Personal photography projects can be incredibly beneficial to your growth as a photographer. Whether it be a 365 or a series of self-portraits, it will stretch you beyond your safety zone. And what could be more fun than seeing what personal projects the CMpros are up to?! In this new series, we’ll feature a different CMpro and follow along as they show off some of their images and share about their unique project. Today we are excited to have Beth Wade here to talk about her photography bucket list!
photography bucket list | a personal project from beth wade
What is/was your personal project and what inspired you to start it?
When I started really getting into my camera (shooting in manual) I created a ‘photography bucket list’. I think the idea spurred from my 365 project; I started to feel like my photos were monotonous or lacking in creativity. Similar to a standard bucket list, I decided to make a list of specific photos that I would love to take before I left this world! I wanted to brainstorm and compile a concrete list of photos that would challenge me with new subjects and techniques. There are many different levels of difficulty throughout the list. I decided I should dream big but make some items more attainable at this point in my life. The Taj Mahal ain’t gonna happen with 2 kiddos in diapers, but one day I’ll get there!
Are there any challenges or ruts you faced during your project and how did you overcome them and keep a creative eye?
My biggest challenge is planning. Some shots I have been able to plan out in advance but others are purely being in the right place at the right time. I assumed that I would be limited by equipment, but so far it hasn’t been a problem. For my moon photos I really thought that I was going to have to rent some crazy huge zoom lens to get a close up shot. But last year the Super Moon came shortly after I made my bucket list, so my subject was bigger and brighter than usual! I was able to plan out my shoot and the photos I took were with my d7000 with 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 lens (and a rickety old tripod). On the other hand, my double rainbow photos were strictly right place/right time. I have to thank my husband for that one, he was the one that said “now, where is that rainbow?” after it rained one afternoon. Sure enough, if he hadn’t called it, and I hadn’t been home beside the waterfront park in our neighborhood then I would have missed my double AND full rainbow shots. The key is to always keep an eye out for the shot (I’m excited to start stalking hummingbirds in my yard again this summer!).
What have you learned through your process with your personal project?
I learned SO much about my camera. I did a lot of research for my moon photos and even more research to prepare for the fireworks shots (bulb mode, whaaat?!). In addition to learning camera technique, this project has helped me develop my style and expand my subject matter. My list incorporates portraits, kids and adults, family and strangers, landscape, candids, real estate, nature and sports. I also really look forward to getting an underwater shot one day! My bucket list helps me keep track of my photography accomplishments and gives me exciting goals to push towards in the future.
Is there anything additional about your project that readers may find interesting?
What I’m most proud of with this project, so far, is my moon photos were featured on CNN! I posted the photos to CNN’s iReport page and was contacted immediately. They wanted to display the photos on their website and broadcast. They totally gave me and Lake Wylie, SC a shout out on national TV. It was pretty dang awesome!
Thank you, Beth, for sharing your project with us!
Beth Wade, South Carolina
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Beth Wade is a newborn, baby and family photographer in Lake Wylie, SC, just outside Charlotte, NC, with a background in sales and internet marketing. She always keeps her Nikon d600 close by and creates images that are artistic, natural and modern. Beth has been a painter and illustrator all her life. She loves how photography allows her to capture a single moment and turn it into a piece of art unlike any other medium she has studied. Her pride and joy are named Will (3) and Charlie (2), and her heart belongs to their incredible dad. Beth grew up in the Carolinas and loves being a southern gal. She’s also a total nut for Arizona green tea, all things vintage, live music and sunsets on the lake.