Let us talk about personal project today! I am curious: How many of you who are professional photographers devote your time into personal projects?
I personally am a HUGE advocate of personal projects! Personal project allows me to be "free". I know it sounds so cliché, but I am pretty sure you know what I mean!
When I was actively taking clients, I needed these projects to be my creative outlet. I felt bored shooting the same poses and using the same basic ideas for every. single. session. Photography became merely formulaic. It felt almost robotic; it's like checking off the list. I was creatively uninspired and utterly unmotivated!
This year, I devoted my time in couple of personal projects:
1. Film Daily - a 365 project shot entirely on film
I am working on this one with the help of two my dear friends in film, Heather Chang and Jen Golay, both are 365 project veterans. I have previously started a 365 but quit in the first month! I knew I needed some friends to "spur" me along. Besides, these two constantly challenge and inspire me to get out of my comfort zone and shoot.
2. Non-family - a project consists of images without my own family/kids
Seriously, I have stacks upon stacks of negatives full of my family and kids up to my elbows at the moment (actually this should be another personal project to get the negative organized)! I marvel at the masters such as Cartier-Bresson and Maier who shot amazing street scenes, and people who shot landscape so beautifully. I want to learn how to be in that "decisive moment" and be "on" when the situation presents itself.
3. Print! Print! Print!
After the dead external hard drive fiasco a few months ago, I learned that printing my work is the only way I can preserve the memory tangibly.
I would love to hear what you do to keep yourself creatively inspired besides client work and sessions. Maybe you even can shed some light for me and Little Bellows fan on some fun project ideas! Perhaps getting out of your comfort zone is just what you needed. How about learning to shoot film? My workshop Embrace The Grain is opened for register today! See more details HERE.