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Why You Should Take On A Personal Photography Project

In this tutorial, Marc Newton from The Photography School shows you how to create a photographic project, sharing his own experiences as well as talking you through from the initial idea to getting exhibited.

|  General Photography
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A photography project can be a fun, personal thing to do but have you ever thought about making one something much more than that? If you have, Marc Newton from The School of Photography has some top tips to get you started on your photography project journey. 

Photography projects come in many shapes and sizes, but if you want your photography project to be published and exhibited, it must be unique. This might sound like a challenge but actually, it's not as difficult as you may first think as, like us all, you are unique, so your photography ideas should be. 

 

"If you want your work to be noticed, your photography project ideas need to be personal to you," says Marc Newton from The School of Photography. 

 

The Beginning 

So where do you start? Where do the ideas come from? Mark says you need to think about what's important to you and what you want to tell the world: "At the end of the project, you want someone to get the message, see your story, be moved in some way. So, what is that story? Answer that question and you’ll have your idea."

In a nutshell, to get your photography project off the ground you need to: 

  • Be flexible - initial ideas often develop into something else
  • Embrace a challenge - the best results often occur when we have to work for them
  • Keep thoughts about the end result out of your mind initially 

 

Timescales & Staying Focused

"A good personal photography project is not something that you’ll complete in a day, week or even a month and nor should it be. It generally years in the making, only then can you have enough time to let it develop, to let the work get better and mature into something you can be truly proud of. So, when it comes to timescale, there isn’t one, the project will dictate that and you need to be flexible and do what it takes to get the shots!" says Marc. "Just get out there and get started, let it go wrong, learn from it and believe me the work gets much better as you progress through the project."

It's also important to not let life get in the way of your project as days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and before you know it, you've not worked on your project for almost a year. 

"This is when you need grit your teeth, look in the mirror and remind yourself this is what you are, a photographer trying to bring a story to the world, it’s what keeps you alive. And if you’re passionate about photography and the message you’re trying to send out then picking up the project again should be no trouble at all," explains Marc.

 

Exhibition

 

What Others Think

This is your project so really, the opinion of others isn't all that important so don't worry about how many likes one of your images does or doesn't get on Instagram. You can't please everyone and in an instant world where most just glance at an image in their feed before moving on to see what their mate had for dinner, an interesting documentary photo will probably not get the attention it deserves. 

 

Getting sponsorship and/or publicity

"This is really hard with a personal photography project and don't expect to earn a fortune from it, or even a pound!" says Marc. "The first barrier to overcome is, who are you? And why should I care about your vision? To overcome this, be ruthless but nice and don’t let any opportunity pass you by. Even if you think it’s unrelated or won’t get much attention, you’ll be surprised how one thing leads onto another."

Start small with local papers and small blog sites then contact bigger magazines, websites etc. Be prepared to be ignored but eventually, after some persistent ruthless niceness, they may listen. 

"One thing is for sure, no one will come running to you. Put in the work and be rewarded. If you’re passionate about what you do, and it’s a story you think must be told, someone will listen in the end," says Marc.

To learn more about Marc Newton's personal projects, take a look at The School of Photography website. 

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