Hey Everyone! I hope today finds you healthy and safe! This week I want to talk about coming up with ideas that can become photo or just personal projects. First of all, I think personal projects and photography projects are great, but coming up with the idea and what your project is going to be is a bear. Photography and personal projects give you something to plan for and something to really look forward to. I am a list guy. I make a list for almost everything, from daily activities to long- term goals. This past year I had a couple of goals or projects. The first one is this blog. I wanted to post a blog every week. The biggest challenge with this goal is coming up with topics to talk about. I get ideas from all kinds of places, when I'm driving to work, taking a shower, almost anywhere. I get the idea and then think about how my blog will be written. But if I don't write it down, I can get distracted and lose my train of thought. So I have a place in my home office/gear locker/laundry room where I have put up a dry erase board where I can write down all the ideas I have. I try to stay ahead and have two or three already written. Then all I have to do is put some photos with it.
Another big project this year was my state park project. I wanted to visit all of the state parks in North Carolina in one calendar year. This took a lot of logistics and planning to do. Some of these parks were far enough away that I had to plan overnight stays, which meant camping. You know how I like to camp. There were 34 parks and 52 weekends. I should be able to handle that, right? Well, then the virus hit us, and all of the state parks closed for a few months. But I got around that and took a week of vacation and went to 9 state parks to get me back on track. I had a printed state map with all of the state parks and a spreadsheet where I would check off each state park as the year came around. I kept track of this on the dry erase board in my room. This project gave me the drive to go out and shoot while the virus and everything associated with it tried to keep me down and out. So projects keep you going.
Another photo project I had this year was to post to Instagram each day. I wanted the photos to be better than just a bunch of iPhone shots just to fill up space. At first, when my state park project started, I had plenty of photos to choose from. But then when all of the state parks closed, the project got me back into older photographs and maybe reprocessing some of them. That was a blessing, as looking back at all of those old photos brought back memories of times past.
Right now I am trying to come up with a big project like the state park project for next year. On my idea board (dry erase board), I have many ideas of projects. I am still thinking about and researching what project I'm going to start at the beginning of the year. I want it to be a big project, and I want camping to be a part of it also. So that's a challenge. But right now I have 6 project ideas on the board to choose from and hope I get more in the coming days. Also on my idea board I have big "to do" items, like paint the trim on the house and clean the garage. These are items that I just want to get off of the board. I would much rather be out shooting, fishing, camping, or almost anything else, but these to-do items. LOL I also have some special projects on the board that I want to do, like there are some modifications that I want to do to my teardrop trailer to make it more specialized/unique. My idea board helps me prioritize what projects to do and what to do next. Some people may be able to keep all of this in their head, but for me the board makes it much easier to make decisions on what to do. The idea board also helps me keep up with upcoming trips. The virus has made campsites hard to get (everyone is trying to get outside), so I have to reserve well in advance and the board helps me keep track of that. And of course I also put all of these dates in Google Calendar to help remind me.
Well, that's enough rambling for now. I hope this idea will help some of you make some photography projects and get you outside to shoot. So until next week, keep safe and healthy.