About projects

Previously I mentioned that I tried to complete a project around the (LEGO) Star Wars Advent Calendar. My goal was to see if I was able to hold on a tiny version of a project 365.

A project 365 is a photographic project where the goal is to take a picture each day during a whole year. Harley Quin and kevinmboots77, who are going to complete respectively their third and fifth consecutive 365 project, are probably the most famous 365 toy photographers. This year I have followed multiple toy photographers that completed a full 365. I really admire those that are able to complete such a project because there are some days where it seems so hard to find time, motivation, inspiration or energy not only to shoot but also to take a decent picture. In particular I’ve felt greatly inspired by the work of Lost Star and dr_spock_88.

While there are many benefits of completing a 365 project, I think there are also many disadvantages. It all depends of the photographer and what (s)he wants to achieve with this project. For some it changed their lives, for others it killed their creativity. Personally I always thought it is not something for me. I like to take my time, think about the pictures I want to create, try something and if it does not work as I expected, delete all the pictures and restart later. My process is usually slow, at least for the parts before and during shooting. There are days when I’m in a good mood to take (good) photos, some days I’m not. If I’m in a good mood I want to take multiple photos at once. For these reasons it always seemed impossible for me to hold on a 365 project.

While I have been surprised that the “advent calendar project” seemed easier than I initially thought, it also proved me what I already knew: there are days where I can’t take good photos. So I still think that a 365 photo project where the main goal is to take one photo everyday is not something for me.

So why do I write on this subject if I did not really learn anything new from my small advent calendar project? Because I want to work for a whole year on a photo project in order to improve my photography. Moreover I still want to call this a project 365 because I want people to be able to follow it day by day for a whole year. The goal would be to share everyday a photo, but instead of taking it the same day, or the day before, I want to carefully plan all of them and be sure that they will be ready long before the day of upload. My goal would be to realize the project in 2017, but spend 2016 planning it. In particular with this project I want to work on my storytelling. I want to produce something coherent and for that I would like this project to be mainly driven by a story. Maybe something à la bricksailboat or JoshuaDv’s Brickshire but in my own style.

My goal for this year is to think about this story, write it and decompose it in 365 photos. At the end of the year I would like to have a detailed plan of the story, with more or less flexibility so I can adapt it if needed. For 2017 I’d like to have a plan of what shots I will need so I can take them at least a month before uploading them.

Besides that there are other photo projects on which I would like to work. I have bought many LEGO sets in 2015 and I haven’t taken a photo of most of them. I’d like to fix that and take a photo of each set, or each minifigs, or both. I also have worked a lot indoor this year, experimenting with off-camera flashes and reflectors to learn how to control the light. While I still feel that my lightning could be greatly improved, I feel far more confident working in a studio than a year before. But this had a cost: I have not taken a lot of outdoor photos this year. I also want to fix that. Maybe I could start a 52 project to force me to take an outdoor photo of toys once a week. I still have 6 days before the end of the week to take a decision on that…

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