The Photographer's Playbook
Blog #6 Projects. As photographers, as in any creative activity, we sometimes hit the proverbial wall and run out of ideas. We experience the equivalent of writer's block https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writer%27s_block . After exhaustive experimentation with various genres within our craft (i.e. landscape, street, travel, portrait, nature, macro) photographers may be at a loss for the next item on their photography to do list. They need a project and that is the very idea of this week's Blog entry.
A project can help add focus to the work of the photographer (pun intended). The photo above shows the cover of The Photographer's Playbook (Aperture, 2014) that contains 307 (a lot, I know!) assignments and ideas from many different professional and accomplished photographers. Projects can be anything but therein lies the problem. Anything is to broad of a place to begin. Books like the one above can provide a good source for inspiration.
A second source for that photographic mojo that I suggest is to try a Meetup group. Meetup groups are fun ways to experience your hobby or passion with others that share that passion http://www.meetup.com . Usually the organiser or leader picks a topic and the group runs around shooting photographs under that theme. The photos are then shared and discussed. I have attended a few good Meetup events that used themes such as creative shutter speed or a worm's eye view at night. Both were loads of fun and I went home with a few decent shoots that I otherwise would not have made.
A third source for photographic subject matter can come from within. What do you like? I like people, buildings, and motorcycles. Any of these broad subjects can become a project or they can be narrowed down to smaller projects like people at work, historic buildings, or Italian motorcycles.
For an example, see Eric Kim's Suits project here: http://www.erickimphotography.com/albums/suits.
It's not a bad idea to have multiple projects going at once so that if one does not prove to be fruitful, you can shift to the other. My current photography projects include Real Hong Kong where I am documenting the working life of local Hongkongers working on the streets around the region. This is in stark contrast (usually) to the more affluent life of the expatriates living and/or working in the region. I am also working on a slightly more open-ended project including all black and white street photographs that include people, and another titled Concrete Jungle that depicts the wonderful buildings and urban structures around the city in which I reside. I also make a point to make a project out of anywhere that I might be travelling to away from home such as another country. In the travel photos, I try to make photos that are off the beaten path so to speak. Photos that are NOT the ones that you might expect to see of a given place in other words.
What project are you thinking about doing? You can try the book described above for inspiration that can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Playbook-307-Assignments-Ideas/dp/159711247X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439371352&sr=8-1&keywords=photography+playbook
Whatever your project may be, start your project today since It isn't going to start itself!