How to choose a 2017 Photography ProjectJanuary 22, 2017
With a new year comes the promise of new hope and new opportunities. This year, we always say, will be better than the one before. One of the big ways in which we often make promises to ourselves is by starting a new project. If you’re stuck on what to go for, we have a few ideas for you here – as well as how to choose which project should be your goal for 2017.
Consider a 365
A 365 project means something that is done every day of the year. You might try to improve your landscape photography with one landscape shot a day, or try one photomanipulation a day. You could even take one self-portrait a day. It’s all about what works best for you. So, who should think about doing a 365? If you have struggled to commit to projects in the past, this one will force you to see things through with quick deadlines. If you love social networking, this will be a great project to share with the world too. What’s more, others will hold you accountable to get it done.
Think About Hobbies
What do you enjoy doing? What have you considered to be your most enjoyable photoshoots, and what do you like in your spare time? You might find an overlap where a project can fit in. For example, let’s say that you love live music. Your project for 2017 could be to photograph as many bands as possible at the same venue, or in the same style. You could even try taking candid shots of music fans.
Which magazines do you read? Which would you like to see your work in? Some might not be attainable in the short space of a year, but you can set yourself a challenge to make work which is similar to what you see in their pages. While retaining your own personal style, create project shoots which match up. You could even find yourself with a publication credit to your name before the end of the year if you create the right kind of attention.
Consider Your Skills
Some of us would like to try a project which helps us to develop a particular set of skills. If this sounds like you, think about what skills you have and which you might be lacking. Perhaps you have never tried macro photography – then your project should be all about creating a miniature world. If you want to work on your street photography, try a project which involves waiting in the same place each day to create candid shots. Or if you want to learn more about studio lighting, then your project might be all about recreating cinematic styles.
Right a Wrong
Do you get worked up by talking about particular social issues? If seeing homeless people makes you angry, then try a documentary series which brings awareness to their situation. If you wish you could do more for those with terminal illnesses, try a project which brings together photography as well as fundraising to research cures or fund support from medical staff. Consider what you care about, or what makes you angry, and think about how a photography project can help you to show your support.
Finally, what kind of photography have you seen in the past that inspires you? You could use this as a jumping-off point for your own photographs. If you loved Annie Leibovitz’s work recreating Disney fairy tales, then take this opportunity to give them your own spin. Perhaps you saw an art gallery full of paintings of close-up faces: convert that idea into photographs and see what you can do. Take the spirit of the work but try to choose your own concept or style so that you are not simply copying.
Finally, sometimes the way to choose a project can be to think about the intended final product. Do you want to bring more people to your social media pages? It must be something that is eye-catching, thematic, and can be done in large volume. Do you want to create art for gallery purposes or a book? Then think about artistic themes or causes that people will want to support. Do you just want to take shots for yourself as you develop your work? Then consider what you need to work on the most.
Whatever kind of project you choose, make sure that you stay motivated and see it through to the end. A finished project is far more satisfying and fulfilling than one that lingers unfinished!