When we have something to show for ourselves, no matter what, you are making more than just money. Having a personal photography project enables not only yourself to gather your own ‘vision’ but allows the outside world to see who you really are as an artist. This voice separates you from your competition, gives the viewer an understanding of what you are trying to portray and it helps them remember your amazing work.
Having a project outside of your work also allows time for growth in your own equipment… maybe the idea is to not have super crisp images but movement? And maybe adding this idea to your commercial, wedding or portrait photography will then set you aside from your fellow competitors.
A personal photography project sometimes is never concrete, more moldable, adaptable. It happens all the time, you start something and it ends up being either completely different or rolled into many other ideas you have had and becomes another life form you had no expectations of having. You find out more about why you are doing what you are doing and who is your audience? Who are you, being the photographer hired, and why do they know you are the one for them?
The upside to having a certain project or adaptable sequence of images is this allows artistic blogs, magazines, and other forms of external links (like Sleeklens) to be mapped out to your site. Any link outside of your website is a plus, a bonus. It gives Google Analytics something to adhere to and makes your website more credible. Not only that, it gives a wider viewer base that will just continue to follow more to your social media sites (and for us photographers, Facebook, Instagram and 500px are a must)… giving you more eyes, more love to your personal photography project! Any traffic to your site is super: either people know you exist or they don’t. Let’s change that and have the World know how amazing you are.
I have gotten work solely on my personal projects. Whether this has been because of a theory, something that I have said in the written works alongside “why I am doing this project” or the idea, in a nutshell, it gravitates to that person who understands it, who wants to either be a part of your project or just to be a part of your work. Hiring you out of just what they are looking for isn’t always what seems to make the bucks, having something that shows your artistic spirit is also a bonus all the way around.
You also don’t see many galleries opening up for the type of work you make your money on. Let’s are honest, yes your wedding photography can be the cat’s meow but the majority of those being shown in a gallery setting have set themselves aside with a personal photography project. Maybe this isn’t your goal to be in a gallery, maybe being more discrete is your a-game… I know having all eyes on me makes me nervous but still seeing a gallery showing the one thing closest to my heart would be rewarding all in itself. In turn causing more audience members to know who you are and to remember that amazing piece, to then keep people coming to follow you because they admire you from within not just that to which makes you the dollar bill.
Follow your instinct – Seek to earn a niche in those places where you know that you can have a constant presence. If being regular in social media is not your forte, find another route, aim to have a Tumblr or a profile on Pinterest or DeviantArt. Places where people can know that you exist, that your work is the product of time, effort, and dedication; but above all things, your tastes, your passion and your goals.
Hope you find this guide as an inspiration to make your photography business a stronger one – see you next time!