Take on a Personal Project

April 10, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

by Suzie Lee, co-founder of The Photocoop, a photography community and rental studio


My friend inspired me to do a "first signs of spring" photo project last week. Since we spent the last couple days of spring break with a sick kiddie and broken plans, I took the healthy kid with me and we went hunting through the neighborhood for the first signs of greener days. Nature photography is not my thing but this was fun!


Signs of Spring Photo Walk


So we are starting to see the first signs of spring, that means it’s the perfect time to start planning a personal project for the upcoming season.  Personal projects are important for us photographers.  It’s an outlet to focus our creativity and set goals.  There is nothing more rewarding than completing the entire project from conception to final product, be it a set of prints, magazine submission or blog content.  


Tips for personal projects…


  1. The more thought you put into your project the more likely the follow through.  Doing preset “photo of the day” lists are great, but it may be more satisfying to create your own project. Consider stepping outside your comfort zone!

  2. To help get yourself pumped up, get a notebook and start jotting down ideas.  Once you’ve settled on a concept consider what will be involved as far as budget, props or equipment, and time. Don’t forget to write it all down in your notebook.

  3. Create a concept board. Pinterest is a great resource for this.  Consider printing your inspiration pieces and adding it to your notebook.

  4. Decide on a final product.  What do you want to do with these images once they are complete?  Create a gift, an art wall, submit photos for publication, create a set of post cards, etc.  Having a solid idea of what you want to do with the final images can be very inspiring and even help direct the whole process. Remember, this is a personal project... try to keep the final product personal as well.

  5. Create a timeline to help keep yourself on track.

  6. Don’t be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone or knowledge base.  Learning something new can be the goal in itself.

  7. Now get out there and get creative!


So of course, I’ve got to take my own advice.  I spend a good deal of my time selling wall portraits YET, I have very few on my own walls.  Well I plan to fix that... one small project at a time.  I have a wall on my entry stairs that is screaming for some art.  I’ve also got literally tens of thousands of images of my children that have never seen life off my hard drive. So I’ve given myself a budget of $100.  I’ve got a really crafty idea in mind and I’ve ordered the supplies.  The project should be done by Monday so stay tuned for the reveal!  


Here is a great list of creative ideas to try here. I am going to play with idea 8.



Update: See my completed project here.



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