Pursue a photography project of something you actually care about. There’s no right or wrong approaches or techniques in photo projects; only authentic or inauthentic.
- Authentic: you actually care for the project.
- Inauthentic: you don’t care for the project, you’re just doing it to look like a good artist, or to seem “legitimate”
For example let me talk about SUITS— my first published hardcover book. I started the project in 2011, and got most of my shots for the book by 2014ish.
The question of editing
Editing — choosing your best photos.
Which photos do I really care for?
When you decide which photos to keep (or ditch), you’re actively curating — determining for yourself what to keep (or to ditch).
Active and dynamic curation
Thus in your photography project, curate and edit as you go.
How general or specific does your projects need to be?
For example, you can take more poetic license with your projects. A project which is ongoing is this general notion of “Life & Death”. The basic notion is the transience of life and death — and my takeaway:
The transience of life is what makes it beautiful, and worth it!
Do I need to work on a project?
No. You can just shoot a bunch of photos you like, “single images”, and just figure out how to string them together afterwards.
This is totally legitimate too. Josef Koudelka did this with his “Exiles”project — he just traveled the globe for 10 years, and chose a selection of images afterwards to describe his emotional and mental state.
Why are we pressured to work on cohesive projects?
There is certainly a pressure that our photo projects should be “intelligible” (understood by others). But what if you don’t want to be understood?