Challenge Yourself By Photographing Different Subjects

In 2021 I did something I had never done before. I took on a challenge in my photography that would hopefully push me out of my comfort zone. I started a the year off with a 30 day photography challenge. During that time I took at least one, usually way more than one, photograph every day. And then I shared one photo taken that day here on my blog. Then after one month was over I was enjoying the experience so much that I decided to commit to doing this for the entire year.

I took on this exciting new challenge for a couple of reasons. I wanted to develop a level of consistency with my photography that I had never had before. Getting my hands on a camera clicking the shutter every day. I thought that simple fact would allow me to learn so much more about my craft and myself.

Decorative autumn corn photographed indoors with lighting.

I had also noticed that while I love my photography that I have produced over the years, I can get stuck in ruts of photographing the same things over and over. Some of that is because I feel that I put pressure on myself to always produce good photography. So, in order to produce good photography I stay in my lane. I do what I know. If I am taking photographs every single day for an entire year that will give me an opportunity to try new things. There is no pressure to always great good photography because I will generate so many images it doesn’t matter if some of them are not good. And I had to be ok with that and find the courage to share those images with people through my blog.

There were many times where I was just stuck for an idea of something new to photograph. And there were many other times where I had an idea for something to photograph but I had no idea how to photograph it in a way that made it look nice, or good, or interesting in any way. But it pushed my mind and my creativity to think of other ways to do things.

Autumn still life décor. Indoors with lighting.

Several times throughout the process of the yearlong one photo a day challenge I turned to subjects that for lack of a better term I will call “still life”, like what you often see in paintings of fruit etc. I have never done this type of photography. Mostly done indoors. Having to create my own arrangements etc. Usually I rely on things just happening naturally. This was completely artificial and created by my own design. Way outside my comfort zone.

I photographed a variety of items. There were photographs of apples and bananas, gourds and pumpkins, fresh baked bread and colorful carrots bought from the store. I don’t know if any of the subjects I used in this style of photography are at all inspired. And I don’t think any of the photos I created are great or probably even good.

Rainbow carrots stacked together.

The whole point of the challenge was the process. Do something new. Try new techniques. Photograph new subjects. Do things differently than you normally do. See how that makes you feel. Does it change how you think about your art. See if your art changes for the better because of it.

I do hope that I gained something of value from that challenge. It was surprisingly hard for me, so I don’t know if I will ever do anything quite like that again.

Warm crusty homemade bread.

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2 Comments on “Challenge Yourself By Photographing Different Subjects

  1. I applaud your efforts. I’ve tried the photo-a-day for several years, and have never managed to post 365/366 photos. One year, in spite of my initial efforts I only posted about 6 times. Yikes. This year I’m managing to keep up but there are times when I pull an image from my files instead of using a pic I’ve taken that day. For me it’s a VERY difficult challenge but it can be done with a lot of grit and determination.

    • It definitely takes complete commitment. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to create the photo and share it. There were some times where it was a real struggle. Sometimes just to be inspired to take a photo and some times to simply find time or have an internet connections.

      I am rooting for you. Keep working at it.

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