The start of a new year is a great time to begin a new project. We all know about – and have probably even made – New Year’s resolutions. How about using the New Year to spark some creativity and expand your photography skills? If you are stuck in a rut or just looking to add some fun to your every day photography, take a look at our 5 Photography Projects for the New Year.
This is the mother of all ambitious photography projects. Joining a 365 project “requires” you to take a photo every day of the year and post it. You can post it to a Flickr account, photography group, personal blog – wherever you want! Some have themes and some don’t, it all depends on what kind of group you join. You can do this project with a group (which will make you more accountable to actually take and post your photos) or you can do it on your own, it’s up to you!
Similar to a 365 Project but a little less intense. Project 52 “requires” you to take one photo a week, usually related to a specific topic or theme. Again, you can either join a group (on Flickr, photography forums, etc) or you can do it on your own. This is also a great way to make new friends and be inspired by other people’s interpretation of the same theme/topic.
Roll of Film Challenge
This is one challenge that I am personally going to do this year. Digital cameras are amazing and let us take photos like never before. But sometimes it is all to easy to take a million photos and/or not really pay attention to your settings and say that you can “fix” them later in post-processing. A “Roll of Film Challenge” challenges you to go a little old school. Turn off the preview mode on your screen and only shoot 36 images. It pushes you to really look at your settings to make sure they are correct and to take well thought out photos, instead of just snapping away. Do you remember the excitement of opening a package of newly developed photos, unsure of what you were going to see? You will get the same feeling as you upload the photos from your memory card. A blast from the past with a modern twist!
Participating in a blog circle is a great way to build friendships, expand upon one topic and build SEO (if you are looking to do that kind of thing). I know many photographers who participate in “Letters to my Daughter” or “Letters to my Son” blog circles and they are beautiful. All you have to do is gather a group of friends (online or real life) and pick a theme. You can have one theme for the year (as previously mentioned), one per month or however frequently you want. Then, after each person writes their blog post, link up to another person in the group. If your readers were to follow each link they will eventually complete the blog circle. This is another great way to hold yourself responsible for actually completing the project – other people are depending on you!
Specific Skill Challenge
Sometimes you don’t have to do a crazy project to spark your creativity. Sometimes all it takes is focusing on one topic at a time. Make a short list (I would suggest between 4-6, or possibly more, depending on how much time you have to focus on this project) of skills that you want to learn and master. Confused about low light photography? Want to master the Kelvin white balance system? Interested in macro photography? Pick a topic and explore, learn and create as much as you can before you feel you have mastered the topic. That could include taking a class, reading a book or shooting with a specific lens in order to learn all you can about it. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn when you focus on one thing at a time!
Now get out there and get inspired! We want to see your images – share them along with your project ideas on our Facebook page!
*all photos taken by Tracy Cepelak of Tracy Lynn Photography