26 Weeks Camera Challenge #22: The Project, Plan and Shoot / by Simeon Smith

Over the last month of this project I want you to complete a project. It could be as involved as an exhibition or zine, or as simple as printing a photo for a loved one, but I want you to give it your all because, well, nobody sets out to make mediocre art. 

Few things happen without a kind of detailed plan. This blog, (when it happens) doesn’t happen without a plan. Things like this series is what keeps me producing, keeps me writing and keeps me not far off target. 

  1. Write down what you want to achieve. I use Notes on my Mac and iPhone just to jot down ideas. It’s not about producing the finished product or writing beautifully, it’s about getting ideas out on paper. You’ll never know how many brilliant ideas you’ve forgotten because you didn’t write them down. 
  2. Schedule time in your diary to work on your project. Set yourself deadlines. Someone once said “I love deadlines, I love the sound they make as they fly by”. And sure, your own personal deadlines can be pretty soft, as you’re only letting yourself down by not sticking to them. But just writing on a calendar when you want to achieve things by is a great motivator. 
  3. Use technology to your advantage. There are some great productivity apps out there. I use Trello, but there are many in the same vein. Get your project on one, set some notifications for your milestones and keep yourself on track. 

This week plan your project. You probably want to use a theme you’ve already started out on, but there might be photos you still want to get, or shots you want to improve on. Here are a few of my own photography projects to get you inspired:

  • Shoot your daily commute.
  • Ask a local coffee house if they’ll let you put your art up for a few weeks. 
  • Publish a Zine of your best work. 
  • Write a detailed review of some of your gear, including example shots.

Questions:

  1. How good are you at sticking to plans?
  2. Should art be planned out or spontaneous?
  3. How important is retrospection in art?

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