Photo projects are a fun, challenging and highly rewarding way to perfect your skills as a photographer. Photo projects can range from the rigors of a 365 (photo a day) project, to something more flexible and free, like a weekly project on Instagram. Below are a few of the many reasons why you should consider a photo project of your own, and a list of project ideas to get you started.
This sounds like a really serious point to start off with, but trust me on this one. While being creative means that you should “trust your gut,” believe it or not, an important part of creativity is discipline. Discipline to stay focused on a goal, and discipline to stick to that goal (and your creative vision) no matter whether you are feeling tired, lazy, or just plain uninspired. And, if you own your own photography business, whether you are a commercial or fine art photographer, you will know how much discipline it takes to keep things up and running! Photo projects, especially daily ones, force you to make something, even when you do not feel as though you have it in you. Sometimes, we have to go to shoots, and then edit, even when we are feeling totally uninspired. A daily photo project can actually condition your mind to the point where, if you just aren’t quite feeling it (“it” being that creative zing we all know and love) you can quickly turn “it” on and get back into your creative frame-of-mind
The more you practice, the stronger you will become as a photographer, especially if you are attempting a daily/weekly project. Photo projects can help launch you to the point where you know how to operate your camera/flash blindfolded, which is a great skill to have when on a client shoot – you want to be able to focus on interacting with your client, not trying to sync your camera with your flash. Also, if you are using Lightroom and Photoshop to edit your images, you will find that your workflow will become faster and more streamlined as you progress with the project.
3. Finding Your Style
Often you will find that a photo project is a catalyst for photographers finding their own, unique style. I’m not completely sure why this is, but I feel as though it has to do with the points above: repetition and discipline. Maybe it is the fact that you are forced to create something no matter what, sometimes every day, or the fact that repetition leads to find what works for you and what doesn’t, and perfecting the things that do work.
1. Joel Robison: Joel has completed several 365 projects, and his uplifting, imaginative spirit is sure to inspire you.
2. Meghan Davidson: Meghan recently completed a 365 project that was not only all self-portraits, but self-portraits using Impossible Project instant film, which is really incredible!
3. The Doubles Project: Not all photo projects are governed by a set amount of time. Steph Parke and Vanessa Morrow have a fascinating film-swap project that is on-going. The element of chance in this project is absolutely refreshing.
A brief Google search, or a tag search on Flickr and Instagram will also give you plenty of results to inspire you, so be sure to do some browsing to find even more inspiration! Do you have a photo project (it can be your own, or someone else’s!) you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear about it!