Expanding Creativity through Personal Projects

(c) by guest blogger Cristiano Burmester from Brazil for the PhotoBizCoach

Irrespective of which specific area of photography you are in, your photography should tell a story. Whether it is a single image or a series of images,  photography has historically played a role in telling stories in our society since it’s inception.

The richness of photography’s is due to the enormous diversity it offers. This stands true for all aspects of the human life it depicts. There is no doubt that each photographer sees things differently and that also means that our stories are told in an individual, truly unique way.

A great way to get your wheels of creativity going is to shoot a personal project. To tell your story through an image does not mean that your work must be journalistic. What really gets the viewer’s attention is when you are able to connect as the photographer with your image emotionally. And viewers can always tell if you did or not.

When I am creating new personal work my approach is as follows. I want to get the most out of my senses and I will always follow these three thoughts:

a) I only create and shoot images that I am interested in. And that means, if you have a passion for 1950’s cars, how about developing a project for that topic ?

b) Whether I am working with people, places or ideas, I want to establish that emotional bond that I was talking about earlier, so that it comes through when I take my photos. Remember the place you used to out camping when you were a kid, even if that was 20 years ago? It’s the same kind of emotional connection I am describing.

c) I will do my best to tell the story in a way that hasn’t been told yet. It is not easy to be 100% original, but when you show what you feel, you are being true to yourself and that means originality. That is the uniqueness that makes your image special.

I am a true advocate of strong personal projects because they have pushed my creativity forward. Being the sole conductor of a project allows for a lot of experimentation. Which ultimately helps you to find your own style and/or look and/or feel that distinguishes your work from your colleagues.

Expanding your creativity means connecting all the creative dots to tell the story you want. Let’s not forget all the additional photographic resources that you have available such as B&W, post production techniques, and film capture.  You have a gamut of tools at your disposal to reinforce your message.

What is the personal project that you are the most proud of? What did you do that made it so special?

Comments

  1. says

    Nice article. Well put. Sometimes after taking a Standard head shot, I’ll ask the subject if I know them to stay another 15 minutes so I can take one for myself. This has always worked out well &, as you say, allows creativity to break free.