5 ways you'll feel good by doing good
making good use of your gratitude

zoom in on gratitude: 30 day photo challenge

Positively Present Photo Challenge

Ever since I downloaded Instagram to my phone, I've been obsessed with taking photos of anything and everything. I've found that having the ability to take photos pretty much anywhere has actually really helped me to become more present. About a year ago, I wrote an article called "A Picture's Worth a Present Moment," which focused on how photography really can help you to stay in the present moment. A year later -- and with the help of Instagram -- I'm finding the words I wrote to be more and more true.

And about two months ago, I started (a month late) Oh So Lovely's 30 Day Photo Challenge. After my boyfriend sent me the link, I thought it would be fun to give it a try. Looking back on it, I'm glad I did. When the 30 days were up, I actually missed it. Of course I could still take a photo every day, but I had enjoyed the direction that came with participating in a photo challenge.  

The challenge also helped me to stay present. When I was participating in it, I was much more aware of my surroundings, always looking for something that I could snap a picture of. It made me realize how many cool and interesting things there are to photograph -- and that's why I created a photo challenge of my own. Below are the details. I hope you'll participate -- and I can't wait to see your photos!


30 Day Photo Challenge: Gratitude

What's a photo challenge and how do I participate?

For the next 30 days, I'm going to be taking photos of the items listed above -- and I'd like you to too! There's no real "challenge" to it; it's mostly just a way to motivate you (and me!) to stay in the present and focus on things that we're grateful for. All you need is a camera, the list, and some imagination to participate. 

How did you create the list of items?

Every November, in typical American fashion, I tend to focus on being grateful. Each year I try to find ways to celebrate thankfulness in my life, and what better way celebrate that gratitude than through this photo challenge? The list of items above is based on things I'm grateful for in my life and I hope that photographing them this month will remind me of how lucky I am. 

When will you share the Positively Present photos? Can I share mine? 

I won't post the photos online daily (that would be a little overwhelming for those of you who subscribe via email!), but at the end of the 30 days I'll share them with you -- and I hope you'll share your photos with me as well! If you post your pics online, feel free to share the links in the comments section. If you want to send me some of your favorite pics, email them to positivepresent@gmail.com

What else do I need to know about the challenge?  

  • You don't need to be a photographer or even all that interested in photos to participate. All you need to be is interested in staying present and focusing on things you're grateful for. 

  • It's not so much a "challenge" as it is something to inspire you to be present. Don't let the word "challenge" scare you and prevent you from participating. There's no reward, no punishment -- just an opportunity to be more present. 

  • You can take your photos anyway you want to -- with your phone, with a digital camera, with a DSLR, Holga, Instax, SLR, Polaroid. Anything goes when it comes to your photos!

  • Feel free to start the challenge at any time. I started the Oh So Lovely challenge a month late and that didn't make it any less enjoyable for me. 

  • If you post your pics online, feel free to share the links in the comments section. Or if you want to send me some of your favorite photos, you can email them to positivepresent@gmail.com. I can't wait to see your photos so please share

  • I printed out the challenge for myself and posted it on my wall. If you want to print and post the challenge, download the Positively Present Photo Challenge PDF here

For those of you who participate, I hope you enjoy the challenge as much as I enjoyed the one I did back in September! Keep me posted on your progress! To get everyone started, I've shared my Day 1 photo below. I have quite a few favorite foods, but rainbow Goldfish are one of my favorites -- and they are the face of Fishful Thinking, a program that strives to promote positive thinking in kids. Can't beat that in a favorite food!

Photo Challenge - Day 1Day One: Favorite Food


Want to keep up with the photos I'm taking as the challenge progresses? Check out the new Flickr account I just set up and see them all! Find Positively Present on Flickr here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/positivelypresent.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Could you maybe post the photos that readers send to you on Flicker, or something similar... it would definitely add to keeping us motivated and 'positively present'.

I followed 'Oh so lovely's photo challenge as well. It was one serveral I've seen before and it let me thinking of doing the same...so I decided to start a photo challenge in december. Like your 30's - maybe I'm going to try them.

I'm excited to see yours!!!

Aimz - Great idea about the Flickr account! I'm going to set one up and link to it throughout the month so you can see my photos. Thanks for that tip!

Sandra - So glad you did the other photo challenge as well! I hope you enjoy this one! Let me know if you set one up for December. I might need another one after this one is done! :)

I'm definitely gonna join in with this, my camera and I have been a bit estranged as of late and I like the idea of having guidelines to follow and be creative with, thanks for this! :)

This is an awesome way to stay present, thanks for deciding to challenge your readers.

I'll take part in this and set up a Facebook album I'll link to later on as I add pics, and share with my blog readers as well as the month progresses.

I was just thinking that I'm not taking nearly enough photos (though I take many of them, generally speaking) ever since Summer ended and although Autumns is another favorite of mine.
Thanks again, this will be so much fun!

Elise - Awesome! I'm so glad you're on board. I think it's going to be a lot of fun -- and a great way to be more present.

Estrella - I'm so glad you're going to take part in this too! Can't wait to see your photos!

Oh this is great...Thanks Dani! I'm in! I've been on quite the rollercoaster this past October (not to mention year but this past month has be a slew of one "bad" thing after another), and I could certainly use some perspective and guidance on being grateful for things that are good. I can really use a kick to pick up my camera too..and maybe get that website up FINALLY! lol

Thank you thank you!!! Excited to see your photos too!

Saggleo - I'm sorry to hear that things have been tough for you lately, but hopefully this gratitude photo challenge will help you stay present and positive. Feel free to share a link to your website or email me some of your favorite pictures!

There are so many photo challenges going around! It's awesome! I was all set to participate in another one this month, but I think I'm going to participate in yours instead. I often need to practice living in the present, but find it hard with the hustle and bustle of every day life!

Here is the link to my Day 1. I hope I can get every day in. It's not been a great year and it's good for me to focus on what I'm grateful for, even if it's little things sometimes, like my cereal!


Thanks for this awesome prompt! I'm excited to participate in my first photo challenge inspired by my favorite blog topic- gratitude!

I'll be posting my photo challenge pics on my Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/LiveLoveWork


Jen - Photo challenges are awesome! I really enjoyed the one I did a few months ago and was inspired to create my own. Glad to hear you're going to participate! Hope this helps you feel more present! If you want to share your photos, feel free to leave a link in the comments section or email me!

Shannon - Thanks for sharing your Flickr! Can't wait to see all your pictures! Hopefully this challenge will help you focus on things to be grateful for (hard as that is sometimes!).

Chrysta - I'm excited you're participating in the challenge too! Yay! Looking forward to seeing your pictures on Facebook. Thanks for sharing the link!

can we create a hashtag for those of us using instagram? it would be neat to see others' photos that way.

You should come up with a tag for Instagram ect. So we can view eachothers picture if we post there :)

What a wonderful idea, i am certainly going to take this challenge up, I love photography anyway & think this is a perfect idea. x ruthie

I stumbled across this on Pinterest and am really excited to join the 30 day challenge, and plan to start tomorrow! Thank you for the inspiration :)

Diana - That's a great idea! How about the tag: #PPphoto?

Mel - Let's use #PPphoto on Instagram and Twitter. Can't wait to see your photos!

Ruthie - Thank you! So glad you're going to participate. Feel free to email or link to your photos.

Jessica - Yay! So glad you found Positively Present and the challenge. Glad to have you on board!

just posted my first two photos. i will be using IG all month - really excited about this!

follow me! @dbaber21

This is my first photo challenge and I am really excited to participate. I plan to post the pics. on my blog (which is only a few days old). Here is a link to the post. http://802lifenotes.blogspot.com/2011/11/gratitude-30-day-photo-challenge.html I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's photos.

I'm giving this a whirl!!! I started off today and hope to make it through the 30 days :)

Diana - Awesome! I'm excited to check out your photos. At this point I'm not following anyone on Instagram, but I'll check yours out.

Ginny - Yay! Love your first photo. And congrats on your new blog. Very exciting!

Corey Ann - So happy you're going to do the challenge too. Feel free to email or link to your photos. If you want to share on Twitter or Instagram, you can also use the #PPphoto hashtag!

I'm gonna do this with you.
I think I'll take a picture daily, then share each Thursday my thankful images for that week.
Thanks for issuing the challenge.

Never tried a photo challenge. This will be the first!

Pedaling - Great! I'm so glad you're going to join in on the challenge and share your photos!

Laura - I really enjoyed it when I did it back in September. I enjoyed it so much that I started this one! I hope it inspires you!

I'm doing this on my personal website.


So grateful as we count down to the year anniversary of my husband's stroke, that I've had this last year. So many things to be grateful for! Thank you for giving me an outlet!

I definitly want to take part in this challenge!
I imagined a 30day photography challenge last May and it was SO inspiring to see all the great pictures the participants took and your gratitude challenge is juste perfect so why not to givre it a try?

Thank you!

(sorry for my poor English...)

Kathy - Awesome! I can't wait to check out your photos. I'm sorry that you had to deal with your husband's stroke last year, but it sounds like you're really making an effort to be grateful, which is a wonderful way to deal with a difficult situation.

Severine - Great! I am happy you are going to be a part of the challenge. Please email your pictures or share the link if you would like to!

What a great challenge! Just found you via Pinterest. Will start today. :) Any thoughts on starting a Flickr group for everyone to share to?

Yesterday was Day 1 for me. Here is the link to my public Facebook album:


Sarah - Great idea! Here's the Flickr group link: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge.

Jessica - Awesome! So glad you started the challenge. Thanks for sharing the link!

I decided to take the pictures with my iphone so I use instagram too...
But I add the pictures on my blog http://simply-s.blogspot.com/
Not sure if i will add them all but except the first one, they are all on it yet :)
Thanks again for the inspiration!

Severine - Awesome! If you want to share your photos with others using Instagram, you can tag them with #PPphoto. Love the photos you've taken so far!

I love the idea of a Flickr group! I just joined it :)

Thank you for starting this - here is my flikr page


I started a couple of days late, so I've had to back-date a couple of shots - but I'm on board now and looking forawrd to the daily challenge.

Is it ok if I blog link back to this page?

OH I'm so late on this but here's my Day 1 :) http://prettycreativephotography.com/2011/11/04/30-day-gratitude-photo-challenge-day-one/

Jessica - Yay! Loving your Flickr pictures. I'm glad you joined the group!

PCS - You're welcome! Here's the link to the Flickr group if you want to join that as well: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/. It's okay to be late - you can start the challenge any time! Feel free to link back to Positively Present. In fact, that would be great if you could spread the word about the challenge. It's never too late to join in!

Christina - No worries! You can start the challenge at any time. I'm glad to have you on board. If you have Flickr or want to sign up for it (it's free), you can join our group here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/. Love your first photo!

Thanks so much for putting this challenge out there. I've been working on a gratitude journal for awhile now. This is a great change of pace, and I can print my photos to put in my journal. Yay! I'm posting my pictures on my blog: http://www.kleinwelt.com/kleinesfoto

I love the idea of this! I decided to participate too :)

Here's the link to my blog: http://hellochelly.blogspot.com/

And I joined the flickr group!

Just stumbled upon your blog and am loving it! Here is a link to my FB album, I'm up to day 4:

Really great challenge, thanks, I will try to follow it :)

Tricia - You're welcome! Thank you so much for participating. I'm really looking forward to seeing the photos on your blog. Feel free to join the Flickr group if you feel like sharing them: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/.

Rachel - Yay! I'm glad you joined the challenge and the Flickr group. Love your blog!

Christy - I'm so happy you found Positively Present! Your pictures are great. Happy to have you participating in the challenge!

Caro - Great! I'm glad you're going to participate in the challenge. You can do it at your own pace and take whatever photos you feel like taking.

Excited to be starting this!

Becky - I'm excited you're starting it too! Thanks for joining in!

I found this by browsing pinterest, and I'm so glad I did! I'm no where near a photographer, but I love photos and have a lot to be grateful for! I'm going to be trying this and posting my pics on my blog weekly! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Here's days two http://prettycreativephotography.com/2011/11/06/30-day-gratitude-photo-challenge-day-two-smile/
& three

Ciara - I'm so glad you found this via pintrest. I'm certainly no photographer myself, but participating in the photo challenge really helps me stay present. I hope you enjoy it!

Christina - Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your photos!

This is such a great photo challenge. Instigram has kept me so aware (sometimes too aware) of taking pictures...of everything. I am doing this challenge on my blog and posting pictures every day. So far I'm loving it! Thanks for sharing!

Emily - Thank you! I'm so glad you like it. I'm looking forward to checking out the photos on your site.

This is a great idea!! I am going to share it on my blog, http://youngfreestlouis.com and link back to you right now to see if I can get some folks to join in, too! Thanks for the awesome idea!! :)


Also, I think I'm going to institute a hashtag so that I can share mine on Twitter: how about #30Thankful? And I'll instruct folks to also notate what day they are doing!

Jenn - So glad you like it! Thanks for sharing it on your blog. If you want to share your photos with others doing the challenge, use the hashtag #PPphoto on Twitter. Hope to see your photos there!

Amazing idea :) I'm definitely doing it! I'll be putting the pictures I take up on my blog- spoonlighting.wordpress.com

Spoon - Thanks! I'm so happy to hear that you're joining in. I'm looking forward to checking out your photos. If you want to share them with the rest of the photo challengers, join the Flickr group here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/.

Finally joined the Flickr group :) My leaves post is here as well: http://prettycreativephotography.com/2011/11/08/30-day-gratitude-photo-challenge-day-four-leaves/

Christina - Yay! I'm glad you joined the group. And I love your leaves photo. Awesome!

so i found this on pinterest. i love instagram and thought i would try out your challenge. thanks so much!

Liz - Yay! I'm so glad you're going to join in on the challenge! You can share your photos here if you'd like: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/

How cool is this!?! I am going to try this out. I just got an iPhone, so I have been having fun taking pictures. I am following you on twitter!
I'm @stayinalivemoma.
Also I am on hubpages: http://www.stayingalivemoma.hubpages.com
Good luck!! I can't wait to see all the pics!

Valerie - It's definitely been awesome so far! Happy to have you joining in. There is also a Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/ if you want to share your pics!

Love this challenge. Reading you all the way from Lima, Peru. Here is the link to my Smugmug photo album site.


Astrid - That's awesome that even though you're all the way in Peru you can still participate in the same challenge. Very cool. Thanks for sharing your photos!

Hey Dani :)
I just uploaded half of this month's worth of photos into this Facebook album (but it won't let me share the link here so I signed in with FB to comment...)
Loving the challenge so much, I'm thinking of coming up with something similar for next month.

Estrella - So happy you're participating in the challenge. Love your photos! Thanks for sharing them!

im excited to join in this challenge too! Was just googling photo challenges and found this and am OBESSED with instagram. Will send you my photos soon :)

Lindsay - So glad you found the challenge and are going to participate. There is also a Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/ if you want to share your pics!

feel free to check out my photos on my blog: www.lindsaymphotography.wordpress.com :) I love seeing everyones!

Lindsay - Will do! Thanks for sharing the link to your photos!

Congratulations to everyone for getting involved - what a great experience! and of course to our host; bravo! x

PartyCraftSecrets - Thanks! I'm so glad you were able to join in. I'm keeping up the photo taking with a 25 Day Photo Challenge for the month of December, featuring Christmas!

hi! i started mine today :)



Stoic - Yay! I'm so glad you joined in on the challenge. If you have a Flickr account, you can share your photos here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/positivelypresentphotochallenge/. And there's also a holiday photo challenge going on too if you're interested!

Love this challenge! Next week I will start ... I am a little late! :)

Paula - Yay! It's never too late to join in on the challenge! Enjoy!

This is truly an amazing idea... some how I stumbled across your blog and I love this idea. Too often we forget to be grateful so to focus on it is just truly a great idea . thanks for the inspiration

Tahlia - I'm so glad you stumbled across Positively Present! As you said, we often forget to be grateful so it's awesome time have inspiration to keep us thankful. There's also a 365 Photo Project if you feel like looking for a photo every day! http://www.positivelypresent.com/2012/01/365-photo-project.html

Just found this today, and I think I am going to do it... I like the more abstractness of your lists as opposed to some of the other ones I've seen. It'll make it easier in some ways and I love being able to flex my creative muscles.

I will link it to my photobucket account to share mine, when I've got something posted.

Thanks for creating this :)

Melissa - So glad you're going to join in! There's also a 365 Photo Project that might interest you. The only guideline is color so it's very open to your imagination: http://www.positivelypresent.com/2012/01/365-photo-project.html.

I've been doing okay with this... here is my photobucket album so far (up to Day 5)


Melissa - Nice work! Love the photos you've taken so far!

I just finished mine about a week ago, and posted all the photos over at my blog, if you'd like to take a peek! What a great idea, and such a fun project (even if mine took much longer than 30 days)! http://coppertopkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/02/30-days-or-3-months-of-gratitude.html

Elizabeht - Awesome! I'm so glad you participated in the challenge. Thanks for sharing this photos with me. If you're interested, there's a 365 Project going on that you can join in on any time! http://www.positivelypresent.com/2012/01/365-photo-project.html

The comments to this entry are closed.