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Hashtag365: Photographers' Record of a Year in Their Lives Goes Viral
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Hashtag365: Photographers' Record of a Year in Their Lives Goes Viral

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 24 April 2017
Passionate about photography, young Dutch duo Sjoerd Spendel and Lennart de Jong started a “365-Days” project over three years ago. The idea was simple: publish one black & white photograph a day online for a year. Little did they know that their project would quickly become an internet sensation. Following on from the phenomenal success of the photo blog, which now has over 300,000 followers and is the most popular Tumblr in Holland, stunning new photographic book HASHTAG365 contains a selection of their most remarkable images, taken in their respective home towns and exotic locations further afield.

Hashtag365 (March 26, Clearview Books) contains the images from Sjoerd Spendel and Lennart de Jong’s arresting 365 photography project, which went viral in Holland and is possibly the most famous 365 project to date. Initially novices, the pair took one black & white photograph a day and posted it on Tumblr, relying on each other for motivation and inspiring thousands in turn. We interview the pair to discover how the project has changed their lives.

HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365
HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365

From dusty road-trips, battered bicycles and busy train stations, to close-ups of toddlers, friends, neighbours, girlfriends and street cats, and from wiry cityscapes to the starry sky at night, HASHTAG365 is testament to the universal appeal of unfussy, unaffected photography that captures the everyday. An eclectic collection of inspired street, travel and portrait photography, the book immortalises and celebrates the beauty of the everyday: moments, people and places often overlooked and underappreciated. Transporting the reader from Times Square to an Australian beach, the book will appeal to both photography and travel enthusiasts. Covering a period of three years, it includes content that has never been published before. At a time when photos are easier to take than ever before, and, harnessed to the internet, more accessible than ever, HASHTAG365 serves as fantastic inspiration of what can be achieved with raw talent and sheer dedication. Read our interview with the pair below.

HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365

How has the project changed your lives?

Producing a photograph every day was and is hard. Running our 365 project helped us to become better photographers. Because we used many different cameras and styles we learned a lot about photo techniques and composition and get to grips with a range of different cameras. It gave us international exposure. The project impacted our professional lives, too. Sjoerd takes photography very seriously for his company, which deals in content creation and creative strategy for big Dutch brands, and Lennart now works hard bringing creatives together for the creative agency he works for.

For us, publishing a book was the perfect way to close this adventure. We found out that creating our own content gave us a lot of satisfaction.

HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365

How has it changed the way you view the world around you?

We now look more closely at things with more detail and attention. We started to notice details we previously overlooked: how people move their hands, for example, or the way a car walks on a rooftop.

We now know that beautiful things and places are all around us and we need to appreciate it more.

Look closer and you will find something perfect.

HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365

What is your advice for anyone taking on a project like this?

Do it will a friend! In our opinion, it’s easier to learn new things and to complete the project. Working as a team improved the quality of our photography. F Without any professional photography experience, and without a teacher to advise, this is the best way to get an honest critique, and also discuss different cameras and settings. Finishing a 365 project is actually pretty hard – there is a lot of distraction. It’s good to have someone to rely on for motivation.

HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365
HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365
HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365
HASHTAG365
© HASHTAG365