Personal Photo Project: photography bucket list

  • full double rainbow photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

Personal Photo Project: photography bucket list

Personal Photography Project of Beth Wade

photography bucket list

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!

newborn smile photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

airplane photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

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!).

super moon photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

full double rainbow photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

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.

four generations family photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

thunderstorm and lightning photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

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!

good cause photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

mansion photograph from a personal photography project by Beth Wade

About the Author:

Instructor of CPS's Basic Wordpress and Website Creation and Internet Marketing, SEO & Online Presence, 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 and Charlie, 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. Visit Beth Wade online.


  1. Lacey May 02 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Such a wonderful project. Love your images, they are just gorgeous!

  2. Lauren May 02 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of making a photography bucket list! Your photos are beautiful!! Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Lindsay May 02 2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    I LOVE Beth’s work!

  4. Amy May 02 2013 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Now I’m curious to see the actual list! Do you have it posted anywhere?

  5. Tracy Bradbury May 02 2013 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Love the idea of a bucket list, your photos are gorgeous 🙂

  6. PenelopeNY May 02 2013 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Wow, beautiful, look at that lightning, and that cute face painting photo! You are a master of timing, the baby smiling, the plane in the sky, and all the rest of it 🙂

  7. Angie May 02 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    What a great idea! I have a random list of photos I’d like to take, but I haven’t really used it much. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Alicia Gould May 02 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    that is so awesome you are making this a reality! Love your amazing shots so far.

  9. LaShawn May 02 2013 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    i love this idea!

  10. Abbe May 02 2013 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Amazing shots my friend!! The moon and double rainbow are beyond amazing. Always love your work. You inspire me.

  11. Jennifer Tait May 02 2013 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Beautiful work!

  12. Kim Peterson May 03 2013 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Beautiful images and awesome idea!

  13. Nicole Arnold May 03 2013 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    I love this idea and totally dream about capturing amazing photos like yours! I think I will start my list now.

  14. Lisa (Tout Petit Pixel) May 04 2013 at 6:31 am - Reply

    Fabulous work, Beth! So inspiring!

  15. KatieW May 07 2013 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Great idea and so beautiful Beth!

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