Recording: Finding your perfect personal photo project

What is a personal photo project? Why would you need one? And how do you go about finding one that's perfect for you? These are just a few of the questions we discussed during our January 2014 Free Photo Webinar.

Many of our past webinar guest speakers have encouraged us to find and maintain personal photo projects. Why? What's the big deal? In this webinar, we look at a few of their examples and discuss what we might learn from them.

What is a photo project?

  • Ongoing
  • Thematic
  • Expresses your other interests

Why bother?

  • To improve
  • To stretch
  • To share
  • To build something
  • To find yourself

Why now?

  • Pixels are cheap
  • Publishing is accessible
  • Creating brings fulfillment

 

Examples & former webinars

My 100 Strangers

Humans of New York 

Tom Sperduto

Jim Darling

Emily Mitchell: 12 ways to find and maintain your motivation

Matthew Jordan Smith

 

Advice from former posts

7 questions for finding your perfect personal photo project

12 sites to display, share and sell your photos

 

Two of your projects 

Patrick Thomasson

Project365 (2014)

Tell us about your photo project

I'm hoping to improve my photography one day at a time. I love taking pictures on my phone, and got an entry level DSLR last year; I want to get better and more consistent.

What was your inspiration?

I heard about project 365 from you during a photo tour in Annapolis. It fits well with my goal to be more creative this year.

How has it helped your photography?

1. Becoming more decisive (i.e sharing only one photo per day, but what if I get two good shots?).
2. Becoming more aware, looking for interesting subjects in everyday things.
3. Letting go of perfection - doing my best to get great shots, but accepting that they won't all be "perfect".

 

Ira Silverberg

Forty on Route 40: A Photo Essay

Tell us about your photo project

"Forty on Route 40" is a collection of photos (40 places) taken along U.S. Route 40 in Maryland between East Baltimore and Perryville. U.S. Route 40 was a major road connecting Washington, D.C. and Baltimore to cities in the Northeast prior to the completion of I-95 through the area in 1963. Once bypassed by the interstate, development slowed dramatically along Route 40. Many of the old businesses from that era, an eclectic mix of cheap motels, restaurants, and retail stores, remain to this day.

What was your inspiration?

A desire to document an older area that is slowly giving way to modernization. My neighborhood is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay on one side and Route 40 on the other, so I travel Route 40 every day. Though nothing remains from the colonial period, a roadside sign reminds that in the 1600s the explorer John Smith visited and "Old Baltimore" was located in what is now Abingdon, Maryland. Route 40 became a federal highway in the 1920s. The areas restaurants and businesses were desegregated in the 1960s after African and Asian diplomats who traveled Route 40 between their United Nation's and Washington D.C. offices complained about how they were treated.

How has it helped your photography?

Work on this project has helped improve my photography skills. 
_ Planning the best time to shoot, the best camera and lens combination.
- Having a specific focus makes you much more aware of your surroundings. Many places that I passed by every day, I noticed for the first time.
- Limiting the number of places to 40 made me take a close look at each photo to see how it supported the theme.

 

Once you have chosen your photo project, share your photos with us in our Google + community.

 

You can also post a link to your photo project in the comments. Tell us what inspired you to start it and how it helps your photography.