If you feel like you haven’t seen many articles from me, you’re right. I finally decided to focus on a personal photography project.
To be fair, this has been stuck in my head for about four years now. Many of you are probably like me in that you tend to have multiple projects going on at the same time. Website updates or creation, submitting images online to sell, contacting design firms and commercial art agencies, and the list goes on. With that comes anything that could be a distraction or excuse NOT to work on it – at least for me.
Personal photography projects help us focus
I’m done not working on my own work. Personal photography projects can help us refocus our focus, get us back on track with our own work, and take us away from the distractions around us. While writing articles is part of my job, it’s still a turn off the path of my own personal projects and photography.
I happen to be someone who is constantly looking for something to distract me from what I really should be focusing on. Trust me, it doesn’t take much.
So while I’m working on this project I thought I’d share some of the process and hopefully it will help you move forward with your own personal projects.
Some steps you can apply to any personal project
Come up with ideas
Coming up with ideas seems like the easy part. I have an endless list of ideas. Ideas wake me up at night and keep me awake. Do yourself a favor, write them down or record them somewhere. No matter how stupid or unattainable they seem, keep an eye on them. They may not bloom right away, but they never go away and this way you’ll be ready to tackle whatever it is when it comes back up.
Research what you need
Fortunately, we have access to so much information (too much I think) that we can easily get help. Need to figure out how to self-publish a book? How about finding out what you need to do to lead local photo tours and all that entails? Do you want to take a series of photos and display them in a gallery?
Whatever the project, find what you can and make the calls you need. Talk to others who have done similar projects. All of this research will help your project come about faster and run much more smoothly.
Just start your personal project
This can be the hardest step. Get started. Now. Do one little thing that gets your project started. Once you start, you get excited about it. When you’re excited about it, you want to work on it and you (me) stop looking for distractions.
Then just keep going. One small step at a time. Edit an image. Write the text that accompanies an image. Make a mock-up book cover. Write your artist biography. Commit yourself to working on your project every day. Even if you do something that you think is so small, it’s still progress.
Hold yourself accountable
Are you not good at being accountable to yourself? Find a way.
Ask a friend, fellow photographer, coach or mentor to become an accountability partner. Have a plan for yourself that you can share publicly or privately with others so that you are accountable to them and yourself for making progress for them to see.
Write about your project. Post updates on social media, your blog, or you know, even write an article about it.
Ask for help
Make sure everyone you tell about your project knows that it’s okay to give you a little push now and then. Ask them to drop by from time to time to ask how your project is going.
If you feel like you’re hitting a wall, reach out to someone and ask for help to just talk you through whatever it is that’s getting you stuck.
What are you waiting for?
Okay, get started. Get started.
Then share your project, the progress or when it is finished. Tell us in the comments or share more about it in the Photofocus Community. These things are always easier when we share.