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Using Photo Projects to Stay Sharp

Photographers can sometimes go long periods of time without tackling projects for which they’re getting paid. When that assignment work has slowed to a trickle at different points in the year, it’s important to still stay at the top of your game. After all, you don’t want to be a photographer who’s rusty when you finally land more high-paying assignment work!

The answer to this dilemma is photo projects. Here’s a quick walkthrough of various photo projects you can use to make sure your skills stay sharp in between assignment work.

Photo Projects Keep Your Creativity Fresh

As a photographer, if you’re not constantly working on something photography-related, your creativity is likely going to dull. A smart way to combat this is by dedicating yourself to a photo-a-day project, which you can stretch out for weeks or months on end, if you really feel like it.

A project like this can be tackled in numerous ways. You can take pictures of everyday things around the house, or you can take snapshots of a weekly theme (like colors or contrasts, etc.). Beyond that, there are many more choices at your disposal. The sky is really the limit, and a project like this gets your creative juices flowing while helping you stay sharp!

Photo Projects Help You Grow by Trying New Challenges

The worst thing that can happen in a photographer’s life is to get stuck in a rut. That usually happens when new challenges which take you above and beyond your comfort zone are few and far between. The best thing about a photo project is that it more or less forces you to get out of any creative rut in between assigned work. You have to apply yourself to something totally different than what you’re used to as a photographer.

So what would a photo project like this look like?

It can come in the shape and form of entering a photography contest for the first time in your life. It can also mean exploring a new style of photography you usually don’t bother with. If you’ve been a landscape photographer for much of your career, then try kinetic photography. If you’re used to taking portraits of people, then switch over to bokeh photography for a change.

Photo Projects Make You More Resourceful

Being resourceful as a photographer is key because it’s a big part of maintaining that necessary creativity. By limiting yourself to just one piece of equipment, you are forced to develop resourcefulness. That’s just what Project 50 is all about. If you attempt this project, you’ll be limited to using a 50 mm lens for 50 days…for 50 unique photos. Think you can handle it?

When you limit yourself like this by shooting with just a fixed focal length, you have to do much of the work yourself because you can’t rely on your zoom anymore! This is the ideal project for a photographer who really wants to stay in creative shape in between assigned work.

Stay at the Top of Your Game

These unique photo-project ideas will definitely keep you at the top of your game between assignment work. Just because you’re in between paid work doesn’t mean that you have to get out of practice with your photography mettle. By trying these different projects, you get to guard against photography rust while trying something new to expand your scope at the same time.

There’s no reason you can’t stay sharp all year round. Thanks to these inventive photo projects, you can do just that.

Marc Schenker

Marc Schenker is a copywriter, editor and blogger who manages Photodoto. He's also a freelance writer for hire. Connect with him at marcschenkerwriting.com. Don't forget to like him on Facebook.

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