Develop with Photography Projects

In order to develop my skills as a photographer, do I need to take on a photography project? Can if help me achieve a consistent body of work?

Photography projects come in various size and shape. They can last a week or a year and can be focused on portrait, street photography…or just any genre of photography.

Since, in my eyes, the aim for photographers should be to either print and exhibit their work or be published, it makes sense to focus more on them.

There is so much to shoot in London that in the past, I admit, I never really saw what the big fuss was about. I was quite happy creating one single great photo of London and moving on to another, unrelated if only by the fact it was shot in the capital.

As much as I hate to admit it… in the past year, I’ve changed.

I am seeing my photographs increasingly grouped into series and less and less as individual photos.

This kind of crept up on me without really realising it.

If you look at my London urban landscapes or graffiti photography for example, they are of course all linked by the fact they are shot in London but also all very different. That has been because of my mood affecting what I wanted to produce on the day and the fact I was only “single image driven”.

Then I started working on what I could call micro projects, or series of three to five photos. I still didn’t have the right attention spam to conduct a project any longer, nor did I see the point, but it was the start of something.

Last year eventually came my London 2313 (Futuristic London) series, which got closer to a full blown photography project in terms of achieving a series of photos which had a regular look whilst all being clearly different.

 London 2313

London 2313

The result of this consistency was that it got noticed and published by Londonist and The Photoblographer. So that made me realise the need to improve on that as people seemed to take notice.

Photography projects also save you the stress and pressure of constantly thinking of new things to shoot. With a single focus you have a relaxed, clearer and more creative mind.

2014 is the year I consider to be a real shift in the way I look at the way I shoot and that came through “The Great Londoners”, a body of work sponsored by Olympus and currently exhibited at the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn until February 2015, recently featured by the Evening Standard.

The first photo of this series was shot late 2013 and I have focused entirely on it for about 8 months, until Summer 2014.

 The Great Londoners

The Great Londoners

A street photography project, it is made of 31 photographs all clearly linked to each other through a deliberate use of a consistent shooting technique (black & white, from the hip, same lens, wide aperture…).

I am already working on a new street photography series which once again will be a series of photographs shot in London.

So yes, it seems projects are necessary and good for one’s photography and creativity, to develop as a photographer, giving you more focus and discipline, appealing to publishers, galleries resulting in more people seeing what you do.

Interested in "The Great Londoners"? Read the Evening Standard feature and visit the exhibition, free, at the new Hoxton Hotel in Holborn until 31st January 2015!

Nico