New Year, New Photography Challenge?

Happy New Year !

Do you start the year with resolutions, or do you prefer to set some goals, have some aims and maybe some challenges too? Personally I’m not a fan of resolutions, probably because I’m notthat great at sticking to them! But I do like to take some time to pause and reflect on the year that’s gone, make some plans for the new year, to set some goals & aims for my business and some personal challenges too.

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Photography projects are a great way to push your creativity or develop your skills and the beginning of a year is a perfect time to throw yourself into a new project or challenge but it’s really important to give it some careful thought if you want to succeed with it. You need to choose something that will inspire and challenge you but you also need to give some thoughts as to your own personality.

This time of year I see so many people start on a Project 365 (a photo a day for a year, sometimes with a theme or a daily prompt but often without). Now I have to say I really admire anyone who does this and sees it through to the end and if you are fairly new to photography you will without a doubt see an improvement in your skills by forcing yourself to shoot daily. But the thought of such a disciplined project fills me with dread! I know that I wouldn’t be far into the year before I found myself with a few days where I’d been busy working away at home, not going anywhere interesting to shoot and struggling for the time to set up something at home. And at that point the project would feel like a chore, I’d create an image that I found boring and wouldn’t be happy to share publicly and I’d give up. Not that I generally give up easily but if I’m doing something just for pleasure and it’s become a chore then it feels a little pointless to continue! So an ideal project for me is something with a little more flexibility and I also enjoy working to some sort of theme but again I like that to be something flexible that can be interpreted in a variety of ways (have you worked out yet that I’m not a fan of routine!).

I’ve an idea in mind for a project that will see me through the year, at the moment I’m just sitting with it and mulling it over, I want to make sure I’m totally happy with it before I commit. Once I’ve decided I’ll be sharing it here on the blog, because the best way to make sure you see something through is to declare publicly that you’re doing it!

As well as starting something new 2016 will be the year that I finish my long term project Fifty Portraits, I’ve 17 wonderful people still to meet and photograph and I’ll be a little sad to reach the end.

Are you going to start the year with a creative challenge? Why not leave a comment and then you’ll be committed 😉

If you are struggling for ideas you can sign up to my newsletter here and you will receive a copy of my mini guide to photo projects. Or better still sign up to the free course Beyond Snapshots and you’ll also be invited to join the Facebook community where we have a new challenge each month.

2 Comments

  • Gilly Reply

    Hi Janet,
    I feel exactly the same about the 365s and have never attempted one. However, I recently started a little project on my blog called 52 Trees – one tree or tree-related image every week – and that has proved very do-able. I try to take the photo the week I post it, but sometimes it’s been taken a week or two beforehand and – if I’m really pushed – occasionally I pull one from the archives. By not imposing too many conditions on it, it makes it easy for me to keep going. I’ve found it to be just the right balance – not too demanding or pressured, but it encourages me to explore one topic and play with it. Hope you come up with something that suits you, too.

    Incidentally, really like the still life photo at the top of the post.

    • Janet Broughton Reply

      Hi Gilly,
      Happy New Year & thanks for your comment!
      I think a weekly project is definitely the way to go, much more flexibility and if I miss a week and need to catch up the following week its really not an issue.
      Just had a look at your 52 Trees, its a great idea with some lovely images, I often find myself drawn to trees too!

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