Photo Sets & New Projects

When I met up with fellow photographer Sivan Askayo in New York, we got to talking about her project “Intimacy Under the Wire”. I expressed that I also wanted to do a personal project but couldn’t find something that struck a chord with me.

Personal projects are a healthy creative practice for photographers. It allows you to perfect your craft over a consistent period of time. It is a long-term practice in theme, concept, and vision. Street photographer Eric Kim did a piece on starting personal projects that will be helpful for any photography newcomers thinking about their own projects. There are many personal project ideas: 365 day project, 52 week project, self portraits. But I wasn’t interested in any project templates. I wanted to work on something that was entirely my own, like Sivan’s “Intimacy Under the Wire”. I wanted something that I would stumble upon almost by accident, yet feel compelled to continue polishing for months, if not years, after.

Sivan suggested that I flip through my images and look for patterns, photos that could work together as a series. Upon returning home, I did this exercise with my most recent shots from New York, Seattle, New Orleans, and Vancouver, and came up with more than a few good ideas for personal projects. I might just decide to pursue one of these in the near future!

Scooters

Lately I’ve been noticing these joyful methods of transportation from Toronto to New Orleans. Visually, I am drawn to the colors of the vehicle like the pop of red on the left image. Although I don’t feel a strong connection to the subject, it would certainly make for an interesting project if I were able to continue it.

ScootersDoors & Windows

This set of images immediately jumped out at me, I’ve been a long time fan of interesting door ways and windows. I’ve always like photographing different shapes and crafts and this subject lends itself nicely.

Doors Windows

Red

My favorite color, a timeless classic. It is no surprise that the scooter shot was red and the Doors & Windows I found were against a red background. The color carries different meaning in different cultures: love, lust, death. I would love to build a collection of 25-30 images from around the world with a strong red color focus. This project could lend itself to so many possibilities.

10,000 Feet

In profiling a location for a travel story, an overview shot of the city is almost always necessary, so I always have this image in my arsenal of photos. To date, I have built up a collection of images shot from high up, that gives an overview of the destinations from “10,000 feet”.

Prague

Paris

Barcelona

Finland

Vegas

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12 responses to “Photo Sets & New Projects

  1. Series are always fun! I’ve done a few, but I usually find it hard to come up with inspiring themes. I like the idea of searching for themes within existing work.. I’ll have to try it!
    If you put together a big enough series, like the ones you’ve shown here, you should compile them in a book. Maybe even sell it in your etsy shop.

    • Lol…yes…inspiring themes it seems should be the most important motivator to a serious photographer. Ansel Adams comes to mind…who found Yosemite as his inspiration. Now that was quite a theme.

      • Me too. Hell, I bought a 4×5 and heavy metal tripod and made some progress…but…don’t particularly like the darkroom…digital seems like it would be more free and fun…we can’t all be masters…but we can still create beautiful images and let the camera take us to beautiful places and new cultures. Cheers T.Z.

  2. I like the scooters and 10,000 feet…either one can encompass photographs from around the world. A project I would like to do once I get back into photography…is the four seasons…focusing on the same photographic subject…probably a tree with expansive background view that includes clouds and the sound (sound or water inlet near Seattle). Good luck.

  3. Love the idea of “personal projects” for photographers! This is something that I never considered before. I like your suggestion/tip of going back to your archive and seeing patterns in our photographs. I will ponder on this further after I’ve read the links you’ve provided in this blog to stir some ideas. Thanks!

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