Having a personal photography project can make you a better photographer. It will train your eye and get you thinking about how you can tell a story with your images. Better images equal better branding, better branding equals more engagement, more engagement equals happy business!
I post to my personal Instagram (@heyhey_itsaj) every single day. My feed stays fresh, there is variety in what I shoot and I have developed a visual brand. It’s made me a better photographer. I do all of this with my phone camera and phone apps. It’s a small commitment that I make each day to stay creative, get inspiration and be accountable.
I participate in a prompted daily photo challenge created by Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim. It’s been going for nearly 5 years. For the first 3 years I posted on and off but for the last 2, I have managed it every. single. day. Boy does it feel awesome to have achieved that! Each month Chantelle creates a list of words to be treated as prompts for a photograph. Last month was alphabet month (each day is A, B, C, etc), it’s not my favourite. I tend to lose interest part way through the alphabet so for the last two years I have added on my own theme for the month. Last year was #ajsalphabeteyes and this year I tried to find the letters in the wild (or created them) with the subject also starting with the letter. It pushed me, hard.
I started to look at my surroundings differently. I SAW what was around me that I might be able to photograph rather than just rushing through the day getting things done. Yes, granted I would lay in bed thinking of concepts sometimes, but that’s helpful too. I was thinking about my photography. I was thinking about how to tell a story with my image.
Taking on a daily challenge may feel too overwhelming. I get that. That’s why it took me 3 years before I completed a whole year… until I made it a priority in my day. If you can’t commit to a daily prompt then pick one out of the week that resonates with you and create some content around that. You can use it only as inspiration and keep it personal or you can create your image around your brand and share it with the daily hashtag. This way you are tapping into a ready-made community. They might not all be your ideal client but it’s a way to get fresh eyes on your posts very easily and someone new may just see it, check out your feed and start to follow you!
There are loads of other photo challenges on Instagram too. @365_today and @itsmyweek are two others that I have participated in. Or make up your own! Set yourself a challenge to take a lifestyle product shot once a week, or a product flat lay once a week. Or get outside and practise using the Rule of Thirds compositional rule for the day. Or have a week of focusing on eliminating distractions in your background or using reflectors to get rid of shadows. Or have a play with a new app or filters. Just get shooting – but with a purpose. If you have a purpose for the image then you will start to think about stories and that’s the key. You want to be good at telling your brand story with your images.
If you want to larger versions of all my alphabet posts check out the hashtag #ajslettermonth. Can you spot the letters in them all? (Some are tricky!)
If you are interested in participating in Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day you can sign up for the list to be emailed to you here or download the Little Moments App and have them sent to your notifications each morning. Right, I’m off to take my daily photo for “shape”. Have a good day!
P.S. If you missed the post last week about the Ultimate Flat lay Guide you find it here. It’s jam-packed with hints and tips to create the ultimate flat lay for your business and products including image examples for inspiration!