benjamin alexander smith

Self-portrait 365

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In May 2008 I bought myself a digital SLR, a Nikon D40. I’d wanted a camera for a long time, and I finally decided to splash out.

To help myself use the camera regularly, I decided to start a project called a “365”. This involves taking a photograph every day for a year – whether you like it or not – and sharing them all with the world.

Having used my camera for a good month or so before starting the 365, I soon realised that I preferred portraits to other areas of photography – I just didn’t have a knack for taking good shots of objects or landscapes. Because of this, I wanted to do a portrait based 365. In lieu of having any reliable subjects, I opted to use myself.


I never finished the 365. I only got 333 days through it.

Why did I stop the project so close to the end? Unfortunately, on the 20 May 2009 my Nikon D40 was stolen from my house (along with my lenses, memory cards, and part of my tripod). At the time, the memory card in the camera contained 10 days of shots (taking me up to day 343). Following with the loss of 10 days of photos, and stuck without an SLR, I felt too dejected to face the final 22 days. Without my camera, my pride and joy for the last 11 months, it just didn’t have felt right to go on.

Despite that, when I look back I regard this project was a total success. I became a better photographer, I used my camera more than I otherwise would have done, and I enjoyed myself in the process.

My photography won’t win any prizes, particularly some of the 365 shots, but this project that helped me develop my skills far beyond my original “holiday snapshot” approach to capturing images.

Project Information

  • Start date: 12 June 2008
  • End date: 10 May 2009
  • Status: Complete