EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY PASSION PROJECTS
Having launched my own passion project this month I thought it was a good time to write about the topic.
WHAT ARE THEY?
Photography passion projects are;
- A series of shoots or images of something you really care about.
- Something that literally make you tingle with excitement, burn with desire or deeply feel some other emotion.
- Something you create with a genuine purpose, even if it is intensely personal.
- An undertaking that can be done individually or collectively as part of a collaboration.
WHAT ARE THEY NOT?
Passion projects are not;
- Paid work.
- Stylised shoots.
- Commercially driven.
ARE THEY JUST FOR PROFESSIONALS?
Absolutely not. Photography passion projects can be undertaken by anyone with an idea, with drive and with motivation from a complete novice with nothing but a mobile/cell phone to world famous professionals with the very best and most expensive gear.
WHY DO ONE?
The reasons to embark on a passion project are many and varied but include;
- To tell a particular story.
- To give back to individuals, a community or society more generally.
- To challenge yourself creatively and do something different.
- To promote a message or cause you feel strongly about.
- To process your own past and experiences.
- To have the chance to shoot without needing to meet others’ expectations.
WHEN SHOULD YOU DO ONE?
Honestly you can do one at any time. I believe a passion project is worth doing when it is an idea you just can’t let go of, you know the sort that you think about in quiet moments and lay awake in the night mulling over. It may be something very intentional which you devise and plan from the outset or it may happen more organically when you come to realise that all along you have inadvertently been shooting something that sets you alight and you then focus in on that.
HOW LONG DO THEY RUN FOR?
There is no right or wrong timeframe. Some passion projects might occur within a very defined and short period of time, others might run for years and some might be a lifelong undertaking.
WHERE DO THEY LEAD?
First and foremost passion projects should give you a deep sense of personal achievement and satisfaction without needing to lead anywhere in particular. They may allow you to travel to new places or to connect with people you may otherwise never have met. They might allow you to hone or develop new photography, business or even life skills. And in some cases they resonate so much with people that they end up being exhibited, published or gaining a viral following on social media.
MY PASSION PROJECT
I have entitled my passion project The Blue, Black and White Project and have recently opened it to expressions of interest. My hope is to photograph a number of current and former police members who have been impacted by workplace trauma doing the activity or hobby they love; the thing that is their outlet and their coping mechanism. I hope being photographed allows participants the chance to be acknowledged for what they have experienced but also celebrated for what they have overcome. Beyond that I hope that the images can serve as a reminder to all of us, whether we are first responders or not, of the need to have interests outside of work and that maybe they can show those currently at their lowest point that there is hope and a life on the other side of acute workplace trauma.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
If you have read this far I suggest it is because deep down you have an idea you want to explore, create and capture. Sit with it, dream of it and then do it. You can do so as quietly and as privately as you wish as that is the beauty of passion projects, they are primary for YOU and not for others.