Part of me hates the trend at the start of the calendar year for all these New Years resolutions. It’s a complete fad and as we all know, most of them result in failure and people giving up early on. However, I also appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by (and life in general) and look forward at what I would like to try and aim for this year.
Admittedly, this could happen anytime of year as the end of the calendar year is just an arbitrary date. However, there are some factors that make it worth doing now including
- the downtime surrounding christmas and New Years
- the atmosphere of reflection and goals
As such I’ve been thinking of some projects to embark upon this coming year and have been doing a fair bit of preparation already. With that in mind here are a few quick ideas for setting your own projects along with some ideas for projects.sign up for the street photography academy and get a free pdf worksheet to go through your reflections
Who influences you and how do they shoot?
One of the best things you can do is reflect upon the types of photographers you like and why you like their photos. Perhaps you like Henri Cartier-Bresson’s use of black and white and focus on geometrical elements. Or perhaps you like Alex Webb’s use of colour and layers. Recognizing what you like in others will help you direct your photos in the future.
You might even want to challenge yourself to shoot like a master.
Look at last years photos, what themes can you see?
One of the best things you can do is get an idea of your creative vision so that you can focus further in that direction. This could be regarding your style of street photography or what subjects and topics you seek to photograph.
Identify good locations to shoot at
I have a handful of locations around the city where I know good action occurs and there are useful elements of light or geometry for composing images. These are great for “fishing” when it comes to street photography. It also let’s me “switch off” a bit when I’m not in one of these places as I can separate where I shoot and where I don’t (although to be honest I’m always looking for photos).
What gear are you going to shoot with this year?
Lots of photo projects revolve around using a certain set of gear for that project. For example, experimenting with shooting with film, or shooting with a wider/longer lens than you have been. Maybe you’ll even go for a smaller sensor size like a smartphone or a larger, medium format sensor. If you have found yourself lacking creative vision then it might be worth challenging yourself to shoot with something different for a while.
During this time you’ll probably find yourself wanting to use your normal set up which can help you work out why you have been shooting with that gear (i.e. you go to 28mm and then find yourself wishing you had you 35mm for a street portrait, or you go to a 90mm tele and then find it difficult to move around).
Remember you don’t have to shoot with it all year, you can choose to try it for a bit and then switch. Maybe go for a wider focal length for a month and then go longer for a month.Download your street photography reflections PDF (Street Photography Academy Members only)
Some quick Project ideas
If you want some quick and easy project ideas, here are some that you can try out this year.
- Shoot everyday
- share a photo everyday
- share every week
- 30 rolls in 30 days
- one Camera, one lens, one year
- shoot like a different master each month
- Start a photo project
- Shoot and publish a book in a year
What are your photo plans for the year ahead?
I’ve got a couple of projects I’m working on. Neither is really street photography as one is portrait based and the other is a documentarian style approach (admittedly close to street) plus I’m keeping my “shoot everyday” challenge that I’ve had for a few years now. I’ve not always kept it, but it does get me shooting. What about you?
Also published on Medium.