Did you make a new year’s resolution? I gave up on resolution setting a long time ago. By which I mean the “drink less, exercise more, eat better, lose weight” variety. Because almost as soon as those well meaning promises leave my lips I have no intention of keeping to any of them. However I have set a bunch of goals for this year, including another personal photography project.
For the past two years one of my goals was to shoot everyday. In 2015 I successfully completed my first 365-day photo project. Last year I was a little less successful (I think I took a personal photo on about 280 of the 366 days), but I still feel like I walked away with a beautiful account of our daily life. However there was someone conspicuously absent from those accounts - me.
So this year I’m resolute to get in the frame. By myself (weird and extremely self conscious) or with my family. I know it’ll be suuuuuuuper awkward because unless you’re a Kardashian no one likes taking their own picture. But I think it’ll be worth it. My goal is to take one self-portrait a week following the prompts available from #portraitsofme on Instagram. I don’t know if I’ll manage all 52 weeks, but some is better than none.
If you want to see how I get on you can follow me on Instagram, and keep an eye out for #portraitsofme.
Are you keen to try a personal photography project yourself? It doesn’t have to be self-portraits. It could be a 365 Project or just a month of summer photos. I’ve gathered together ideas and articles to inspire you in starting your own project below. If you decide to take one on please let me know in the comments!
Shooting everyday for a year is a great way to sharpen your photography skills because it challenges you to push through creative ruts and to learn your camera like the back of your hand. As a result you may find you’re photographing the details in your family life in a way you might otherwise have missed.
Lifestyle Family Photographer Leah Cook talks about how and why to start a 365 Project (and how to push through when you get stuck) here.
This article from The Digital Photography School gives you the basics on what a Project 365 is and how to get started.
Get in the frame
#getin52 and #portraitsofme are two Instagram projects that challenge participants to take intentional self portraits. If you, like me, are missing from your family pictures this is a great way to become more mindful of being there. But because taking a self portrait without feeling like a total numpty is hard, here’s a short article on 7 Things to Consider When Taking Self Portraits.
Shorter Project Ideas
If you don’t feel like you have time to take on a year-long project, here are some short personal project ideas:
100 days of summer
Pick one month and shoot every day - e.g. 28 Days of February
A pictorial diary of the school holidays
Pick a meaningful item, topic, or subject (e.g. toys, food, your morning coffee or another “ritual”) and challenge yourself to photograph it in a different way everyday for a month
Have you decided to take up the challenge? Let me know what your personal photography project will be in the comments below.