kara orwig personal project

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 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 Kara Orwig here to talk about her personal project, Centered!

centered | kara orwig

kara orwig personal project photo

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

My personal project is called “centered”.  My 365 was coming to an end in May 2013 and I was searching for a new project to keep me inspired.  I grew so much through daily shooting and I knew that a goal-oriented project would be a great way to keep pushing me.  After a year full of studying and practicing the technicalities of photography, I became more interested in exploring my artistic vision.  I am fascinated with composition and I knew that I wanted to start breaking the rules effectively, but I wasn’t sure where to start.  I finally turned to my own portfolio and discovered that two of my favorite images were centered.  I knew that I love centered compositions more than I am supposed to, so I decided to really figure out what makes it work in certain situations.

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photo

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

I honestly didn’t face any ruts during my centered project.  This particular project didn’t change the way I shoot.  It didn’t require any extra planning; I was still able to find my inspiration from light or moments.   I just had to allow myself to step out of the rule-of-thirds box.

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photo

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

I was actually surprised by how frequently I saw opportunity for an effective centered composition.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been.  I am a big fan of symmetry and balance in other areas of my life, such as the types of artwork that appeal to me or the way I decorate my home.  I also use framing and leading lines in my work quite often.  All of these situations lend themselves to a strong centered composition.   Once I figured out when to center and gave myself permission to do so when it felt right, I challenged myself to consider different types of lighting and perspectives to add variety to my set.

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photo

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

I really didn’t think much of my centered project because it isn’t flashy or elaborate.  But it served a very valuable purpose for my individual growth.  Several months ago, I was really struggling with self-doubt.  The words of advice that I kept receiving during a mentorship were to go with my gut.  But I had no idea how to put that into practice.  Months later, I realized that my personal project had become less about a certain type of composition and more about trusting my instincts.  With time, I became more confident in my decisions for the project, which in turn spilled over to all of my work.  I guess I would want readers to know that a seemingly small project can still reap big rewards, even unexpected ones.   I hope that “centered” will serve as a springboard for something bigger and flashier for me in the future and I can’t wait to figure out what that next project will be.

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photo

kara orwig personal project photoKara Orwig, West Virginia
website | facebook | pinterest | ask a pro
Kara is an enthusiastic hobbyist who studies all things photography in her free time.  Her rad little family includes her husband, a 6 year-old spitfire, a 4 year-old old soul, and two goofy boxers.  Kara shoots with a Canon 5d mark II and loves lines, framing, and negative space.  She gives her 135 mm and her 35 mm equal attention and she is slowly developing a relationship with her lensbaby composer pro.   Live music, Land of Nod catalogs, yoga, blackberry cobbler, TOMS, and Downton Abbey are just some of the things that also tickle her fancy.

kara orwig personal project photo


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28 Responses to “kara orwig personal project”

  1. Heather
    Nov 19 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I never center anything anymore, but I really love all of these images! Thanks so much for the new perspective. I think I’ll try to incorporate more centered images now, too!

  2. Nov 19 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I’m searching for a personal project for 2014 as well and never really thought to take one element of photography & use it for creating a project! I was only thinking in terms of shooting one certain thing, or shooting a type of light. Aha moment!!! Thank you. :)

    • Nov 20 2013 at 7:22 am #

      i hope that you find your element to focus on–i think it’s a great way to stay motivated and follow through with your project if you don’t have too many limitations. good luck!

  3. Nov 19 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Ahhhh!!! I love this so much! I love center composition, these images are fantastic. I think I just found my next personal project. thank you!

    • Nov 20 2013 at 7:24 am #

      you’re welcome! i’m so glad to hear there are other fans of centered comps and i’m thrilled that this may inspire another project.

  4. Lisa
    Nov 19 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    I’m a fan of your work and I love that you made a project out of a photography “no-no”. I learned something about framing and leading lines and centering compositions reading this, so thank you!

    • Nov 20 2013 at 7:26 am #

      awesome! framing and leading lines are my go-to compositional elements, so i’m so glad that you learned something from my work <3.

  5. Melina
    Nov 19 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Gorgeous pictures!!!!!! <3

  6. Nov 19 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    All centered, yet none of them look alike. Amazed at how far you’ve come Kara! Always an inspiration <3

  7. Nov 19 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Kara, I am such a huge fan of you and your work. You have such a beautiful voice in your art. I loved reading more about your personal project – gorgeous images! <3

  8. kendra
    Nov 19 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I love centered composition and am so inspired by your project <3 Thank you for sharing!

  9. Vicky
    Nov 19 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I love your images, and your project is really interesting. I love a good centre comp, you’ve inspired me to look more closely at mine too. Big fan of your work heretoo :)

  10. Kristy
    Nov 19 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I’m so glad you shared this, I have two recent centered images that I really love! Your work is incredible!

  11. Nov 19 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Really love this idea and what you did here! Awesome. I just may give it a try.

  12. Nov 19 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I have followed kara’s blog for a long time and it’s been so great to follow her photography journey. Love the images here but then again I’m a huge fan!!

  13. Nov 19 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    This is a beautiful project, Kara! I love your use of centered comps! <3

  14. Nov 19 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    These are beautiful!

  15. Nov 19 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Kara, your beautiful work has always wowed and inspired me, but you’ve taken your art to a whole new level! These are exquisite!!! Thank you for sharing a piece of your personal life with us. <3

  16. Nov 19 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    thank you all so very much for your kind words and support of my work. it is much appreciated.

  17. Nov 20 2013 at 7:32 am #

    I love seeing a collection of your images together. You are something special. :D

  18. Kim Peterson
    Nov 20 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Amazing images, Kara!!! I really love this set and feel very inspired by your share!!

  19. Kristin Dokoza
    Nov 20 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    I love a good centered composition ;) your images are lovely, I love the story telling aspect from each one.

  20. Beth Ireland
    Nov 20 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Oh how I love a centered composition and yours are masterfully done! So many favorites here but the second image made me smile and giggle all at the same time!

  21. Nov 20 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Kara – I am such a huge fan of your work! I love your eye and those centered compositions. I’m always in awe of your DP images, so it’s so wonderful to see you on the blog with all these beautiful images together.

  22. Nov 20 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Wonderful project Kara! I could spend a long time exploring each image. Lovely work. <3

  23. Nov 21 2013 at 1:26 am #

    This is such a fantastic idea for a project, Kara! And a stunning collection of images, too!

  24. Nov 22 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Beautiful work, Kara! I always love seeing what you’ll do next.

  25. Nov 23 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Beautiful images Kara! Love this photography project idea, may have to give it a go. I totally agree that focussed photography projects can have huge implications for our growth and what eventually becomes our trademarks as an artist. Keep up the great work; thanks again for sharing!

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