This past winter I found myself falling into a creative rut and not wanting to photograph anything. I was feeling uninspired because when I woke up in the morning before work it was dark and by the time I got home from work it was dark, so there was no time to catch the sun on the weekdays.
That’s when I decided to take on a personal project to jumpstart my creativity. Personal projects are such a great way to get yourself thinking outside of the box, feeling inspired, and picking up your camera (whether it’s your phone’s camera or your DSLR) on a regular basis.
Read more: Power of Personal Photography Projects
Some ideas for personal projects are:
-365 project (take a photo everyday)
-project 52 (take one photo every week)
-one lens challenge (only use one lens you wouldn’t normally use for an entire month)
To lift myself out of my creative funk, I decided to take on a monthly color challenge. Every month I pick a new color on the first, and for that entire month I photograph random items I come across that are that color. At the end of the month I create a grid with my captures. I’m here to share some tips I’ve learned along the way of my monthly color challenge.
- No.01Set guidelines for your project
When I first started my color challenge, I didn’t set real guidelines. What ended up happening was that the end of the month would come around and I would realize I only had a few pictures. Then I’d scramble the last few days to create a grid of 9.
I decided I needed to set guidelines for my challenge to avoid this happening. The point of the project was to get me photographing again on a regular basis, and that wasn’t happening.
My new guidelines are that I take 5 photos each week and my challenge is primarily a DSLR challenge. Occasionally if I’m out and see something that I really want to capture for my grid, I’ll include an iPhone photo or two.
- No.02Join a group
Participating in a project with a group is a great way to receive encouragement and stay motivated throughout the challenge. It’s also helpful for daily or weekly challenges because prompts are often provided.
It can get difficult to pull inspiration out of thin air on a daily or weekly basis, so prompts are especially helpful when searching for new things to photograph.
- No.03Share your personal project
Make sure you’re sharing your personal project with others in some way. Whether on your blog, your Instagram, or even printing them out and creating an album, sharing your project in some form increases both your accountability and your chances of success in completing your challenge.
It’s exciting for me to finish a month, put together my grid, and then share it with my followers. It motivates me to stay consistent with my personal project.
Personal projects are a great tool for growth in your photography journey. When done correctly, they force you to seek inspiration on a regular basis, and often your technical skills increase as well, simply because of the fact that you’re shooting consistently.
Whenever you find yourself slipping into a slump, which eventually happens to all photographers, seek out a personal project to challenge that slump and help revive your creativity. There are ideas galore for personal projects, so pick one and start shooting!