As photographers, we must always strive to find ways to keep from falling into a rut, creatively. We have to always be creative and imaginative in our work in order to make our clients happy. Over time you may find that you have lost that “spark” and photography is starting to feel too much like a job rather than something you loved that you went to school to get paid for.
A good way to stay “fresh” as a photographer and artist and keep your passion alive is with personal projects. Personal projects are photography projects that you come up with that are mostly for fun and to keep the spark ignited, but can also serve a purpose such as raising social awareness. I personally recommend and I know many of our professors so as well, that you always have one or two “pet” projects on the back burner, that you work on when you have time.
Over time, becoming established as a professional photographer, you may even be commissioned by a client to do a photography project, such as the one Time Magazine sent Ed Kashi on, photographing the incoming Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey with nothing but an iPhone.
For me personally, I am working on a personal project right now I call Forgotten Pieces of Georgia. For my project, I am traveling the back roads of Georgia, shooting old buildings, rusted old vehicles and the like and talking to people as I go to get more information about their area and the way it’s been devastated by the poor economy. The project will take considerable time and effort as I am shooting in all 159 counties of Georgia, but yours doesn’t have to be as massive an undertaking. I am including a couple of shot from my project for inspiration as well as one of Ed’s from the Super Storm Sandy project he did for Time magazine.
So, think of a personal project that you would love to do, and just do it. You may not be able to devote all your time and energy to it as other things get in the way, but you can at least set some time aside every month to make some progress. Now get out there and shoot!
6 Famous Photographers Working on Epic Projects, Photoventure. Web. visited Nov 23, 2014 http://www.photoventure.com/2013/03/01/6-famous-photographers-working-on-epic-photo-projects/