As a photographer, one of the best ways to keep your motivation is to pursue personal projects. Choosing a project is not too complicated: the key is to pick something you are passionate about, a specific area you want to improve, anything that you really want to do. It can be a great opportunity to mix another art form or interest with photography.
The first reason to start a personal project is to keep you shooting. If you are like me and you have another job, then it is not always easy to go out and shoot after work or on weekends. Having a project about something you like will help a lot, keeping you motivated.
A project will also focus your efforts on a specific area. You cannot improve all your skills at once and sometimes it is difficult to know where to begin.
A project gives you a goal to reach, which is always a good way to move forward. It could also be a way to reach certain goals. Read more about setting goals in my previous post.
Starting a personal project is a great opportunity to learn new skills, to learn more on a specific subject. For example, my ebook project about Lyon made me gain new processing skills for cityscapes, and I also learned a lot of the history of the city.
Everyone enjoys the feeling of achievement. Completing a project is very rewarding in itself, and it will provide you with a body of work, a series, a book… I would strongly encourage to publish the final results, whether it is in a portfolio, on your blog, on social media, in an exhibit or in a book/ebook. It will validate even further your achievement.
My current project is towards fine art architecture photography in Toronto and this will achieve several goals: improve my fine art skills and creativity, build an architectural portfolio and learn about the architecture of my city.
Last year I did a project about the landmarks of Lyon, France, shot during the blue hour. I had a tremendous time doing it and I ended up writing an ebook including the history of the landmarks.
Enough about me. What are your projects? How do you keep yourself motivated?