A Guest Post by Larry Lourcey.
How much better would your imagery be if you were more creative? Is there any photographer out there who wouldn’t like to be stronger in that area? Creativity to a photographer is like ingredients to a chef. If you only have salt and pepper to work with, your food won’t taste as good as the person with a cupboard full of spices. So how do you fill up your Creativity Cupboard?
One of the best ways to boost your creativity is through self-assignments. By definition, a self-assignment is something you impose on yourself. There is no money to be gained, no real deadline, and no limit to your creativity. Unfortunately, the lack of deadline often causes us to leave projects on the back burner and eventually forget about them. By having a clearly-defined project, with real deadlines, you will drastically increase your chance of completing the project.
Self-portraits are one of my favorite challenges to work on. The model is readily available, there are no creative limits and they can really help you to grow artistically. A few years ago, I turned forty. To celebrate, I created a project that would combine two of the things people hate the most: turning forty and having their picture taken. The project, called 40@Forty, required me to create a new self-portrait every week for forty weeks and post them on my blog and Facebook. By announcing the project and uploading the results every week, I created a deadline for myself. I knew if I missed a Monday upload, someone would ask – so I did my best to have something ready every Monday. As difficult as it was, it ended up being one of the most fulfilling educational endeavors I have ever pursued.
Your self-assignment doesn’t have to be about self-portraits or even portraiture. Maybe you will choose your favorite album and create an image representing each song title. You could go to a museum and choose your favorite 10 paintings, then try to recreate them photographically – once a week for ten weeks. The possibilities are truly endless. All that matters is that you define your project, set deadlines, then tell all your friends and clients. The time you invest will pay big dividends- so get to it!
If you have any other great ideas for self-assignments, please post them in the comments. Hopefully you will inspire others to give it a try!
Texas-based portrait artist Larry Lourcey has earned the designation of Master Photographer by the Professional Photographers of America. His Photography Blog offers lots of great information, along with a healthy dose of humor. If you dare, you can also follow him on Twitter: @larryphoto