These five photography projects have major power to get you out of a photography rut, improve your technical skills, hone your personal style, and remind you why you fell in love with the camera in the first place!
As a photographer, I can find it challenging to stay motivated. If I put my camera down, it can be hard to pick it back up. I’m guessing I am not alone in this; I hear photographers talk about it all the time. It can also be hard if photography is your profession. Sometimes I associate my camera with work. It wasn’t always this way and there are times when I need to shoot for myself, to grow as an artist and remember why I started taking pictures in the first place.
I believe that creativity is a muscle and if you don’t use it, it will atrophy. The best way that I have found to get out of a creative slump or to improve my skills is by participating in a photography project. I recently finished a #365 project and did not miss a single day for an entire year. I am very proud of this accomplishment (full disclosure – I often start one on January 1st and never make it to February), and it was a very rewarding experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am doing it again this year. I could see as the year went on that I was improving in areas that needed it, and I was thinking out of the box more than I normally would.
My advice – start a photography project, you will not regret it.
5 Photography Projects to Try in 2016
1. #366 – Take a picture every day for an entire year. The premise is simple. Document each day for an entire year. The thing that I love about this project is that it forces you to see things differently. There are often days when I’m convinced that I have nothing to take a picture of, but then I will notice how the light is falling in the room or how pretty the vase of flowers looks on the table. You can use any kind of camera you like, I switched between my DSLR and my camera. I kept track of mine using an app called Collect. I tried a few, and this one was the simplest and I liked how it saved everything to the cloud.
2. One Second Every Day – If you are thinking about trying out video, this is a great project to try. You shoot one second of video every day. I use the 1SE app to collect and keep track. At the end of the year, you have a really fun 6 minute film that will be a keepsake forever. This project was the springboard for me to fall in love with making family films. I began this project in August and started again on the 1st. You can see my clips here.
3. #ColorColourlovers – A color hunting adventure from Xanthe Berkeley that focuses on a different color each week. This year’s project starts today and lasts for 6 weeks and runs quarterly. I’m going to add this one because it might be a challenge. It is pretty dreary and grey where I live. Find out more here.
4. #Imperfect366 – The rules are simple for this one, give up taking perfect photos. Use whatever camera you like, DSLR, phone, whatever camera is in your hand is the best one for the job. The only rules – there are no rules.
5. 10 on 10 – On the 10th of the month, share 10 photos. I’ve seen people share random images taken from one day, or will take a photo each hour. This is a great low key project that is not a huge time commitment because it is just one day a month. Here are some examples – Erika Ray – Fat Mum Slim – A Bit of Sunshine
A few other ideas – focus on learning a new skill like flash, stop motion, portraits, capturing video, or focus on new editing techniques. The possibilities are endless, and the only limitations are your imagination.