what I’ve learned: a 365 challenge

in a blue mood | one year of cups | momentstolivefor.com

What a journey. One year, one cup a day. Almost. In some months I took only every other day a photo of a cup and never got every day of a month. But I made it to the end of 2013 with every month filled with at least 16 cup photos. I made it through the entire year with this challenge and that makes me so proud.

It’s so fun looking at all these pictures of different cups at different times of day and different places. But I still know exactly, when I took which photo, and that is so exciting. It’s a documentation of my life in cups. I can’t wait to see these pictures printed in a photobook.

cup of tea at grandmothers home | one year of cups | momentstolivefor.com

All photos were taken with my iPhone 4s and edited with my favorite apps VSCOcam, Afterlight, Lo-Mob, Picfx and Snapseed. Although I have countless more apps on my iPhone, these are the ones I use regularly. I treasure the filters of VSCOcam, Lo-Mob, Picfx and Afterlight. Especially the moody ones with warm light are my favorites (for example F2 on VSCOcam). Snapseed and VSCOcam I used to change the exposure, temperature and contrast and cut the photos. Afterlight is perfect, when you want to downscale your picture before the upload. This way they are much smaller in size, load faster and don’t have the original size, so it’s somehow safe from copycats.

Using my iPhone and not my big camera made it easy to take photos and edit them on the go. I had my camera with me everywhere and everytime, ready to capture the photo of the day. And in the same move post them to Tumblr through their easy app. Because I uploaded some pictures at the same day, I could have used the calendar settings to post them on an earlier date, on the day of the photo. But I found this option too late. But maybe you can lern from this.

working space shared with a cup of coffee and a cat | one year of cups | momentstolivefor.com

If you consider a 365 challenge: just do it. You will lern so much. And even if you struggle because you left out some days, don’t let yourself discourage you. This happens. Everyone has some days, when the motivation is low or there is too much going on and you just forget your project. And this can naturally go on for some days, but after that you will have time again and then just go on with your project, your challenge. Just pretend as nothing has happened and if you did the last project thing a day ago. Don’t let a pause discourage you. It’s such an amazing feeling reaching the end of the year and knowing: I did it! I made it through 365 days. That you didn’t get every day doesn’t matter.

writing and a cup of coffee | one year of cups | momentstolivefor.com

And most important: Don’t overextend yourself. It will do nothing good, if you for example try to craft every day an entire project, if you have to give up after a few days or weeks, because you just don’t have the time. Make little steps like ‘crafting everyday’ a goal, not an entire project. Just a step further, and if it’s just a small one, like folding three corners of an origami star or just one origami figure or preparing the background of a picture. Every step, and if it’s this small, counts as crafting.

Hopefully you are inspired and motivated to make your own 365 challenge. I loved mine and will always be happy, when I’ll look at these photos and think about what I’ve accomplished.

PS: Here you can read, what I’ve wrote in between this challenging year Two photo challenges, one year of cups: the first month and half time at my 365 photo challenge.

half time at my 365 photo challenge

'cappuccino with friends' by momentstolivefor

It’s been six months since I’ve started this challenge… and I’m still on it – half time. Six more months and 184 photos to go. And I’m proud of it. I’m proud, that I didn’t stop altogether. My feelings haven’t changed since I’ve wrote this post in January about this photo project.

photo project 'one year of cups' January overview by momentstolivefor

Of course there are times, when I’m just not in the mood. But then I post four or five photos at once a few days later. I don’t manage to take one photo every day, but for me the important thing is to keep going. To stay true to this challenge and make it to the end of the year with at least half of the photos, that it should be.

photo project 'one year of cups' February overview by momentstolivefor

It’s such a cool project, because I can remember every moment, when I took one of the photos. I remember, what happened that day and in this moment and where I was, when I drank that cup of coffee or tea.

photo project 'one year of cups' March overview by momentstolivefor

The only camera I use for this photo project is my iPhone 4S camera. It’s simple and handy, and I have it always with me. At the moment I try some camera apps, instead of the normal iPhone camera. My favorite camera apps so far are Camera+, VSCOcam and Gorillacam, because you can set the focus and exposure onto two different points in your picture or play with timelapse and self timer.

photo project 'one year of cups' April overview by momentstolivefor

It’s fun to play with different filters and photo editing apps, to give every photo his own style and feeling. Most of the time I work with Afterlight and Pixlr. I love both filter sets. Additionally I’m very fond of the bokeh in Pixlr and use Afterlight to resize the photos, before I upload them to tumblr.

photo project 'one year of cups' May overview by momentstolivefor

I can’t wait to see these photos printed in a book. Yes, there will be a photobook at the end of the year, showing every single photo. Don’t know yet, how the layout will look like and if every photo will be displayed in the same size. But I definitely want to print them, as a review of the year.

photo project 'one year of cups' June overview by momentstolivefor


So, now I’m off to editing and posting another photo of my cup of coffee today. If you want to follow me, you find my project blog here: one year of cups.

one year of cups: the first month

photo project: one year of cups - january collage

As a New Year’s resolution I started two photo projects. One is to take a picture every day of my everyday life and one of a cup, regardless of which content. I posted about both projects here. The first month is over and I managed to stay motivated and took almost every day one photo. So I thought, it would be fun to make a collage of the pictures of this month.

What a project! I love it. Although it’s hard to think of new angles and scenes to put one cup in everyday, it’s fun to see what I’ve already created – how many different pictures I’ve got and what ideas became reality. It’s a real challenge, but I’ve already lerned so many things, like using my photography apps better or what to consider when placing the cup – like light and shadow, background and many more things.

If you are interested in following me and seeing how I will do in February,
take a look at my one-year-of-cups blog.



two photo challenges

late cup of coffee by momentstolivefor

Hey there lovely readers! 🙂 Do you set your New Year’s resolutions for 2013? I meditated about, what I want to achieve this year and one major goal is to get better in photography. And so I decided not just to take even more photos or do one tutorial after the other, but to challenge myself on a theme, that I would have to capture every day. Since I couldn’t determine between those two challenges, I will do both. And here’s what I came up with:

everyday photo – photos of an everyday life


everyday photo - a 365 challenge

The first one is to take every day a photo of my everyday life. I love these beautiful photos, which I collected on my “everyday life” Pinterest board and which inspired me to do this challenge. I think it’s important to capture not only special moments in life, but the normal routine things as well, because that’s what your life is all about. These are the small things that make your life your life; these little things define you and your life.


one year of cups
one year of cups - a 365 challenge

The second one is simply a challenge to get better in photography and develop new photography styles. The goal: take a photo of a cup every day. I know it can be a really hard challenge, but I hope that it will exceed my limit and inspire new ideas, like Elsie experienced with her self-portrait challenge. You can follow my challenge here.

I’m very excited about these two and how they will challenge me. Love the idea of testing new apps and filters on the photos. And hopefully I will discover new techniques and maybe even a photostyle of my own. 🙂

have a good start into the new work week