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20 Photography Project Ideas for the New Year

Looking for photography project ideas? Here are 20 photography project ideas for the new year to help you to improve your photography skills

20 Photography Project Ideas for the New Year



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At the start of every year, or sometimes in the middle of one, a photographer, a person with a new camera, or even just a mom with a camera decides that they need to improve their photography with a photography project.  Photography projects jumpstart your creativity, help you strengthen your photography skills and document parts of your every day life that you would have never captured otherwise. There are a TON of photography project ideas out there, so like last year, I’ve taken the time to gather 20 photography project ideas for you to start next year.   Choose one and watch your photography improve! And have fun!


1. A Project 365

This is one of the simplest and most popular photography projects out there. Simply, you take a photo every day for 365 days. A project 365 is one of the best ways to improve your photography because it forces you to take a photo every day.  You can do this on your own by simply picking up your camera and taking a photo of whatever takes your fancy. OR you can do the Guided 365 from Digital Photography for Moms. It’s a guided 365 where each day, you receive a lesson in your inbox that teaches you a photography technique and gives you a photo prompt designed to put that technique into practice. Like the website says: “other 365 projects tells you to take a picture of something blue. the Guided365 teaches you how to get the sharpest, best-exposed color balanced photo of something blue.  You can sign up here if you think you need a guided experience or just pick up your camera and take a photo every day for the entire year!

2. A Day in the Life

With this project, you choose one day and take photos all day to capture a day in the life of you, your family, your dog..anyone. It’s a great way to capture routines and a slice of your life on what is an ordinary day.  I do these all of the time, and an easy way to do it is to set your timer every hour and take a photo.  You can do it with your DSLR or your iPhone.

3. Work Through A Book

There are a few photography based books that are meant to be worked through.  Examples include Chris Orwig’s People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs and one of my favorites, The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs (Voices That Matter).
 4. A Black and White Project
Letters to our children october
Take photos with the intention of converting them to monochrome.  If anything it will teach you what makes a good black and white photo. You can do this by converting to black and white or take a photo in black and white IN camera.

5. Project 24 

When you can’t quite make it for a project 365, sometimes, taking 24 photos for a whole year is just the thing you need. With this project, you simply take 2 photos a month, every month for the entire year.

6. The 60 Second Photo

Instead of an image, take a one minute video each day. You can compile them all together into one video. Something like this 60  Second Project right here. It’s different and innovative and something even I ( who has a large fear of video) would love to try.

7. 30 Thankful Days

Every Thanksgiving, or anytime for that matter, photographing something that you are thankful for for 3o days straight not only improves your photography skills, but helps you to acknowledge the things in life you are grateful for. I usually do this on Instagram every November.

8. Pick one lens for one week/one month/one year

one lens photography project

The idea behind this project is to stick to one lens for an extended length of time.  For instance, if you shoot lifestyle photography, try sticking with shooting only your 35mm for a month. Or for an even bigger challenge, try shooting only with a specialty lens like a Macro lens or a Lensbaby.

9. 10 on 10 Project 

I love these! You take 1o photos on the 10th day of the month. It’s like a shortened Day in the Life. I love these because it forces you to pick and choose the best photos from your day.

10. 100 Days of……

Simply: take a photo a day, 100 days in a row. My favorite here is the 100 Days of Summer. I did one last year and it was so much fun!

11. 52 Saturday Mornings

Simply, take a photo of your Saturday morning, every week for a year.   There is an active  group on Instagram that does this or this blog here.

12. Self Portrait Project

This one is a hard one, even in this world of selfie mania.  But a Self-portrait project is one of the best way to get in the frame and practice composition, light and storytelling with a cooperative subject.  Most of these projects are weekly or monthly.

13. The Kids Were Here

With this project, every month, you simply document the mess that your kids leave behind. Sounds simple right? The original premise of this project was to show what life with children looks like.  Check out more about this project here. 

14. ABC Project

Take each letter of the alphabet and take a photo of something related to or that starts with that letter. You can stretch it out 26 days, 26 weeks or 26 months. It’s almost like a scavenger hunt!

15.Letters to Our Children

Each month, write a letter to your child or children and take photos surrounding the photos. Most photographers do this in a blog circle. I do one here at Everyday Eyecandy every month. I print them out every year into books for a keepsake.

16. Shoot Like You are Shooting Film 

Shoot Like you are shooting a roll of film: take exactly 36 shots like you are working with a “roll” of 36 exposures.  Be intentional every single time you press your shutter button.

17. iPhone/Android only Project

Shoot only with your iPhone or your android phone.  Shooting with your mobile device regularly can help you learn composition, light, and  framing. And it’s so easy! I’ve done a 365 with my iPhone and a day in the life like project called Saturdays

18. Find The Light Project

Make a list of the different types of light: indoor, outdoor, hard light, diffused light etc and each month, take the time to shoot only that type of light. Its a great way to learn to work with light and produce beautiful photos.

19. Project 52

A Project 52 is a project where you take a photo every week for 52 weeks. It’s a great alternative to the project 365 if you don’t feel like you have enough time to devote to a 365, a Project

20. A Themed Project

Themed projects are great to help you improve on one particular skill. Ideas for a themed project include composition, Macro Photography, Street Photography, Portraits, Light. Shoot that one theme for a month, and then switch to another. A great way to master different things!

So there you have it, 20 photography projects to help you improve your photography in the coming year! Which one will you choose?

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  • Reply
    December 9, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I made it through the 365 for the first time ever. It was pretty painless I set up a reminder to take a photo daily so I wouldn’t forget. Next year I am going to do weekly themes for my 365 like sticking to one color, taking only food for the week, or showcasing behind the scenes for the week or what I am reading for the week. I am still trying to come up with the name so I think I will do #kita365

    • Reply
      December 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Love it! One year I’m going to complete one with my Canon. LOL. Maybe next year. We shall see.

  • Reply
    Angela Tolsma
    December 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    You have so many seriously amazing ideas on here. I’ve been being a self portrait project for years. But I’ve been bored and unchallenged and need to deepen my skills with more. So all these are perfect! I really hope you do the Project 52 again because I would so participate in that and would love to see the prompts and plan away for it! My goal is to get a 35mm lens in January and then shoot only with that! Seriously though this post made me so happy!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      I’m really thinking about doing a Project 52 again! Just working on the prompts!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    This list is awesome! I am been struggling quite a while now trying to find inspiration, and I think this list can help me overcome my “block”. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Ashley Martin
    January 5, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Project 24 should be 2 photos a month not two a week for the year ? This is a great list!

    • Reply
      January 5, 2017 at 9:14 am

      thank you!

  • Reply
    Kim Slaton
    January 7, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Marvelous site! Boy did I need a “pick me up” after reading today’s headlines. Your site, work and words are a real tonic! I’ve already selected a photo challenge to embrace for the new year.

  • Reply
    10 on 10 Photography Circle - A New Year – Pierced Wonderings
    January 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    […] to improve my shooting each month, though. Recently I pinned a few blog posts with different photography improvement projects, and I need to remind myself to use those ideas when I’m shooting for 10 on […]

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