Just over a year ago I posted a blog post on personal photography projects asking people to chime in on what they would be doing in 2010. Last month I followed up with a few of the individuals providing feedback on this to see if they would like to discuss their personal photography project from last year. The one common theme I found is that it is important to set goals for yourself in small steps which look towards the larger picture of what you are want to accomplish. Of the people I followed up with, I wanted to share some detailed insight with three of the projects.
Christopher Rice of Denver did accomplish what he wanted to do with his 303 Project. The project of photographing the industrial areas of Commerce City got to a point where he is satisfied with what he captured and the emotion created to viewers of the images. He found during this project there were safety concerns and of course accessibility in the area of town where shooting from public areas added to his ability to think about the subject matter differently due to these constraints.
Missoula baby and wedding photographer Annie Florin worked on personal photography this year, but with motherhood and running a business there was a different approach taken. Instead of completing the project all at once, she concentrated on finding time to photograph now and once her son is a little older she will revisit the images and work on post-production at that time. I think this is a great idea as she has taken out some of the issues causing people to put a project on hold as in your mind there are excuses. The second part of this is the photographs taken now can be viewed differently in the future when you revisit the images as a collection versus an ongoing project causing you to alter direction in the midst of the project itself.
Marcy James had planned a couple of projects at the beginning of last year, however shifted gears to a project which became an exciting experience. This seven-month project involved rolling out a large piece of black roofing paper on one of her bedroom walls to be used as a photographic sketchpad for all of her ideas. With a majority of the writing and drawing taking place in the middle of the night as her family was sleeping beside her, she would see these ideas at night and also in the morning each day. The idea started as she works a full-time job she would find herself waking up at 2am and to think about the job and all the things needed to be done. One of these nights the thought was if she would be up in the middle of the night then why not use that time for art. We all know it can be hard to find time for everything, however Marcy made the time to get this to work. During the six months and as her ideas were added it let her feel reconnected to her art process, and being up in the middle of the night was exciting for her. As her ideas came to life they would be attached to the piece to show completion as well. After six months, the piece was shown in a local Missoula coffee house she thought about from the onset. In talking about the show, she felt that it was really showing a personal piece of her to everyone and may have been one of the pieces which was her most vulnerable to date as it contained the ideas she thought of in the middle of night which may have been done, didn’t really work or still in progress.
There are many factors impacting people as they are working on the personal photography projects or goals moving forward. However through creative means you can find your own way around these constraints and find time to do what you seek out to do whether it is a photography project or anything else.
In 2011, some of the photographers I followed-up with have plans for their personal work which for quite a few are continuing on projects pushed to the side last year due to time or other ideas in their place. I have some photography goals for this calendar year I will share in the next few weeks on this blog. Based on what you enjoy photographing what are you thinking of doing as a personal project this year and how will you make sure that you get that project completed?