Personal photography projects

January 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I have my camera to hand almost all of the time, and I love to practise my craft with personal photography projects. I photograph my own children in exactly the same way that I would photograph one of my client families - at play, at home, interacting with each other.

My most recent personal photography project was to photograph my daughter doing a different activity every week for a year. In photography circles, this is called a 'Project 52' as there are 52 weeks in a year.

I will admit that I didn't quite manage to shoot a set of images every week for the whole year. Perhaps you'll forgive me though when I explain that the year included a large chunk of time tied up with morning sickness, pregnancy and the arrival of my son! However, what I did complete is now a wonderful record of everyday life, charting my daughter from age 2 to 3.

Anyone can take on a personal photography project. You don't need a digital SLR camera - a smartphone is fine. You can share your images on social media or keep them private, and there are so many ideas to give your project structure:

  • If you don't want to commit for a whole year, then one photo a day for a month is a shorter commitment
  • Need something even shorter? Try photographing a day in your life
  • You could also try a birthday project - in the week of your child's birthday, photograph them every day of that week to record what they were like as they reached that milestone

Here are a few of my Project 52 images, documenting everyday life in our family:

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Taking photographs of my children with their friends is really important to me because I love looking back on old photographs of me and my friends.

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Playful photographs between a father and child are something I often capture during my family photography sessions. I really enjoyed trying the spinning shot above, which took a few takes!

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

I often take my children on recce trips to my family photoshoot locations. This is one of my favourite Surrey photography locations and it's very special to me that I've photographed my own children there as well as some of my client families.

 

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

I love shooting into the sun and letting the light leak into my lens. Photographers call the hour before sunset 'golden hour' because the sun's light is warm-toned, a beautiful yellow-orange colour, and softer. This makes it easier to control the light, shadows are softer and the light is flattering on your subjects. These simple photographs of Sienna and her cousins playing outside on a September evening capture the golden hour beautifully.

 

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Choosing what to wear in family photographs is an important planning step. In these images, I love the bright pop of pink in Sienna's coat against the green grass and trees.

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Every child needs to cover themselves in paint and then wash off in a bucket... don't they?!

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Winter photography on a crisp and bright morning is just as beautiful as what I can capture on any sunny summer's day. I love these photographs of Sienna on a freezing cold January morning!

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Sienna's great-grandmother is 101, and I hope these images will be treasured by Sienna when she is an adult.

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

We all love the arrival of spring flowers!

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Indoor photography is just as much fun as outdoor photography, and it doesn't matter what the weather is like!

52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister52 Project by Katie Lister

Photographing the everyday is my favourite thing to do with both my children and my client families. The morning light in our bathroom made for some atmospheric images of the every day task of teeth cleaning!


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