I was digging the web searching for inspirations regarding new photography projects I could start next or even this year, apart of course from the one that is ongoing – Country Insight. There are plenty project inspiration articles, in fact most of photography related pages have these entries but they are rarely different. In most cases they copy ideas from each other and you can spend hours in searching and still getting the same list written in different order. So I thought It maybe good to go through those ideas, what I’m doing anyway, and pick few that may be really inspiring and add few mine (marked with *).
Here we go:
- A day: start and end a day with your camera documenting your typical or special day in your life, whether make it in colors or black and white is of your choosing but try to notice what you miss every day as it became routine: a fresh morning coffee, a rain on a window of your car while you’re stuck in traffic jam, a staircase in your office, freshly sharpened pencil on your desk, one red ring binder among blue ones, etc. You can go further and set a timer every one or two hours and make a photograph at that moment.
- A subject: pick a subject like a bike, window, door or door handle and try capturing it individually as well as in a context, this idea might be perfect for a longer project especially if you travel often. It would be pretty challenging to show differences between cultures through objects.
- A location: do you know a movie Smoke (1995)? A smoke shop owner makes every day a single shot at the same time capturing changing environment and passing people.
- Boring: make a list of things you consider as boring and try to show them from different perspective, maybe in a surprising context, maybe they change with changing light and time of the day or even season.
- Ask friends*: you see them if not every day then at least on weekends, friends from social media are great also, they can give you challenges or maybe they want to see something they cannot because they live on different continent and your insight on the subject maybe most valuable as a local resident. This project maybe perfect from another point of view. Photographer’s job is to present reality with his insight, his interpretation but done in such a way that viewer may understand and interpret it correctly. This approach is not obvious and many photographers forget that they do not photograph only for themselves.
- Random*: take a dictionary, pick randomly a word (or use online tool) and consider it as a title for the photograph, you can choose a word every period of time or do it in advance for example choose 52 words for every week in a year.
- Follow greatness*: study classic paintings, photography or drawings pick one which you like the most and try to pattern after it. Through those works old masters show us how to control perspective, hierarchize the relations between objects, focus attention by color, how to handle rule of thirds and of course how to tell a story.
You can of course try those most popular like 365 days, 52 weeks or every possible combinations, self portrait, random people, seasons or light painting but whatever you do be creative, push yourself beyond obvious and popular, be consistent and don’t hide your work – show it! One example here, self-portraits which are pretty common these days and which you should rather avoid at all cost are portraits done to the mirror looking through camera … I’d say, for a photographer it is a manifestation of no imagination.
Good luck and have fun!