Now that the holidays are over your spurt of inspired kid’s photography is probably coming to an end. Rather than putting the camera away until the next birthday or special event, consider embarking on a challenge; one to take at least one photo of your kids (or anything, really) every week of the year.
A 52-week challenge helps you to hone your skills and gives you something to concentrate on, so this time next year you’ll have improved your skills and have some great photos to show for it. Here are some tips on starting and maintaining your project:
Learn the Basics
If you’re still fairly new to photography, it can help to embrace a few basic composition principles as you begin your project. These will help to focus your energies as well as helping to make your photos as interesting as possible. Start with focal point, rule of thirds, and leading lines, then go from there.
Focus on a Single Subject/Topic/Location Etc.
You might be tempted to photograph anything and everything on your project; but try to resist the temptation. Sticking to a subject lets you concentrate your skills. If a single subject seems too limiting – try a theme (such as a color, a feeling, a letter of the alphabet, etc.). You can use your kids, your pets, your neighborhood, anything that’s readily available every week – but if you are really looking to improve photos of your kids then you know where you should start.
Of course, if the mood strikes, head off on a photo shoot – just because you’re supposed to take one photo per week doesn’t mean you can’t take more if you like!
Set a Date and Stick to it
It can help you to set a day and time of each week to ensure that you don’t forget to dedicate a few minutes (hopefully more) to your challenge. Set a timer on your phone, if you don’t have your camera handy, your camera on your Smartphone can step in. If you need to skip a week, make up for it as soon as you can – otherwise you’ll lose the purpose of the challenge and have trouble recapturing momentum.
Plan a Project for the Finale
What do you plan to do with your final images? You can pick a few and display them in your home, or make a collage out of all of them, or why not a nice calendar for a Christmas gift to friends and family? Sometimes having your goal in mind before you begin can help to focus your efforts, or it can help you design a few ground rules to get started. Alternatively, you can display your images as soon as you take them, hang them up, and see your progress as it happens.
In the meantime, read up on methods and techniques to improve each image you take, whether it’s kid’s photographer or something else. Grab a book, take an online class or get one-on-one instruction, read a blog, anything to improve your abilities to take a great photo. And keep at it – week after week. At the end of the year, you’ll find that you have 52 images worth keeping, and every image you produce after that is just a bit better than the one that came before.