Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The last things she needs is another project.....

hum. a project. I love projects. I love making change and starting something anew. The mere mention of that word sends my husband off to hide though. He's not a lover of things crafty, homemade, redone, or refurnished. He won't really admit he HATES my projects, but I can see the trepidation in his face when he asks on Friday, "so what are your plans for this weekend....????" I love the hard glance my dining room table gets when he sees the sewing machine is out. But the sewing machine is not out right now and the paint cans are safely stored away in the basement {in case you are reading this at work hun} so nothing is having a makeover at the moment.

I am thinking about starting up a project with my photography though. A personal one. Not one geared towards clients or gigs or growing in ways I want to grow professionally but rather one just for myself. I was thinking I'd start a 365 project on 1/1/2012 so I could have a whole year of photographs to look at by this time next year. But I'd have to have a slant, a focus, a thing to hang my hat on so to speak. I just read an article HERE about being fearless in your photography. It is a piece of advice that is universally needed by all photographers and perhaps all other artists. We find our safe zones and we stick with that and we love that we are successful with it and then it becomes formulaic and then before we know it we are in a rut. Thankfully, I am not in a rut. But I am feeling curious and creative at the moment and want to give myself a little push down a less traveled path. The advice in this article falls into two categories: don't look at the work of your peers, but keep looking at art. Seek out other genres and soak in the visual. Inspiration can be found everywhere. And the second suggestion she gives is to give yourself a personal project. And that was just what I was thinking about doing.

I don't have a direction yet but this article reminded me of my college days when I was asked to pick one very specific thing to photograph over the course of 10 weeks. I had a hard time coming up with my subject for this project. A really tough time. And then one day I came home to find my roomates watching MTV and a video was on of a popular song that year {and for the life of me - which includes a google search- I can't remember the name of the song. Although I can vaguely hum it.}. What I remember about that video was the richness of color and beautiful imagery of hands. Yup, hands. And I was so moved by the beauty in the music video that I decided to pick hands as my subject matter. My photography professor did not seem too jazzed about it when I told him but since it was my project and my grade, he just shrugged his shoulders.

The project was a little harder than I thought it would be but I managed. I produced enough work which I either liked or loved. And interestingly enough, about 3 weeks ago we found these four frames arranged on SweetPea's bed. I asked her where she found them and she said at the top of her closet. Then she said, "I just found them when I was looking for something else and I don't know where they came from but I like them".  They are of course, part of my hands project from college and it reminded me of a time when I forced myself to get seriously focused with my photography. There are a lot of technical errors in these pictures but I love that because it reminds me of how much I have learned and grown. Of course these were taken with film and developed in a lab so part of my growth has been to make the leap to digital which wasn't all that easy for me.  And how lucky we are to be able to see our shots so instantaneously now. There are lots of things I knew back then to correct but I couldn't see the image until the scene was gone.

So who knows what my next project will be. Maybe I should pick something like international spice markets and convince SJ that I will need to travel to exotic places to grow my craft. she says with a smirk.......


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