For as long as I can remember, in my professional life as a photographer, I’ve always had a personal project that I was working on. I’d either be thinking about an idea that I wanted to explore or I’d be actively producing and shooting something. I never felt that I had to do personal projects. I did them because I wanted to.
Taking/making photographs has never been just a job for me. It’s not something that I look forward to retiring from. It’s something that makes me feel like I am “on purpose” and living the life I am meant to live. It’s also how I communicate and connect with people. That brings me joy especially when my imagery creates awareness or provokes thought.
One summer, early in our careers, my husband/partner and I decided to photograph the Jersey Shore.
We shot every weekend that summer, from the perspective of a bicycle, as we peddled our way through different towns along the shore. We spent one memorable afternoon in Wildwood taking portraits of all sorts of people, in front of the graphic facade of a fun house. Some of those images created decades ago, still resonate in a timeless way.
There are very few images that I am still drawn to decades after I shoot them. Most of the images with staying power were shot on personal projects. Those images came from a personal place, my unique way of seeing the world at that point in time.
Those are the images that still speak to me and resonate with others.
I’m not quite sure I could come up with an exact dollar value on the personal projects I have done. Many have been monetized in in a variety of ways. But the true value goes far deeper than the pocketbook.
What am I working on now? Check it out.