Photography Projects are in a way, a personal challenge. It is like a self set goal of taking pictures within a given period of time (usually a year); where you can practice your skills and knowledge, and at the same time be also able to track your progress. Some people do photography projects for documentation, for personal or family purposes, but many do the project for feedback from other people.
1. 52 Weeks Project
The idea behind a 52 Weeks Project is to take a photo every week for 1 year, compile, and post them online (we usually store them on sites like Flickr). Here’s an example of a 52 Weeks Project Group on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/photosof2012. Members create their own 52 Weeks Project Pool on their own account, and submit their individual pictures on the group page. A 52 Weeks Project is more ideal for hobbyists, or those who just started leaning photography because it is more manageable and one can have more leeway for thinking up a theme, for preparation and experimentation.
2. 365 Days Project
A 365 Project has the same premise with the 52 Weeks Project, but instead of weekly, you will shoot daily for one year. Digital Photography Online suggests dividing themes per week. Click here (http://www.digital-photography-school.com/53-weekly-themes-for-your-2011-project-365) to view their article and their suggested themes! Personally, I think a 365 Project is more effective if you’re really serious and dedicated about practicing your photography. It can be though because it requires dedication and a lot of time; plus you also need to bring your camera with you everywhere ALL the time. But ‘challenging’ can also be a good thing because it dares you to be creative, to think out of the box, especially under time pressure!
In doing photography projects, some people do random photography, some take pictures of significant event which happened within the day or week, but a lot agree that it is best if you stick with a theme. Speaking of themes, some use a single lens for the entire project; it could be a prime or zoom lens. Some people stick to black and white photographs for the entire project, while some people opt to shoot portraits only. But of course, it all depends on you and what results you actually want. More importantly, stick with the project, don’t give up! Eventually, you will see how your technical skills and your own style become more refined. So weigh your options, the pros and cons and more specially the time you can commit before embarking on a project. Either way you choose, their entire goal is your improvement!