What Is The Point?

When I first became interested in photography, a little over four years ago now, I used to see so many people working on a photo project. 52 this, 365 that, and I wondered, “Why?” What was the point? Aren’t you just going to burn out and start shooting crap photos of whatever happens to be in front of you then just to meet the goal? Seriously, a new photo every day for a year, that’s nuts!

Open The Creative Flood Gates.

Then it clicked. A photo project was a great way to exercise your creativity. By forcing you to create a new image to meet a specific theme or time frame, be it daily or weekly, a self-imposed theme, or one provided for you, it gets you shooting, and that’s never a bad thing. Hopefully all the while your creative drive is in full gear, helping to see things differently in hopes of not “burning out and shooting crap just to meet the challenge.”

Currently, I’m participating in the Lens Pro To Go, 52 Week Photo Project. LPTG is a photography gear rental company based near Boston, MA. My first experience with them has earned them my business for any and all future gear rentals.

I had placed an order for a lens rental through their website, and the next day was contacted to tell me they were out of the lens I wanted, in this case the Canon 17-40 f4L. Would I mind if they upgraded me to the 16-35 f2.8L at no extra charge? Then, because the 16-35 had an 82mm filter thread, and my 77mm circular polarizer wouldn’t fit, they threw in a circular polarizer too, also at no extra charge. That is some serious customer service! Thanks LPTG, you’ve earned a loyal fan!

Now, back to the photo project. The idea was simple enough, they would send out the themes for each week to all who signed up, then by the end of the day on Sunday we all had to post our images to the LPTG 52 Week Photo Project Flickr Group .

There is a lot of great talent sharing to the Flickr Group, well worth a look, so check it out when you get  chance.

Rather than simply go digging through my Lightroom catalog to find images that fit the weekly theme, which would defeat the purpose entirely, I decided early on that to get the most out of the challenge I would create images specifically for each week. For the most part I’ve been successful in that, but there have been a few times life has gotten in the way and I’ve used a previously shot photo. But not often.

Aim For Daddy’s Head.

We have just reached week 29, a little more than half way through the 52 weeks, And I think I’ve gotten a lot out of the challenge so far. Below is a gallery of my first 29 photos, a few you may have seen before, most you have not. I had a lot of fun making these, the “Paper Airplane” theme was the most fun. “Aim for daddy’s head,” is what I told my daughter. She laughed, and then did her best to do just that!

So if you’ve been in a creative slump lately, find a photo project to take part in, or make one up for yourself. You might be surprised at how much fun it is.

16 thoughts on “The Value Of A Personal Photo Project.

  1. Lot of nice photos here. And like you said: I saw a few of them before, but most of them are new in your blog (I know because I sat down with a few beers one evening and read through the whole blog) 🙂

    1. Thank you Dina! Check back often, the header image changes as if by magic 😉 You never know what will greet you.

      Funny you should mention it, I am pretty proud of my signature, and you’re not the first person to like it either, which surprises me every time. What ever gets my name burned indelibly into your brain works for me 😀

  2. A big hat tip to you for taking on this challenge!

    Like you noted “we” need a theme or project when we head out the door to shoot. At least it helps you focus instead of going out aimlessly.

    ~ Best ~

    1. Thanks Rick. I have found that participating in the project has really opened my eyes to seeing things in a new way. But I still just grab my camera and head aimlessly into the woods quite often.

    1. Ioanna,

      Thank you. I can’t tell you how much it means that you feel I’m deserving of such an award. I must however, graciously decline, as I have with all other awards I’ve been nominated for. I simply do not have the time to properly fulfill the requirements of acceptance. I hope you are not offended or upset by this, as I mean no disrespect at all. Your nomination is truly an honor.

      Thank you for your understanding,


  3. Great post, and the other day a friend was commenting on where I was in photography, and with an air of surprise because he was around when I first picked up a camera. He said “you must spend all your time reading photography books and watching tutorials.” I told him I could count the books I’ve read on one hand. My contribution goes solely to personal projects and the correspondence with others along the way on their projects. I admit though, I let go on the Project 365 about 100 days in. That was a bit too much “project driven” for my taste, but it did put me in the way of photographing things I normally wouldn’t spend much time with. I did gain a strong understanding of my camera during the grind.

    1. I’m not sure why it took so long for me to see the value in it. I’m not sure I could pull it off if I didn’t have a theme to shoot for, no pun intended. Having a theme provided and then trying to create something that fits, really gets the gears turning.

      I do know I would never even think of taking on a 365 project though 😀

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