Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Published 11:30 AM by with 0 comment

The Benefits of a Personal Photography Project

Although I've been capturing images in some iteration for about twelve years now, there's always something new to learn. But without some kind of driving force, it's easy to become static and churn out variations of the same photograph over and over again. I recently recognized this trend in my own work and realized I needed to put a defibrillator on the heart of my photography. I was not giving much thought to what I was doing anymore. I just went out and took photographs by rote, processed them quickly because I had a "formula" embedded in my mind and then I would go out a few days later and repeat the process all over again. That's not to say that I wasn't shooting good photographs. They were good but I was not challenging myself. It's common knowledge that finding a challenge and getting out of your comfort zone will help you grow as a person and artist.

My two great loves in photography are landscapes and portraits. I had my landscape work pretty well organized but my portraits were all over the place. Some were on this drive, others were on that drive...there were hundreds of those suckers. It felt like I was shooting wonderfully emotive photographs of people but they were disappearing into the ether. I also felt like I was kinda drifting with no real purpose to what I was shooting. So what to do?

I decided that I was going to commit to a project, something that would have clearly defined parameters and something I could plan for with a vivid endgame. I decided on a coffee-table book of portraits called "Fifty Female Faces".

What followed has been a revelation and rejuvination of my creative juices. Not only has my photography gotten better because I have been able to identify my weaknesses but I have also become much more adept at communicating with people during a shoot. For an introvert like me, that is truly significant.

Another added benefit is that my Photoshop skills have rapidly improved and my understanding of the program has allowed me a much greater expanse of possibilities when I'm feeling creative.

So I'd highly encourage you to find something that will inspire you in your own life and help open you up to brand new experiences.

This is one of my favorite shots so far from the project, featuring Janelle Winter