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 Allison Zercher here to talk about her personal project, Elf on the Shelf!
elf on the shelf | allison zercher
What is/was your personal project and what inspired you to start it?
This personal project was totally for my children – I had the pleasure of documenting our Elf on the Shelf’s adventures every December. Our elf is not typically a mischevious one, but boy does he like to have fun, especially with other toys that my kids leave lying around the house… he can also be quite the daredevil! Some day, my kids will either a) realize their mom was NUTS or b) realize their mom wanted to see their faces light up each morning upon finding the elf and seeing what kind of adventure he’d gotten himself into. I sure do hope it’s the latter.
Are there any challenges or ruts you faced during your project and how did you overcome them and keep a creative eye?
Well of course – with each passing year, this tradition becomes more and more popular, and more kids share with my kids about what their elf does and does not do. I wanted to find new ideas for our Milo, but not so crazy that each year I do this I have to keep topping myself. Some days he does something very mundane. Other days he’s embroiled in some harrowing adventure. It’s all dependent upon my husband and I and how exhausted we were the night before.
What have you learned through your process with your personal project?
That people are looking for Elf on the Shelf ideas, literally, every day of the year. I had thousands of hits to my blog in the middle of the summer from people looking at ideas. I suppose it’s a good lesson to pin your work to Pinterest, watermark it, and when you blog, make sure the keywords are in your blog post title!
Is there anything additional about your project that readers may find interesting?
I was recently contacted by the Target Corporation who asked to purchase one of my photos for a year’s use in both television and print media. Our Elf on the Shelf can be seen on the latest Target commercial for about a thousandth of a second ;)
Allison Zercher, California
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As a self proclaimed happy hobbyist, Allison minimally explored photography in her college years but didn’t get serious about it until 2004. Since then, she has completed several 365 projects and enjoys documenting her family, husband and two daughters, with a lifestyle approach. Ideally her days would be spent with friends and family, coffee, chips and salsa, and of course her camera, a Nikon d700, and assortment of Nikon lenses, mostly primes.