Perhaps in the New Year you want to improve your photography to enhance the everyday shots you take of your family. There are various ways to do it, but the most rewarding approach is to begin a personal photography project.
Some photo projects are ongoing and can last for years, while some will last only a week, or even a day. Choose one that appeals to you and the time you can commit.
The subject matter, duration, concept, and ultimate result are all up to you! The real beauty of a personal photography project lies simply within the fact that there is no need to conform to anyone else’s expectations.
Have no clue where to begin? Read on for some ideas, tips and tricks for success!
This is the most challenging personal photography projects out there. Shoot one image every day of the year. The benefit to a project like this is that is calls for some serious discipline and focus. Not only is it difficult to remember or make time to take a photo every day for an entire year, but it’s also a challenge to stay on topic. With such a long-term commitment, it can be extremely easy to wander away from the topic you originally chose. However, the benefit to participating in a 365 day project is that it will strengthen your mental stamina and ability to achieve a long-term goal.
If you are worried about capturing an image every day for a year, Project 52 is a great alternative. This is one in which you take one picture each week of the year. The key is that you are continuing to take photos.
30 day journey
Exact same concept as the 365 and 52, but for just 30 days. The images included with this article are from my own personal project capturing my youngest for 30 days last March.
In the end, the duration of your project is not as important as the journey itself. What should you capture on this journey? That is the best part…anything you want!
You may decide to photograph your children, your everyday, your morning coffee even — the
subject makes no difference, yet is perhaps the most crucial aspect of your project. Remaining inspired and excited is imperative, so having an interesting subject helps keep the challenge alive. Need ideas for inspiration?
It might sound weird, but it works, and is fun. You pick a word and see if it is good as a photography subject. For example — sleeping, reading, conversations, games, etc. are all words that inspire some creativity for personal photography projects.
This is fun to do since you are the photographer and the subject. You can opt to be specific about this project: self-portraits in different locations, self-portraits in front of a mirror, etc. Just be creative!
A creative approach is to locate each letter of the alphabet as they appear in your surroundings. Take a picture of the wheel of a car to represent the letter “O”. This encourages re-training your eye to see things in a different way. Look for images within different textures, metal, concrete, glass, organic materials, etc. Allowing the creative part of your brain to engage in new ways will help you do the same if you ever need to come up with ideas on the spot.
a day in the life
If you’ve got a free day that you can devote to a photography project, consider doing a day in the life project. This means documenting an entire day – either a day in your life, or the life of someone else, in which case, the possibilities are endless and you could turn it into a whole series. Consider also thinking outside the box slightly — a day in the life of your pet perhaps?
more tips and tricks
Finding a project idea is one thing, but following through and accomplishing it is another. Here are some tips that you might find useful:
*Choose what works for you.
*Set a time frame. This helps to accomplish it in its entirety.
*Set an objective. These projects should benefit you, so set a goal to learn a new technique, improve your skills through your project, etc..
*Share your work while doing the project. I believe that sharing your work with others will help you in getting some inspiration. However, try not to share your work with a cynic if you are a beginner. Of course, the decision is yours; you don’t have to share if you don’t want to.
No matter the subject, duration or concept, start now! You will never regret your project and I encourage you to create either a blog or a photobook at the end of your journey. You will be amazed at what you capture and create!