Back in 2o12 I completed my first photography project, a project 365. To complete the project I spent the entire year making sure that I took at least one unique image each and every day. Completing that photography project had a huge impact on my photography, teaching me a number of key skills including composition, vision and determination. I've benefited greatly from that project 365 and now I am ready to do another photography project. The question is "Which Photography Project?"
What Do I Want To Improve
The general idea behind doing a photography project is almost always to focus your photography on something you want to photograph/document in a unique way OR to improve some aspect of your photography. Many photo projects accomplish both goals at the same time. In my case I am looking to primarily improve an aspect of my skillset as a photographer. I started thinking about different areas of photography I wanted to improve a couple of months ago and quickly identified a major theme.......and that is while I really enjoy pointing my camera at landscapes, old cars and buildings I'm not really comfortable in photographing people. As I thought more about that I came to the conclusion that while I want to get better at photographing people I have almost no interest in portrait or studio people photography. So, what kind of people do I want to get better at photographing? Well, over the last year I have met up a few times with a group of photographers here in Atlanta that are dedicated to Street Photography. It is a fun group and I have enjoyed the meetups. I like the concept of photographing people in their natural environment, going about their business. But my natural tendency is not to "intrude" on people by photographing them and that presents a problem if I want to do street photography. After that analysis and thought process it became fairly obvious what I should base my next photography project on: Street Photography!
My Project Plan
Once I decided to do a photography project based on street photography I had to give some thought to how I wanted to construct the project. If you do any research on street photography you will see a million different ways from Sunday as far as variations/interpretations of the street photography genre. Everyone seems to have their own take on it. Some street photographers do what are called "street portraits" while others create exclusively candid images. Some shoot only in black & white and with rangefinder cameras. Others are color image loyalists. The differences go on and on but one thing is constant and that's the idea of photographing people out in the "wild". As for me I eventually settled on a project that will involve me visiting the same general area of town on at least a monthly basis over the course of 2015 I'm calling it "12 Months of Street". My hope is that this will allow me to improve my skills while also documenting the area and people I visit each month. I haven't settled on the exact area of town yet but I plan on doing a couple of scouting missions to settle on an area. I want the area to offer a variety of people from different parts of society. I will document the monthly visits to whatever area I choose and give a sampling of the images I make. I'm not expecting anything fantastic, especially at first. But I do think that my skill level will improve over the course of 2015.
Some Equipment Changes
Along with my desire to do a photography project I've also been considering a change in my photography equipment. To that end I have purchased a "new" used camera and lens to test out my theory and hopefully help me achieve my photography goals for 2015 and beyond. What did I get? You'll just have to wait :-) I should have the camera within the next few days and after I have acquainted myself with it I will do a post about it. Stay tuned!..................
My Parting Suggestion
I'll end this post with a suggestion: If you are looking for a way to improve your photography I would highly suggest you consider doing a project of your own