A 365 project can change your life… just ask Marius Vieth. The incredibly talented and successful street photographer has said he owes his photography career to the 365 project he embarked on in 2013.

One day, he’s a hobbyist. 365 days of taking and sharing one photo every single day later, his skill, popularity, and confidence had reached undreamt-of levels. He writes on his blog that he knew he, “had to do something extraordinary […] to take this thing to the next level,” and a 365 project was just the thing.

But this begs the question: why doesn’t everyone who embarks on a 365 project come out the other side a successful photographer, taking amazing photos like Marius, selling their work, and earning the kind of recognition he has?

The answers can be found in Marius inspirational post about his experience, How a 365 Project Changed My Life. Here are the three most important lessons we found in Marius’ story.

MAXIMINIMAL by Marius Vieth on 500px.com

1. Throw Off the Chains and Shoot for Yourself

The first month, Marius’ 365 project went just like everybody else’s would: no direction, trying to find his niche, then emulating the “style” that niche is known for.

As soon as he decided that street photography was what he wanted to do, he started trying to capture the same photo as everyone else. Black and white, a lot going on, etc. Here’s how Marius describes his frustration, and turning point:

I tried and tried and eventually began giving in to the idea that maybe this whole photography thing wasn’t meant for me. I knew I had something in me, but I just couldn’t really set if free.

Eventually I reached my breaking point and said, “You know what Marius, this is your project and life and you can do whatever you think is right! Most people don’t care for your project anyways…”. With this attitude in mind, I began trying to put my personal stamp on my street photography. It felt amazing to take photos the way I felt them, without thinking in terms of genres and rules. I felt as though I had broken my chains for the first time.

This is the secret to and the point of a successful 365 project. After doing the legwork of finding his niche and refusing to give up when he felt like he wasn’t getting the results he wanted (both critical steps), the real breakthrough came when he stopped trying to be like everybody else and began capturing photos for himself.

The rest of the project, nearly 11 months worth, then became about honing in on his internal creative vision, and expressing that vision through his art.

Urban Lights by Marius Vieth on 500px.com

2. Take Risks and Share Your Work

Marius says one of his most important moments came after he took the photo above—titled Urban Lights and still one of his most popular to date. It was captured on the 39th day of his 365 project and probably wouldn’t have changed his life if he hadn’t taken an emotional risk and submitted it to the Reddit & WideAngle Photo contest.

He won 1st place.

Sharing his work and taking the emotional risk that this entails won him the recognition he needed and the motivation to keep going. “This was one of the first moments where I realized that maybe my photography might be better than I thought,” he writes.

This was compounded by the first time someone said they started taking photos because of him. If you think looking at other’s work is inspirational, just wait until someone tells you that YOU’RE their inspiration.

The Forbidden Gate by Marius Vieth on 500px.com

3. Take a Walk, Then Take a Trip

Making the most of a 365 project demands that you really commit to it. Marius took a photo walk every day, because it’s not enough to run out and snap an “oops I forgot” photo at the end of the day in your kitchen.

If you still haven’t taken a photo at 10pm and you have to wake up at 5 in the morning for work… tough cookies. Grab your camera and tripod, get out there, and find a composition you really love.

But if you REALLY want to take your project to the next level, do what Marius did: take a photography vacation.

It wasn’t until South Korea that I truly realized [that photography had become my life]. I took three weeks off to discover this wonderful country and get some shooting done. Walking down the streets of Seoul got me thinking, “How amazing would it be to just travel around the world and take photos?” This would be a dream of a life.

People over there asked me what I do for a living. I couldn’t tell them that I was a market researcher, since I didn’t feel like I was doing that anymore. I was doing market research for a living, but I was living for photography. So I always told them that I was a photographer, and it felt right. Truly right.

A 365 project helps to disconnect you from your day-to-day and shake you out of your routine when it’s done right, and taking a photo trip during that project will only serve to amplify this effect 10 fold.

To get more out of your 365 project: take a photo walk every day; to get the most out of it: take a photography trip.

Escalating Red by Marius Vieth on 500px.com


There are a lot of reasons to do a 365 project. Even the least “successful” can drastically improve your eye, composition skills, appreciation for the art, and help you develop a daily shooting habit that will make all the difference in the months and years to come.

But if you really want one to change your life, follow the path that Marius trod back in 2013. You can read his entire post over on his blog and find much more inspiration by following him on 500px, visiting his website, and saying hi over on Facebook.