Although I have a busy schedule between shooting client sessions, conducting workshops, and mentoring photographers from around the world, I will always have at least 3 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 for their business as well.
Here are a few examples of my personal projects in my portfolio:
Why are personal projects so important 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. Whether your final product exactly matches your vision or not, it feels amazing to get it all out and be proactive with your visions.
Personal projects allow you freedom….freedom to fail, freedom to succeed, freedom to learn something new and freedom to experiment. The last thing we want as professionals, is 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 photo shoot and edits exactly how you see fit and not have to worry about the “what ifs.”
I personally 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 to my confidence as well. I would've never begun creating composite images for clients without trying out my own ideas and learning my craft through trial and error first. This is because, as a professional, I prefer to go into each session with the confidence that I will nail the execution of both my clients' as well as my own vision, without having to experiment on a session that I am getting paid for and possibly failing.
The most important 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. We don't have multiple opportunities to get things perfect during client sessions, but we can certainly keep working to perfect our own projects, which in turn makes us better artists and professionals for our clients.
My personal projects keep me inspired. They give me a reason to keep coming up with new and fresh ideas. We can't always wait for the client who is looking for exactly the idea we have in our mind for their shoot, but if you were to add personal projects to your portfolio (which I do) you'll find clients coming to you for similar shoots. A lot of times, clients don't even realize that these ideas are possible to create, so that also gets them very excited to book with you.
Below you'll find a few more examples of my own personal projects I've worked on:
So are you ready to take on your own personal photography project? Why not sign up to start learning how to create composites today?
I promise that taking on a personal project will not only help you improve your craft, it'll boost your business and your confidence as well.