Step 1: Passion: An Inch Wide; A Mile Deep – A Synopsis

“Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors”.

-W. Eugene Smith

The most rewarding part of the photographic process often comes when you find a project or theme you feel passionate about. By finding meaning and purpose in your picture-taking process, you will learn about yourself while elevating your personal photographic vision. Liberate yourself from photographic routine “What is it I am trying to say through my photography?

Be original, authentic, and true to who you are as a person and photographer when looking for your passion project. Think big. Find that story or theme that inspires you to commit and drives you to work hard, moves you past frustrations and through obstacles, pushes you towards a photographic place of competence and excitement you cannot even imagine at the beginning. Many of the best ideas come from your own life. Personal experience and exploring your own connections often yield some of the best, most rewarding stories. Look at photo books for inspiration. It’s all been done before, do it better; do it your way.

Like music, photography is a universal language we can all understand. The more personal you make it, the more universal it becomes.

When working on one story over time, challenge yourself to see new details, notice nuances, never stop looking.

The idea is everything. If you can’t decide on a grand project, try a short term one first: a person, an event, business; a “day in the life” or portrait series. It can be still lives, landscapes, or other groups of images with a common thread that ties them together. Keep it simple; less is more.

A project can be presented chronologically or thematically, but the images need to work together. Look for subjects and environments that you’re going to enjoy and have fun with. Access really is everything, to maximize shooting possibilities and strengthen the work. Choose subject that allow unfettered access. Having a mission or artist statement can help clarify and focus your vision for a consistent point of view, as well as form a framework for future shooting.

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  • I am getting inspired by reading your articles.
    I grew up taking photos, never thinking about it being a way of making a living…and now that I have thought of it as a job, I find myself getting bogged down in technicalities, feeling discouraged, and losing the fun and enjoyment. (I tend to be a very detailed person, so the more information, the more precise I try to be….)
    Reading your article is helping me get back to “me”. =)


    • I’m happy for that…personal projects were a way for me too to recapture the enthusiasm and passion I most often felt with a camera…good luck!

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