Project 365: My experience making an iPhone photo everyday for one year

Using HDR to capture a covered bridge

It’s been 2 1/2 months since I finished a Project 365, and as I find myself having trouble getting traction on a new daily project I realize what an endeavor it was, and I’m proud I did it.  I evolved my approach and style over 365 days, and have summarized my journey below in case you want to avoid my mistakes or live vicariously through my experience.

Phase 1:  documentation

When I first got my iphone, I started Project 365….literally the next day.  I approached it as documenting something that happened in my daily life.  I realized that when I became so desperate for something new and different (I work from home and have a pretty set routine) – and ended up photographing my recently manicured foot I was in trouble.  If I was going to do this for 365 days, my approach needed to be different.

Documenting one of my favorite indulgences
Documenting Wine and Cheese for My Birthday

Phase 2:  discovery

I started getting hooked on all of the cool photography apps out there.  I must have at least 40, and know them all well.  For each image, I would create three “interpretations” and then subject my poor husband into reviewing them and picking the best.  This would take anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes a day.  I was consumed.  I knew it was time to experiment with a different app when Peter (in his own interesting way) would suggest “aren’t you overusing that effect”?  But it was sooooo cool.

The Venetian in Vegas
Aged tulip

Phase 3: complexity

Three interpretations every day taught me what apps work well for what images, how to look at an image and know where to go first, and how to mix and match apps.  I started layering the effects of different apps on top of an image to get unusual results.

Abstract of wine bottle
Fragility facing the storm

Phase 4:  focus

By this time, I was getting more focused on what worked and what didn’t. I reverted back to simplicity.  I was getting better at creating subjects and scenes (this was about the time I went through my miniature and pink duck phase – two of the most popular phases).

Life on the edge
Flying Duck

I have to admit the last 60 days were really tough.  I was having trouble coming up with unique things to photograph, and different interpretations of them.  I was so desperate for photos, I got over the self-conciousness of being seen taking them.  I even resorted to asking big muscle men at the gym if I could take pictures of their tattoos.  To my surprise no one said “no”….but one guy was really selective about which tattoo I could take a picture of because he didn’t want anyone copying his favorites.  People who know me would probably have a hard time visualizing this conversation, much less the subsequent photo taking effort which led me to “boss him around” (his words) so I could get the right shot.  I suggested he could commiserate with my husband.

Tattoo #2

To see the entire collection of Project 365 photos click here.


  1. Anonymous

    You make my project 365 seem so old school! I haven’t done much photo editing, but I’m going to start! What are your favorite apps?

    1. pamphotography

      Thanks for the note. My “go to” apps are Photo Studio for creative effects; Photo FX for advanced processing; Lo-Mob for an old fashioned photo-look; and Camera Bag for a wide assortment of film effects.

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