personal photo project: war on seriousness

Personal Photography Project of Lisa Tichané

war on seriousness

What is/was your personal project and what inspired you to start it?

I’m a fairly cheeky girl – on good days. But as everybody else, I also have bad days, moments when I see life through dark glasses, and on those days I tend to take everything a little bit too seriously. And I hate myself when it happens. A few years ago during one of those days, I stumbled upon a picture of my boys acting silly, and I instantly felt the magic: my body relaxed, the frown on my face disappeared, the weight on my chest suddenly went away… it reminded me how the simple fact of watching joy and laughter captured on a photograph had the power to brush away the gloom. I started to take random notes of a few ideas I had for feel-good pictures. I took the first one, and posted it on my blog with an article explaing how I had been guilty of seriousness lately, and how I needed a cure. A cure in pictures.

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

One week later, I posted another silly image, explaining that it was not a battle you could win in one single fight.
My war on seriousness had started!

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

Two years later, I’m still pursuing my quest, and sharing with my readers the pictures that bring a huge smile on my face even on the gloomiest of days, hoping that they will help them fight seriousness in their life, too.

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

Are there any challenges or ruts you faced during your project and how did you overcome them and keep a creative eye?

At the beginning, I decided that it would be a weekly project, to be run every Wednesday. But quickly, it started to ruin the fun. I was feeling pressured to post something even if I was totally uninspired. And you cannot truly have fun if you “have to”. Then I suddenly realized that a strict assignment was just much too serious for a war on seriousness!! So I changed the rule. The war on seriousness would have no schedule. It would come by surprise, whenever I felt like it. And I quickly started to enjoy it again!

My secret to make it last is to keep it as free and enjoyable as possible. I have very few constraints on this project. I can use either personal images or client work. The images that qualify for the project can be funny, surprising, silly, crazy… or just feature people having genuine fun, or a contagious smile, or an irresistible belly laugh… as long as I can feel a surge of joy when I look at it, it’s a keeper!

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

What have you learned through your process with your personal project?

This project started as a photography project, but quickly became a writing challenge, too. Sometimes I post an image with very few words, because there is really nothing to add. But most of the time, I share my thoughts with the image too. Telling why this image kicked seriousness out of my life that week, or giving a fun assignment to my readers, inspired by the image I’m posting… When I can combine my love for photography with my love for writing, I’m in heaven, and this project allowed me to do just that.

Another thing that I learned is that this personal project became a blessing for my business too. It really helped me set a tone to my website, and I started to attract the right clients, the ones who were truly interested in my style of photography and were ready to follow my vision.

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

Is there anything additional about your project that readers may find interesting?

More recently I have started a monthly self-portrait project with my boys. Instead of making it another personal project on top of the first, which might have become a burden, I have tried to include it in the war on seriousness project. My boys and I are often doing silly things together as part of our daily routine, so this is what I’m trying to capture with our selfies. I love preparing this with my boys. We brainstorm ideas at the dinner table, prepare the set together whenever we feel like it, and my boys love this project because they “have the power” (they hold the remote)! The fact that the shooting time in itself is as much a treasured memory as the resulting photos is my best reward.

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your beautiful and inspiring project with us!

personal photo project: war on seriousness photoLisa Tichané, France
CMU Instructor | CM Mentor
website | facebook | pinterest | google+ | mentoring | ask a pro | daily project
Maybe it’s because she’s “a bit silly” or maybe it has to do with her being “a child at heart” but Lisa has an incredible talent for photographing babies and children in her fun, clean and playful style with her Canon 5d mark III, 35L, 50 f/1.4, 24-70L and 135L. She is the instructor of CMU’s Shooting 204: Capturing Joy and the author of Photographing Toddlers | a recipe for success. Marseille, France is the place she calls home along with her boys where they love to play, jump, run, make silly faces contests and wild pillow fights. She does enjoy some quiet once in a while where she can browse the web with her coffee and chocolate. Laughter is a must have, though, as she states, “a day without a good laugh is definitely a lost one for me.”

Read all photography tutorials form Lisa Tichané.

personal photo project: war on seriousness photo

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35 Responses to “personal photo project: war on seriousness”

  1. Apr 16 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Love your idea of creating your own project completely with in your own limits, abilities and time constraints. There are a lot of great projects out there. I’ve never tried one at all, really, but I like the idea of examing myself and coming up with something that will challenge me, but give me joy, and maybe even the possibility to combine things I love (eg. writing and photography, etc). Thanks!

  2. Apr 16 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    I love you Lisa, that is all :) Your images always make me so happy and they make me smile!

  3. Apr 16 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I can’t help but smile after reading this. Great idea for a project and I love the results!

  4. Apr 16 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Lisa. Seriously. Stop it. The sheer amount of joy and happiness in this post is overwhelming in the best way possible! I am simply obsessed with capturing laughter and smiles too and feel like it is sooo important to us as parents as well as to parents of our clients to capture these moments. There is so much evil and heartbreak in the world and embracing the positives in everything helps balance that out. Your selfies are just amazing. I would love to meet you someday! I feel like we just laugh all day long together! Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Apr 16 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I SO needed this post today. My babes are grow, 23 & 20 but we had a lot of goofy fun. I love the one of your younger son painting his brother! or the bouncing on the bed shot. These defiantly brought a smile to my face.

  6. Apr 16 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    There needs to be more wars on seriousness in the world, I think…

  7. Monica H.
    Apr 16 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    That you Lisa for this! Certainly helped to wash away my seriousness!!

  8. Apr 16 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    I just love your work, Lisa! It’s always has a fun, carefree feeling too it! :)

  9. Apr 16 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you, thank you all so much!! This project is very dear to my heart, so it means the world to me to be able to share it with you all <3

  10. Apr 16 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    I adore you!! What a fantastic project! I love the genuine fun and spontaneity that you are able to capture!

  11. Patti Margarita
    Apr 16 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    So much fun Lisa! Thanks for sharing your personal project with us!!

  12. Apr 16 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Oh my goodness! I so need to start my own war on seriousness. I love the joy and energy in each and every one of these shots!

  13. Apr 16 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Lisa!!!!!! You always make me happier than I was before I read your words. Always an inspiration :hp

  14. chrissy sandifer
    Apr 16 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    this is great! huge fan of your work!

  15. Apr 16 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Love all these happy, fun images. Thank you for sharing, I always love your work!!

  16. Kim Peterson
    Apr 17 2013 at 12:55 am #

    So much awesomeness!! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Apr 17 2013 at 1:51 am #

    I’m so happy to read your comments, ladies!! Thank you so much for making my day <3

  18. Apr 17 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Love, love, love! One of my favorite things about your work is the joy that radiates beyond the image. If we lived near one another, I would book you in a second. I would want a ton of pics like this of my kids and of our family. <3

  19. Apr 17 2013 at 3:01 am #

    I just adore the joy and fun in your images…each one makes me smile!!
    A huge inspiration!

  20. Apr 17 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Thank you thank you thank you <3

  21. Apr 17 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Love this, Lisa! What a brilliant idea. I think I may give it a try!

  22. bobbijo
    Apr 17 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    omg Lisa i Love this and especially the selfies with your boys! so fun, i want to to that with my kids!

  23. Terri Collins
    Apr 17 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Lisa!! I’m such a huge fan of your work for exactly this reason! There’s nothing I love more in the world than laughing, being silly with my kids and just being happy! It’s the direction I eventually hope to take my fledgling business in. I’ve always believed that happiness is a choice and you totally demonstrate that here! Next time I’m feeling down in the dumps, or overwhelmed or serious, I’m going to try this out! Thanks for a great article and awesome images!

  24. Apr 18 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Really enjoyed this and it definitely made me smile! Thank you!

  25. Apr 18 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Oh Lisa, your work just makes me smile from ear to ear. The joy that you capture is so infectious and always leaves me feeling happy. :) Loved your article and I feel so inspired, thank you.

  26. Apr 19 2013 at 12:59 am #

    Your kinds words are make me incredibly happy! Thank you all <3

  27. Jessica Reischel
    Apr 19 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    So fun. I can only imagine your sons looking back at them. Now that will be FUN!!!!! thank you!

  28. Apr 21 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Your work ALWAYS makes me smile Lisa!! Thanks for sharing all of these seriously fun photos!! ;)

  29. Apr 21 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    {sigh}… I find myself being the ‘serious mommy’ too much of the time! This is a great reminder, not only for photographers, but for moms. Thank you, Lisa!!

  30. Apr 23 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Love, Love, Love this!

  31. Melina
    Apr 26 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Breathtaking! And so full of joy!

  32. May 17 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Inspirational and beautiful!

  33. Linda
    Dec 27 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    These pictures make me want to go to hang out at your house. Can we hang? ;)


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