through those half-filled albums and looking at the photos, but what I really want is to flip through full albums so a change to my technique is in order.
  3. I still want to share my project on Wendolonia. I like sharing my photo projects here and there is a very vocal (if small) contingent of readers who seem to enjoy reading those posts so it’s something I’d like to continue. The problem is that in past years I prioritized the blogging part of this project above the album-making part of the project. I’m going to reverse that this year.

So here’s the plan:

  1. I’m going to take the photos every day, but if I miss a day here and there I’m not going to sweat it.
  2. I’m going to put the album together as I go along. I’m planning to print photos at home and to write out my journaling cards every few days. I’m also planning to include stories that don’t have anything to do with my photos and bits of memorabilia here and there. While I plan to add things throughout the week,  I think it’s more realistic to plan to knock out pages a week at a time. I’m hoping I don’t get too far behind on this.
  3. I’ll share pages on Wendolonia as I feel like it. Again, I’m hoping to do this weekly, but I’m not going to stress out if I don’t get to it. Also, I’m going to take photos of the pages in my book and share those rather than posting the individual photos and writing about each one. If someone wants to see what I’ve written they can always click through to Flickr and view the photos in a larger size.

So here is what I did the first week:

Porject 365 Week 1

I’m planning to primarily use the Project Life Style A page protectors (currently sold out) for this album, but I’ll shake it up with some of the other designs occasionally too. The first part of this week talks about our lazy New Year’s day, my impulse purchase of (and new obsession with) Wii Just Dance 3, and heading back to Weight Watchers after being a big slacker over the holidays. I printed the caption and the date right on the Weight Watchers photo before I printed it which freed up a couple of journaling slots for a Trader Joe’s receipt and a small blurb about buying new drip pans for our rental stove. (Which made me vastly happier than one would expect.)

Porject 365 Week 1

I also included an 8.5 x 11 page protector with a few examples of Wyatt’s school work that he was particularly proud of.

Porject 365 Week 1

The rest of the week finished with a collage of Instgram photos from Wednesday, a picture of Wyatt at his Cub Scout pack meeting, a longer story about how I had to tell Wyatt he couldn’t check out a book because he was on the overdue list when I helped out in the school library on Friday (man, did that suck) and a photo from a lunch I attended with my old co-workers on Saturday.  The extra little cutie polka dot card is from the Project Life Clementine core kit which is the primary source of cards and paper I’ll be using for journaling on this project.


Here’s a close-up of the collage I made. I wrote a sentence about each of the photos too.

Phwew! I had a lot to say about that!

Are you doing Project 365 or Project Life this year? Are you doing another year-long project?

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  • Whitney

    Oh my, I am so envious of your book. And oddly thrilled to have my photo in it! Does that cool date stamp come with the project life cards? I need a post about what you need to get started (amazon links welcome) and what you might be able to use from other unfinished projects… other photo album, other card stock?

  • Jenn @ bentoforkidlet

    It’s been years since I have done any sort of scrapbooking which makes me sad but it always seems like such a huge task. I am completely in love with this way of documenting the year!!! I can’t wait to get started 🙂

  • Anne


  • Yes! I just ordered my goodies the other day; I was going back and forth between Project Life, Project Life digital (through Shutterfly), or a Smashbook or two.  I ended up choosing Project Life, since I want to use the Smashbook for more of a personal journal.  I’m doing a photo a day as well…I usually take at least one picture a day with my iPhone so it’s not been too difficult so far!

  • Isa

    Thank you so much for sharing! Brilliant project!

  • Yay!!! Yay yay yay! 
    When I attempted a project 365 in the past I *really* enjoyed it, but ended up dropping the ball on it. I found it really tedious to upload pics from my camera, load to flickr and then upload (again!) to my blog at the time. So this time, in an effort to streamline the process, I decided to take all the pics with my iPhone, funnel all my pics through Instagram. Then I have one place for my project photos to go with minimal effort on my part AND there are lots of services out there that will sync to the Instagram account to make a photo book. So that’s my plan.

    I would really love to do a more hands-on book like yours, LOVE, but I know I don’t have the follow-through for that yet.

  • LOVE it!!! (you are back in my blog reading feed…I know you were concerned about that…so I thought I’d fill you in…;) )  

  • I *was* concerned, Robyn! Glad you’re back!

  • Pingback: Project 365 2012: Week 2 | Wendolonia()

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  • I’ve been following your blog for the bento for quite awhile. I had never heard of this. With a new baby, I am really intrigued! Thanks for sharing the things that were hard for you. Most of the 365 sites are all Rah! Rah! Rah! I feel like with yours I can consider it more as an option because I know what will be difficult for me. 

    P.S. I love WeightWatchers. 🙂 

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