4 Reasons Why Photographers Should Have Personal ProjectsApr 18, 2022
Although I have a busy schedule between shooting client sessions, conducting workshops, and mentoring photographers worldwide, I will always have at least three personal projects in the works at any given time.
For me, personal projects are one of the most beneficial things an artist and professional can have, not only for themselves but also for their business.
Here are a few examples of my projects in my portfolio:
Why are personal projects so essential and beneficial?
As artists, we always have ideas floating around in our heads, and if you are anything like me, it will drive you nuts until you see it come to fruition. So whether your final product exactly matches your vision or not, it feels fantastic to get it all out and be proactive with your ideas.
Personal projects allow you freedom….freedom to fail, to succeed, to learn something new, and to experiment. The last thing we want as professionals are to feel the pressure of: “Will I find a client who wants to try this idea? Will, my client like my vision? Should I tone it down to fit their taste? Should I ask their opinion?”
Because it's your vision, I suggest doing model calls or using family or friends, so you have the freedom to execute the photoshoot and edits exactly how you see fit and not have to worry about the “what ifs.”
I attribute 90% of my work's growth to personal projects. Being able to experiment and make mistakes has been invaluable to me as an artist, not only in my skills but also in my confidence. For example, I would've never begun creating composite images for clients without trying out my ideas and learning my craft through trial and error first. As a professional, I prefer to go into each session with the confidence that I will nail the execution of both my clients' and my vision without experimenting with a session that I am getting paid for and possibly failing.
The most crucial part is that you are learning, so if you go through with a personal project and fail, you can try it again and again and again. That is the beauty of it. Unfortunately, we don't have multiple opportunities to get things perfect during client sessions. Still, we can certainly keep working on perfecting our projects, making us better artists and professionals for our clients.
My projects keep me inspired. They give me a reason to keep coming up with new and fresh ideas. Of course, we can't always wait for the client who is looking for precisely the vision we have in our mind for their shoot, but if you were to add personal projects to your portfolio (which I do), you'd find clients coming to you for similar shoots. Often, clients don't even realize that these ideas are possible to create, which also gets them very excited to book with you.
Below you'll find a few more examples of the projects I've worked on:
So are you ready to take on your photography project? Why not sign up to start learning how to create composites today?
I promise that taking on a personal project will help you improve your craft; it'll boost your business and confidence.