12 Creative Projects You Can Undertake This Year
2016 brings with it a whole new year of innovative and experimental photographic opportunities. Supriya Joshi shows you how to make the most of it with 12 ideas.
Every year, the clock strikes at midnight, and humanity bids goodbye to the year gone by. The new year is always associated with fresh perspectives and beginnings, and as photographers, there’s nothing more exciting than trying out new things to shoot. To help you out with ideas, here is a list of 12 creative projects you can do this year, one for every month, entirely with your cameraphone.
January: The Month of Promises
On 1 January, write down your list of resolutions for the year. Make it a healthy mix of long-term and shortterm goals. Then, pick one of those resolutions, something that you can start on immediately. Your project for the month is to document yourself working on your goal, capturing the process from ideation to execution. Continue this exercise throughout the year, collating the images on December 2016 to see how you have fared.
February: It’s About Love
Think of the person that means the most to you, whether a parent, a friend or a lover. In this month’s assignment, your task is to photograph that one person, without having them physically present in the frame. How would you represent this person without their presence?
March: Ugly is Beautiful
Go through the camera app of your phone and check the inbuilt filters it offers. Amongst the lot, choose the worstlooking one and make one photograph of something beautiful everyday. You can only use that filter while making the photo. The interpretation of the word ‘beautiful’ is entirely up to you.
April: Make Fiction a Reality
Think of your favourite fictional character, whether from a movie or from a novel. Your assignment for the month is to embody this fictional character, and make pictures from their perspective. Do this for an hour every day, at different times of the day. How would they photograph a particular moment? What scene would seem exciting enough for them to shoot? At the end of the month, make a visual story of the day in the life of the fictional character.
May: The Blindside
We have all become very accustomed to seeing life through our cameraphone’s screen. The challenge for the month is going to take that facility away. When you step out to make pictures, launch the camera app and dim the brightness of your phone to zero, so that you cannot see any thing on the screen in bright light. Then, when you see something you would like to shoot, point the phone at it and make a picture, without thinking about how it looks on the screen.
June: Hashtag Mania
Get on Google, and search for the most popular hashtags on Instagram. Every day, select one hashtag and make pictures you think will perfectly represent the same. To make the challenge even more interesting, choose the hashtag of the day with your eyes closed for a totally random selection.
July: Everything is Possible?
Speak with your photography peers and ask them to list out all of the subjects and themes that they feel cannot shoot with a cameraphone. Ask them to tell you the reasons for the same as well. Your assignment is to make pictures of the things that have been deemed impossible to shoot with your phone. Upload each picture on Instagram and in the caption, mention the supposedly impossible to shoot subject and if you were able to photograph it.
August: From Where You Stand
For this assignment, set alarms on your phone, one for every hour of an eighthour long day. Whenever the alarm goes off, launch the camera app and make only one picture of whatever is in front of you. At the end of the month, use all 248 images in a timelapse video.
September: A Colourful Walk
Assign the following colours to each week of the month—orange, green, blue and yellow. Each day, go out for a two hour long walk, consciously looking out for the colour of the week. The subject you choose does not matter, as long as the colour is captured.
October: The Phone Swap
This activity involves friends who will be willing to swap their phone with yours for a day each week. Every time you meet, discuss what your friend would like to shoot that day, swap phones and make pictures on your friend’s behalf.
November: Hello to Yourself
This month, the focus shifts from the outside to within. Make chits of your best and worst qualities, your inhibitions and strengths and put them in a bowl. Each day, pick a chit and make a self-portrait that reflects the quality listed.
By this time, you would have made several hundred pictures from the projects you have undertaken the entire year. Devote December to reflection and self-critique of your work. Go through all the photographs you have made the entire year, and make a strict selection of 24 pictures. Make prints of these 24 pictures and then further cut down your selection to 12 pictures, one for every month of the year. If you are happy with your choice, make several prints of the same and set up a pop-up exhibition for them. Give out your pictures to those who stop by to see them… it will also help you further promote your work. Once that is over, start making a list of assignments for 2017, because creativity never ends!