*images by April Nienhuis
It’s time for another edition of our monthly series “Ask a Click Pro” here on the CM photography blog in which we give our Click Pros one question and they dish. Their answers alone are always inspiring and this week we asked them…
What kind of personal projects have you done or plan to do in order to challenge yourself and push your creativity?
Apart from posting in the Click Pro Daily, I do have a few other personal projects to try to continue to think creatively. I plan to document each of my children and their hobbies and loves, be it ballet or just playing the Wii. I also plan on shooting sometimes, using a film camera technique – that is being slow and deliberate and taking one shot instead of multiple shots, for any given moment.
Last year, the purchase of my Lensbaby was a big breakthrough in stretching me creatively – seeing the different perspective and being in control of the effect was so much fun! This year, I have a few personal projects for 2012 that I hope will help me to push my creativity: The first is to take my Holga EVERYWHERE I go; I want to document our 2012 through it and make a fun, quirky album of the year. Also, I’m committed to a 365 project using my trusty iPhone. Utilizing all of the fun apps (especially Instagram) is so much fun, and it has made me notice things to photograph that I may not have seen in that way before. Aside from photography- related endeavors, I also am planning on journaling and traveling more, both of which always seem to inspire something creative!
I am working on what I hope will be a very inspiring project first for me, second for my business. If it only ends up helping me, and my photography and vision, that’s good enough. If it comes to fruition for my business, that’s just a bonus. I am not sure how much I am ready to share, but in summary, there are a few specific topics and ideas that are pushing me to be better this year. I have narrowed down 2-3 “vendors” that create products that support and facilitate that “betterness.” These vendors appeal to me because I love how they use imagery, and inspire me on my journey. I got out of bed at 12:30AM the other night and sat down and storyboarded how, if given the opportunity, I would extend what they currently have now. It’s not to say that I am trying to develop a product or idea, but if I could, I know how I would create the corresponding imagery. So now, my project is to fill in the blanks with images and stories that support what I am trying to convey. If I complete just that, I will be proud. If I am bold, I will submit it to said companies… but that is an afterthought. Getting to step one is the challenge that will really push me.
A personal project for me, I plan to participate in Project Life this year. While I’m not a scrapbooker, I think this is something that I can handle. I’ve always been big on capturing memories and trying to remember all of the little things, especially for my kids who seem to be changing before my eyes. I’ve tried a ton of different methods from Tumbler, a personal blog, a glass jar containing hand written notes to notebooks with memories jotted down for each of my kids but, unfortunately, none of which have stuck. So, I’m hoping this will be a project that I can grow into and work for my needs. I’ve tried the 365 projects and have never made it past May. So, I’m thinking, between a combination of written notes and paper memorabilia (think all of those school papers!) and also my photographs, I may just be able to fill an album. Fingers crossed!!
I take on a personal photo project every year (a 365, a 52, or something else). This year is no exception, but this year I want to challenge myself to utilize more natural light in that project. I have become so accustomed to controlling the light with my studio lights and flashes that sometimes I forget to stop and really see the light that is already around me. I will still of course use my studio lights (can’t give those up!) but I want to try to incorporate some natural light as well. That’s a scary undertaking for a control freak such as myself. LOL!