When it comes to photography, food photography has always been my favorite. It’s my comfort zone – restaurant photography in CT is what I do best. But we’re already two weeks into the new year and it’s the perfect time to embrace new and exciting challenges – to push ourselves outside our own creative boundaries.
This year, I’ve decided to challenge myself with a ‘52 Week Photo Challenge.’ The premise is that you’re given a different weekly prompt or idea to work with on your photography. There are numerous groups on both Instagram and Facebook you can join if you’re interested, just search and choose the one that feels right to you.
This first week, I was challenged to take a self-portrait – a far cry from CT food & drink photography, but one I was willing to embrace. The second week was about using natural, indoor lighting. These different challenges help you look beyond the known (for me its photos of restaurants, food and cocktails) and attempt to photograph new, challenging subjects. Some weeks the prompts focus on landscapes. Other weeks are portraits or capturing people in various poses. Within the challenge, you have the freedom to push yourself further – if you never do B&W photos try that, if you always shoot in B&W try some vibrant super saturated colorful photos, try macro photography or landscapes, just try something new!
The group aspect of the challenge is where you find real growth. Getting inspiration from photographers who are on different paths or places in their creative journeys can only be a good thing – and knowing that your weekly contribution will be seen (and even appreciated) is more accountability to keep you going and not give up when it gets challenging.
Another great benefit to an undertaking like this is what you learn about your camera. New shots and new techniques will force you to really get to know your equipment and get the very best out of it. So, if you’re like me and you love a good creative push to get you out of any ruts you might be in, consider joining a ‘52-Week Photography Challenge’ and see just what you’re capable of. In the end, even if shooting delicious burgers and cocktails is my favorite thing, I’ll have learned more tricks and techniques to apply by challenging myself this year!