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Take a photo a day and call me in the morning: Exploring photography projects and well-being

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Abstract

The practice of taking a photo every day and sharing it online has increased in
popularity across social media and image-sharing websites. This paper explores the potential well-being benefits of participating in this practice, examining the different social and creative ways in which participants use it.
We interviewed sixteen people who currently participate in photo-a-day projects, and identified with the concept that participation in these projects had positive wellbeing benefits. Data were analysed using a grounded and iterative approach.
Analysis focused on how participants derived well-being benefits in photo-a-day
projects.
Photo-a-day projects enabled participants to look differently at the world. There was something satisfying to participants about noticing the world around them more, perhaps giving a sense of being more alive because they were more aware. The negative impacts on well-being mainly centred around the rules and constraints of the projects, including feeling obliged to respond to comments. Nevertheless, photoa-day projects gave a sense of agency and choice, focused around a pleasant goal.
Sharing photos could enhance social connections and lead to new relationships. The structure of taking one photo every day encouraged reminiscence, looking back on positive experiences and negative experiences overcome.