I embarked on my first journey through a photography project in 2015 in an effort to learn and practice new photography techniques. I decided to partake in a Project 365 by taking and posting a different photo to Instagram every day for an entire year. The Bethadilly blog provided daily prompts to offer inspiration and techniques to try and each person who participated used the hashtag #thebethadillychallenge. I enjoyed the process so much more than I thought I would and learned a great deal. Here are 5 things I learned through the process:

  1. The photos don’t have to be perfect as long as you try.

    I have been tinkering in photography for as long as I can remember, but my skill level is far from where I want it to be one day. Sometimes it was hard to share images I didn’t like or wasn’t proud of with a group of people whose work was consistently amazing. However, I didn’t let that stop me from trying. Some days I didn’t have much time or energy to put forth, so I did the best I could with what I had to work with and went with it. In the end, I was proud of myself for trying even though I may not have been thrilled with every single image.

  2. Sometimes a different angle makes all the difference.

    Some days I couldn’t seem to get an interesting photo to save my life. When I had a little more time to devote, I would find an object and photograph it from several different angles. The end result was usually something much more interesting than what I started with.

  3. It’s okay (in my book) if you don’t take or post a photo every single day.

    Okay, okay. I know the point is to take and post a photo every day. But as a full-time working mom, it just wasn’t feasible for me. I did the best I could and tried to catch up as much as possible when I fell behind. There were still many days I missed, but the end result is that I tried my best and ended up with a wealth of knowledge and some photos I wouldn’t have otherwise taken if I hadn’t participated at all. I call that a WIN.

  4. The encouragement offered to and received from others participating in the challenge is important.

    It’s easy to lose steam during such a long project. I loved that there was a sense of community among the participants in the Bethadilly Challenge. Sometimes the encouragement offered from another person was enough to keep you going. It was cool to see different people’s perspectives on the prompts, and often when one person was feeling uninspired it helped to see what others came up with. Seeing things from a new perspective often provided inspiration to take it in a whole new direction or to think a little outside the box.

  5. Sharing your photos with a like-minded community is quite liberating.Albeit putting yourself out there creatively can be a little intimidating, it can also be insanely liberating. I think it’s important for people to find a creative outlet, but finding a community to share it with is just as important. It helps to spur people’s creativity, build each other up, and multiplies what you could have otherwise learned all by your lonesome.

While I’m not sure I’ll have the time to participate in another Project 365 anytime soon and I’m currently way behind in this year’s Project 52 (this little blog project might have a little something to do with that), I still love the challenge of participating in photography projects and plan to continue doing so as much as I’m able in the years to come.

I hope you are able to find a creative outlet if you don’t already have one and, if so, that you can find some kind of project or challenge to participate in. Heck, maybe you can create a new project for others to join in. I’d love to hear what kinds of projects others are participating in… comment below!

Happy creating,


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