How do I dream it all up again after I finish a personal project? I feel empty and directionless. I'm the type of photographer who can only shoot with a direction and a goal. Any tips on how on reigniting a mojo?
I’ve talked somewhat in length about personal projects on this post.
I think it’s a good idea to have three of four ideas mulling about in your head but only work on one of them at a time. Or maybe have a short term project you can work on now and a long term project you can work on whenever. I have one project I want to do that can be done in two days from start to finish once I find all the people I need for the project. My #de_VICE project is something that will never really have an end until the plant our phones directly into our brains. It’s something I can work on anytime and anyplace.
Starting from zero is difficult though. Always be on the lookout for a project. I was at a Mexican restaurant earlier this year and was watching the Mariachi band roam around the restaurant. The lead guy was fascinating and was pouring his heart out with each song they played out. “I’ve got to photograph that guy.” I said. Bam! Personal project! Not just that guy… more like him. Like, I have to start showing up at Mexican restaurants every weekend now to shoot for this.
I was walking my son to his class the first day of school last year and saw this awesome light coming through the windows of one of the classrooms. “That’s awesome light. I should shoot some portraits here.” Boom! Personal project!
Watching a news program about a white man killing a black man. Everyone was talking “race”. I wondered if maybe it had more to do with “culture” instead of just “race”. Personal project.
Was in the ‘burbs this weekend. Drove through an industrial park. Nearly every building had a “for lease” sign on it. Hmmmm. There’s a story there. Wonder if there’s a project there.
When I’m in New York I always love looking at the light reflecting off windows onto other things. Hmmmm. Personal project?
Look for things that grab your attention. They pique your interest. They make you google stuff. These kind of things can turn into personal projects. Ever looked at discarded things? Project. Intrigued by a culture of people in your town? Project. Are you a Democrat? Have some stereotypical view of what Republicans look like? Project. Break the stereotype or enforce it. Love dive bars? Project. Think nightculbs are stupid? Project. Always dreamed of being an astronaut when you were a kid? Ask kids in your neighborhood what they dream of. Make up sets and costumes and …. project!
You’ll soon find you have 20 project ideas. Now. Pick one you really like and JUST WORK ON THAT one for awhile. Let the rest of them simmer for awhile. As you are finishing one start planning your next one.