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I’m Glad I Failed My 365 Photography Challenge

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m glad that I failed my 365 photography challenge in 2023! Let me explain why.

You’ll have guessed from the title that I’m here to confess that I failed my 365 photography challenge that I set myself on New Year’s Day!

I failed and, you know what, I’m so glad that I did. Yes, you read that right.

For the substantive post, you can check out all of my photography from this year’s challenge here but this post will explain how it all came to an end after 136 days. 136 out of 365 isn’t something to be ashamed of. For those that have attempted a 365 photography challenge, whether you accomplished it or ‘failed’ like me, you’ll know just how hard such a challenge is.

For the first couple of months, I felt as though I had inspiration, an abundance of photography ideas just waiting to be captured. It quickly became apparent however that life, when put under the microscope of daily photographs, is quite boring. Quite mundane. At least mine is.

I have a 9 to 5 job in a stressful area of law where I barely leave my home office all day long and pre and post work there are family routines that cannot be shirked. To try and constantly take photographs of something unique each and every day not only becomes a chore but entirely unenjoyable. After a while, it made me resent picking up my camera.

The Fujifilm X-T5 does not deserve that.

The main aspect of the challenge that I really didn’t like was feeling compelled to post to social media each and every day. I also knew that my efforts would be judged and perhaps my photography skills questioned. I say that because I can see that the photographs I created were of the boring, of the mundane and some just from being very lazy; taken once my brain reminded me whilst lying in bed trying to get to sleep.

Until one day, day 137, May 17th, my brain simply forgot to remind me. I did not in the slightest feel as though I had ‘failed’ the challenge – I was relieved, grateful that I didn’t have to pick up my camera. Which is odd considering my love for photography. It’s even taken me almost an extra month to bring myself to write about it!

Notwithstanding my joy at failing the 365 challenge, I captured some great memories both from big trips to Portugal and Cyprus and just day to day life; my beautifully ordinary life.


For those that stuck around, thank you and I hope I’ve inspired you either to pick up or perhaps even leave your camera alone for a bit! We all need a break and there’s no need to force anything. I’m pretty confident you’ll never see me attempting a 365 photography challenge again!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2023 brings and maybe I’ll switch on my camera again soon!


3 thoughts on “I’m Glad I Failed My 365 Photography Challenge”

  1. Jamie,

    First of all, thanks for sharing. As a current 365 sufferer (I have yet to put down the camera for 2023, but it’s tempting) I feel your pain. I’ve been doing 365 projects off and on since 2013. Completed most of them, abandoned a few. Skipped a few years.

    No matter how much of a burden the 365 winds up feeling like, whenever I abandon the project (or opt not to do one altogether) I always wind up missing it and have this sensation that something is absent in my life.

    No matter how banal or boring some of the day-to-day photography gets I always seem to enjoy looking back at what I’ve done. My memory is a strange beast — I can barely remember what I did yesterday, although if I look at any photo I made, I can usually recall when/where/why and how I felt when I made that photo. So I treat it as a diary of sorts.

    Not every photo is a masterpiece. Far from it. But every photo is a waypoint on the journey through the year.

    Like you, I work from home. So there are LOTS (and I mean LOTS) of photos taken around the house and in the garden. I used to feel guilty about that, but no longer. Now I enjoy catching the interplay of light and shadow on my surroundings, the change of the seasons, what have you. At the end of the day, these photos are for me. If someone else likes them, so be it.

    This year, I decided to give myself a challenge: I alternate between B+W and colour each day. It’s keeping things a little fresher, somehow.

    In case you’re interested, my current 365 for 2023 is up on my website ( and the previous years’ endeavours are on Flickr (


    1. Hi Eric,

      Thank you so much for the comment and I apologise it has taken me a few weeks to reply!

      It’s so good to hear from someone who has been involved in the 365 projects for such a long time. You’re definitely right that the photos are simply for yourself which is something I struggled with (probably struggle with generally in terms of my photography).

      I must say that your current 365 project is absolutely fantastic and to come up with the captions too – genius!



  2. Hi Jamie! Thanks for posting this! I know exactly how you feel, and why I didn’t even make it 1/2 of what you did! 🙂
    There is something though that motivates me to make photos (not every day… but mostly), is getting a new bit of gear. No, not a whole new camera, but even just a small thing like a thumb-rest, or a new strap, etc. Lately I’ve picked up a few vintage lenses too (for as little as $25!) and wow… it really drives me to see what I can create!
    Looking forward to your next posts! Really enjoy all that you write! Cheers!

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