Kickstart a Personal Photography Project this Year!

Why not start the new year with a personal photography project? 

 Beginners to professional photographers benefit from the focus, determination, and direction that a project provides. 

Key Benefits of a project:  

  • A method to experiment, dive deep into a skill and expand as an artist. 
  • Projects are not dependent on time, space, location, camera, or skill level. 
  • Focusing on a specific project helps you grow, maintain focus and stay inspired. 
  • Helps you build a body of work to share, print, or submit as a portfolio
  • It is rewarding to start a goal, work on it and see the final collection altogether! 

Before jumping into a project, ask yourself some key questions to help plan.  

What inspires you? 

What skill or aspect of photography do you want to explore? 

Is there a skill or genre of photography that you will want to master? 

Do you want to connect with other photographers? 

Would you like to master your camera and get better at basic skills? 

Is there a cause or community that you want to highlight or showcase?

During the Pandemic,  I began a personal project called Shelter.  I captured the homes in my area and then creatively edited them to showcase their beauty and add light during the dark time of shelter in place. I wanted to bring the light back into the places where we seek refuge. This was such a rewarding project for me during this time. I shot for six months and edited as I went. Part of the project was to give back, so I printed the images and shared them with neighbors to thank them and give them some joy during this time. 

The ideas for projects are endless. Here are a few to get your started. 

  • A 365 project challenges you to photograph and share every day of the year. This activity is great for learning a new camera; forcing you to shoot each day grows your skills. 
  •  52-week project, you will photograph and share based on a theme for each week of the year; weekly themes can be found on Flickr, IG, or other photo sites. 
  • Travel project - even if you can’t travel far away, take time for day trips, road trips, and chronically your excursions.
  • Shoot for a cause - focus on an organization or social cause you are involved in or passionate about, document it, or showcase its story.

Gain inspiration for a project from other artists. 

Search sites like  Instagram, 500 px, and Pinterest for ideas to get you started. Recently I visited the Art Institute in Chicago and was able to get inspiration from an art exhibit. The famous artist David Hockney’s Spring in Normandy was on display. This collection of work gave me an idea for a similar future project but using photography and creative editing. 

The key to a  project is to start, make a commitment, and see where it takes you. If you are interested in learning more about starting a project, join my Kickstart, a Photography Project course that launches each January. I love to work with photographers to start, execute and bring to completion a project of their own!

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