A few months after I got my first camera, I joined a project 365 with an awesome group of ladies on Facebook. Each day we shared at least one photo we’d taken.

We started the project in September, so pretty soon the nights got dark and it got harder to get outside to shoot. If it wasn’t for the project 365 I would have been uninspired by the drab weather and hung up my camera for the winter, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

Shooting everyday is great way to improve your photography. Here’s why I think you should give it a go, whether you do it with a group or on your own.

You’ll Learn to Work with Less than Perfect Light

Give me golden afternoon light and I am there. I make an effort to get out and shoot,I’ll change my plans to I can be somewhere pretty when the golden hour hits. I’m a sucker for dreamy backlight and I don’t care who knows it.

But the strip lighting at the supermarket? Ugh, no thanks. I’ll give it a miss!

The thing is mama, life isn’t just about pretty sunsets. If you want to capture your children’s childhood you need to know how to work with less than perfect light. Pretty golden hour light make me lazy. Give me dreamy light and a field and it’s hard not to make a nice image.

But when the light is not so pretty, I have to work a bit harder. I have to think more about how I can make my image more interesting. I have to work with colour and composition instead.

On a dark evening I used the light from our grow house to light her face.

You’ll Get to Shoot in New Locations

When I took my camera to the supermarket for the first time, I was surprised to find interesting spots to photograph that I hadn’t thought of before, like this bright orange wall.

You’ll Make Lots of Mistakes (And That’s a Good Thing!)

When you’re shooting often, especially in less than perfect conditions, there’s more room for error. But that’s a good thing.

Making mistakes is part of the growth process, it’s how we learn.

By shooting everyday you are experimenting, trying new ideas. Sure, they won’t all be masterpieces, but who cares?

You’ll get more good shots than someone who didn’t even pick up their camera, and even the less than perfect images are still memories of your children.

This image was taken in my windowless bathroom using the overhead light (something I usually try to avoid!). It’s very grainy and not a technically great image. I still love it though. I love the colours and the expression on her face. I wouldn’t have taken it if it was not for shooting every day.

You’l Learn to Get Creative

If you’re shooting everyday you’ll have to get creative or you’ll end up with the same images over and over. Shooting everyday challenges you to get creative. Change up your angle, find new props, try a new editing technique or find different things to photograph. You’ll expand your horizons quickly.

In this image I shot through a toy to add interest (and hide some of the clutter on the sofa in the background!).

In this image I used her toys again to play with focus

You’ll Get to Know Your Camera

By shooting every day you’ll get familiar with your camera. You’ll be able to quickly change settings and this will help you when you’re out and about.

You’ll Be More Confident Taking Photos in Public

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel super self conscious with my big camera. It’s just so big and conspicuous. I’ve been been questioned about using my camera, but still, sometimes I can feel uncomfortable shooting in busy places.

Forcing myself to take my camera with me to everyday places helps me get used to this, so it’s easier for me to take photos in busy places. Plus, I have a cute bag to stash it in when I’m done!