There are so many reasons why photographers begin photo projects, especially at the start of a new year. Sometimes it's because we've had a long holiday from photography and need to fall back in love with it all over again. Other times it's because photography is our job, but we don't want to lose our sense of fun and adventure that comes with it. Whatever the reason is, you only need to start. Dust off your camera, and have fun with a project that suits you!
I began the Body Love Project initially as a personal project for myself - kind of like my own form of therapy. There were many times when I wanted to give up, but I persevered because I knew I would learn something from it (and I did, which was to love my body more!). If you don't want to start a project that's as personal, there are countless photography projects that you can choose from. And the wonderful part is, you're not alone in group projects, everyone is just as eager to start as you are. So here is a shortened list of my top 5 favourite photography projects, to inspire you!
52 Saturday Mornings Project
If you're like me, and can't seem to keep up with the popular 365 Day project, then this one is for you. The 52 Saturday Mornings Project was originally created by a group of photographers on Instagram, @52saturdaymornings. For those that are looking for a project to easily commit to, I would recommend this. Saturday mornings are always my favourite time of the week. Inspiration is endless, and adventures await! So, each Saturday morning when you first wake up, make sure your camera is charged and ready to go. You could photograph your morning ritual, such as your breakfast and coffee, or perhaps you're already awoken by little foot steps towards your bed. Whenever a "moment" arises (you'll know when), snap a few photographs. Don't be afraid to take photographs of even your most human moments; intimate snuggles or anything that moves you, or melts your heart.
Finding The Light Project
Erin Hensley originally began Finding the light project in 2015, focusing on finding and using only natural light in her photographs. Every month, Erin posts a theme, and shares some tips to help inspire and teach people to become better at using all different types of light, and how they affect images. "Think of light like clay; you mold it and form it with your settings and creativity, to make it do what you want it to do." You can be as creative as you like with light, playing with silhouettes or backlight, or waiting until sunset when landscapes glow under the light. If you don't want to follow a theme, you could try this project in your own room to begin with, with self-portraiture. Inspiration is endless from this project.
Colour Lovers Project
Founded by Xanthe Berkeley and Andrea Jenkins, this project is one that is very simple; make color happen. This is a project that you don't have to get caught up in camera equipment; you can even use your smartphone or a point and shoot camera. It's about looking for quirky, contrasting colors, soft tones, textures, shapes, lines, etc. Where ever inspiration strikes. You could organise a road-trip, or an adventure in the city with a friend, and discover how you both photograph the same subject/theme with different perspectives. If you're on Instagram, you can share your gorgeous color pop photographs with the hashtag #colourcolourlovers, and have a look at other fellow photographer's photographs for inspiration.
30 Days of Thankful Project
A self-explanatory project, but a very meaningful one. Each day, for 30 days, photograph something (anything, or anyone) that you are thankful for. It could be the chai you're sipping on, a warm smile from someone special, blossoms that you've hand picked, or even a favourite page of a book. Showing gratitude for the little things in your day not only improves your mood, but it improves your photography. Practicing this kind of gratitude every day for thirty days will eventually help you cultivate gratitude in all aspects of your life.
A Day In Your Life Project
This is one of my favourite projects of all. You pick a day that will be full of adventure, or love, or even a typical day. Set your timer hourly to help you keep on track. This may sound challenging but after awhile, you won't even need to check the time. You'll be so enthralled in taking photographs of what you're doing, you learn more about yourself, your daily routines, and all the precious moments in between. Start from the moment you wake up (grumpy faces and all), until the moment you go to bed (or put your kids to sleep and bring out the wine). Photograph what is most meaningful in your day. Is your morning walk in a park? Is it alone time in a hot bath? Don't be afraid to capture anything that truly reflects you. Later, you can create a collage of your photographs, to remember a special day or to share and inspire others.