When photography is your full-time occupation, it is easy for your business to overcome everything else. Client work tends to occupy all of our time, especially with commercial photography. I know I haven’t shot a lot of personal stuff this summer, and it’s mostly thanks to workshops. Yet, personal projects are so important, and here’s why.
Keep your sanity
As I write this, I have worked every single of the last 25 days. No day off. While I’m not complaining (I love what I’m doing), I know I need to take time for myself or I’ll feel burned out pretty soon. Shooting something different will help me relax and take some distance from my commercial work. Fortunately, I have a trip to Chicago coming up, so it should provide some opportunities to shoot personal stuff.
Personal projects will help your inspiration going. I have been thinking of a number of projects that I want to pursue and it’s keeping my mind busy with new ideas. I just need to set some time aside to work on these.
Enrich your story
Personal projects are a great way to achieve recognition and peak the interest of potential clients. I’ve heard many times great photographers mention that a personal project put them on the map, whether with a specific client or with the public. While you can decide to keep your personal work to yourself, I encourage you to share it online, and even with your clients. It will add to your story and let people know who you are.
Explore some of your other interests
Personal projects are a great way to mix photography with some of your other interests. Are you passionate about something, but you never have time to actually do anything about it? Start a project that involves that passion and photography! It will be an opportunity to learn and have fun.
In short: personal projects are the key to a healthy photography career. Just set some time aside, whether it’s a day each week, or an afternoon every month. Stay sane and inspired!