As you probably all know, in early 2018 I decided to do the # 365challenge. This means that 365 days (that is, all year) I will add one photo to my social network every day. At that time I only worked on Facebook, so I didn't do the instagram. Which I consider back as a mistake. I have to admit that at the beginning it was quite difficult because I had no photos in stock. So the first few days were basically about documenting our family and everything that has happened since the New Year. Occasionally, I swapped it with a model photography.
I must say I was very angry at the beginning. There were moments when I really could not add anything and I gave a photo just before midnight, for example, from the prom, and it was quite a ring. Over time it became a habit so strong that at the beginning of the year I could not imagine that I would stop. So I changed # 365challenge to #twoyearchallenge and went on. What has changed that the bother has become a habit? What has it given me and what has it taken?
At first, it makes you work
When you start, you have to add photos up to five times more often than you used to. It makes you really hard - think what to take pictures, regularly process it, choose suitable photos for selection. When you work regularly, it has a clear impact on you - you improve and do faster. Being improving (because training makes perfect) is definitely a positive thing. Being faster is not necessarily so positive, because speed is not always correct. And I made mistakes mainly about what I want and should present. And even now I don't really know if I'm doing it right. Probably not.
Sometimes it was stressful
The worst thing is to always leave it for the evening - my fault. In the evening, you are running out of time much faster and it is stressfull. Especially when in the evening you have to go to take photos of a ball or company party. Suddenly you remember at half past eleven you have half an hour to post a picture. And then it slips to a stupid selfie that really spoils your feed. And you have to live with the fact that you have a stupid photo. And at the same time you do not want to delete it, because what if someone noticed that you are missing one in challenge. And you deal with this especially in the early days when you think that anyone cares at all. No-one cares.
You learn to simplify
You spend a lot of time on it because you want the photos to be great. You arrange a photo shoot for your portfolio, working on it in the evenings when you might and would like to focus on your family. And it only leads to one thing - then you try to simplify everything. Take good pictures without wasting a lot of time. And that is positive. You focus more on taking a good photo and not having to edit it so much. You are trying to completely eliminate photoshop, in which we will talk the most time. You learn to replace as many things as possible with a lightroom (or zoner, etc.). Turn your complicated workflow into a simpler one to achieve a similar result. Thanks to this you will probably manage to create great presets, learn new things. You drop the same routine and try something new. You will improve your post-production.
In addition, you are no longer trying to take just one photo per day, but are creating series that you can post in the future and save time. You're trying to schedule posts. That's a nice thing too, but unfortunately it didn't work very well for me, because I used to always write actual things in the post - what is happening to me, how I am, what I do, etc. But it was comforting to have at least photos in the drawer.
Everything leads to automation
But you'll start messing around. Too many photos in a drawer. You do not know which one you have given and you spend a lot of time controlling it. In addition, you are still wasting your time putting posts separately on facebook and especially on instagram (this is the time when I started to use the instagram actively and facebook went a bit into decline - what I will talk about, the impact of facebook is really sad). You'll start exploring ways to save time and post and better organize your drawer photos. I've tried quite a bit, I stayed with Buffer for quite a long time, who can post on Facebook and Instagram (and possibly other social networks) at the same time. In the end I ended up with Later and later started using the paid version. It's a great thing because you can have it both in your browser and on your mobile as an app. You put your photos in the media gallery and see which ones you have published and which have not. You get an overview of the mess and adding is easier because you don't have to post separately, but you throw them all at once. I set up an IFTTT that automated the rest. I never used twitter, pinterest and other stuff, but it's nice to have your work there. You set up IFTTT so that it reposts to other networks what you have added to the instagram. And done.
So it will give you quite a bit. But what took it from me?
A lot of time and a lot of followers, which I just started bothering by adding regularly. But I guess it just should have been. Simplifying makes you feel like you're messing around and fighting if your photos are good enough. But somehow you have to deal with it yourself. I started focusing on other things outside of technical excellence and it made my clients more satisfied with the result - wonder. Because it is not about technical perfection at all and what normal mortal can appreciate it? With automation, you start to have a strange feeling if you're not fooling your fan and followers. But I think it depends on how you write the posts and whether it ends for you to add a post, or if you then pay them in the comments and reports. I admit that adding the same text to all socks is a bit "sterile". But who doesn't want, doesn't have to. This is something I will consider in the future.
In the final, it gave me much more than it took me. Certainly at least that one year to try it really worth and I recommend it to all photographers. You will learn to work, think about your content, simplify your work and automate. So who else will try?