Sometimes one needs a photography project to kick start the creative process. Its important to move outside of your comfort zone as a photographer and artist, and the projects listed below will help you do just that. Pick one and dive straight in….but remember, the less you hold back the more you will get out of it.
1. 365 Days
Lets start with the most common photography project. Make one picture per day, for 365 days. Its that easy. You can photograph anything and everything, but the important thing here is that you take a photo every day for an entire year. If your a photographer that goes weeks or months without picking up your camera than this is the project for you.
2. A to Z
Make a portfolio of pictures of subjects from A to Z. Thats the name of this game. Whilst your subjects don’t have to be too creative, put some thought around your style and technique when making the pictures. Try somerhing new. A different angle or if you don’t shoot in full manual mode, give it a go. You can make this project a little more interesting by selecting a theme for you A to Z project – it could be landscapes, pictures at sunset, pets, portraits….the possibilities are endless.
3. Go Mono
Black and White, thats the name of this game. There is something timeless about b&w photographs. Shoot solely in black and white for a day or a week. But dont sway back into the colour world until you’ve fulfilled your project.
4. 50 Different Ways
Pick a subject and shoot it in 100 different ways. That can include different angles, different perspectives, different settings, in focus, out of focus. This is a great project as it forces you to be extremely creative in how you photograph the same subject. Don’t underestimate the 100 ways…it will take a lot of creativity to fulfil this project, but this can always be a WP project….just make sure you see it through. If your a photographer thats started a few projects and has a knack at not finishing them, then this one may not be the one for you (maybe try 365 days as it will force you to shoot every day).
5. From the hip
This is a good project for the photographer that like street photography but is a little intimated by the prospect of taking photographs of strangers. Shooting from the hip will give you a new perspective on your subject. Sure some photos may be out of focus or the images not quite straight, but you’ll create images that are different from what you usually shoot. And thats a good thing. And if this projects helps you with your street photography hesitation, then thats a bonus.
6. Light it up
Don’t use a flash often? This is your opportunity. Pull that speedlite out of the camera bag and get creative. The learning curve may be steep if your not used to flash photography and the images not what you were hoping for, but if you get it right (and you will…just keep at it) can and will be stunning.
7. The Nifty Fifty / 1 Prime Lens
The 50mm f1.8 is a lens every photographer should have in their bag (unless you have the f1.4 or f1.2). Its fast, has nice bokeh, is small and light, its a nice focal length (especially on a full frame body), and its cheap. This photography project uses one prime lens (the 50mm f.18 is the most commonly owned, hence the name, however you can use any prime lens). Prime lenses make you use your feet to zoom. Use the large aperture to separate your subject from the background or use go shoot in low light/indoor environments.
8. Photo Walk
Pack one camera with one lens, pick a location and hit the streets. It doesn’t matter what camera you take, if its film or digital, and what lens you pack, what is important is you look for great light, unusual angles, interesting subjects.
9. Self Portrait
This one is self explanatory. Take photos of yourself. Document your life. You may be surprised at the results.
If you’ve tried any of these projects I’d like to hear from you. Post below. What worked for you and what didn’t.