"You build your business shooting for other people. You build your career shooting for yourself." - Matthew Jordan Smith
There you sit, at your desk looking at your work and feeling all blah when you should be feeling excited. After all, you have the gear. You have clients. You love what you do. But it’s just not enough. It’s starting to feel like the same thing every the time. You need more. However, your clients expect one thing: to go home with the kind of images you promised and showed off on your website. And sometimes, it’s just not enough. The passion is gone.
So what can you do to reignite that creative fire? One answer is simple: start a personal photography project.
Personal art projects have been beloved by artists for ages. They are super affordable, highly flexible, and allow you to stretch your wings where your paid work may not. Best of all, they can breathe new life into your business and even make you a better professional. Feeling inspired? Read on!The top 5 reasons for starting your own personal photography project:
The moral of the story is that personal photography projects help you think about things in a new way, especially if you’ve pigeon-holed yourself into shooting for a market that feels stiff and repetitive. We know that sometimes searching for your own project may feel as daunting as looking for the perfect bathing suit. But it doesn’t have to be. To get you started on your new journey, here are some popular ideas we love. Pick one (or come up with your own) and start breaking free from your daily grind!
As you can see, the sky’s the limit. All you need is to look around you to be inspired. Think about your hobbies, your community, the books and magazines you read, the people you admire, the skills you want to learn, your values, your emotions – and you’ll find tons of ideas for personal projects.
And once you have your ideas, you can decide if and how you will share the results. No one says you have to share anything; it’s perfectly OK to keep it all to yourself. But should you want to share the fruits of your passion, there are many avenues.
Just remember, no matter how your personal project unfolds, it’s important to start – somewhere…anywhere. And when you complete your project, reward yourself. And, remember to get a selection your favorite images on the wall.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.