5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

Written by  //  January 30, 2014  //  Inspiration  //  10 Comments

One of the biggest problems people face in their photography, be it mobile or traditional photography, is staying motivated and inspired. I sometimes find that life has a nasty habit of getting in the way and preventing my spirit and passion for photography from shining through.

It maybe that work commitments sap your physical and mental energies or that any free time you have is eaten up by family commitments. If you don’t have energy for life, for your surroundings or a passion for what you do then you can quickly lose focus and drive.

Sound familiar? Every photographer will experience this at one point or another. My aim here is to outline a few swipe and deploy photography project ideas which I hope will give you some ideas, inspiration and direction should you find yourself in a photographic slump.

Reflections Project Idea 564x564 5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

365 Project

A ‘365 Project’ is probably one of the most popular photography project ideas at the moment. It is also one of the most demanding to undertake so not for the faint hearted.

A 365 project involves the taking and publishing of one photograph a day for 365 days straight. It is something that requires dedication and passion as you document your daily life over the course of one whole year. Needless to say you need to have a lot of stamina to undertake a project such as this. One of the biggest benefits this type of project offers is that the quality of your images will quickly improve. It is an excellent way to really immerse yourself into your photography.

A 365 project is perfect for mobile shooters due to the portable and less intrusive nature of the mobile device, something that can be difficult if you shoot with a DSLR. However, from personal experience I found that if you aren’t careful you can fall into the trap of taking any old photograph, just for the sake of it.

365projectpic 564x564 5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

30 Days

A ’30 Day’ project is a little less gruelling than a 365 marathon. The concept is the same as a 365 project except that you only shoot for 30 days straight not 365. This option might be a good precursor session before deciding to take on a full 365 project.

The beauty of a 30 day project is that you can choose when you undertake the project. This will enable you to coincide the project with a time when you know you are going to be available to commit to it or will be visiting new and interesting places.

30 Days Project Idea 564x564 5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

52 Photowalks

A ’52 Photowalks’ project is another hybrid of the 365 project idea. It involves taking a series of photos which document a walk, once a week for a year. A little less intense than a 365, this project gives you the opportunity of planning out your next walk in advance.

As there are only so many photo opportunities in your locality, this type of project will force you to look further a field and seek out new and interesting places. It is an excellent way to break out of a regimented routine and get inspired by new places be that city locations, woodland, open countryside or seaside towns.

photowalks 564x564 5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

A Day in the Life

A ‘Day in the Life’ project is perfect for those times when you are feeling a little deflated and need to quickly get focused. The idea is a simple one. You basically document a day in your life through a series of photographs.

It will give you focus not only in terms of subject matter but also get you thinking about how you can tell a story through pictures and what the key points of your chosen day are. It is an excellent project to help improve your storytelling skills.

Ideas for a day in the life project could include documenting a day at work, a journey, a day out or a walk. Once again, mobile photography lends itself perfectly to this type of project. Like many of the project ideas outlined here mobile photography is a perfect medium for this due to its portable nature.

Day in the Life Project 564x564 5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

Reflections

Reflections are one of my favourite subjects. Once you open your eyes to their presence you will find them everywhere. By focussing on them rather than looking what’s behind them then you can achieve some interesting results.

Glass windows are an excellent place to start capturing interesting reflections. Shooting from the outside into a darkened shop interior will produce an interesting montage of images. Closely crop into your chosen subject and you can create some fantastic abstract imagery without the need of app stacking.

When it comes to photographing reflections in water it is often best to use them to capture an object of interest and use the area of water as a frame for your chosen focal point. Keep an eye out for puddles following a down pour of rain. You may be able to frame the reflection of a dramatic sky above, an interesting building or person passing by.

cartier bresson henri iza gare st lazare paris 1932 564x782 5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas

Derriere la Gare Saint-Lazare by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Wet surfaces are also a good way of capturing the reflections of light on a wet path or street pavement. In such cases look for bright colours reflected from a street or shop signage.

These are only five ideas which I hope will help to give you some inspiration and focus in your photography. There are many, many more which I will probably cover at a later date.

Leave a comment below with your favourite photography project ideas.

10 Comments on "5 Swipe & Deploy Photography Project Ideas"

  1. Skip January 30, 2014 at 10:46 am · Reply

    Great article Andy. You are spot on. I’m in a bit of a black-hole right now. I’ve found that having iPhoneography / apps and traditional / photoshop to switch backwards and forwards between helps keep me fresh. When I’m tired of one I switch to the other. Sometimes I even switch to film. I normally find my mojo with one camera if I lose it with the other.

  2. Ale Di Gangi January 30, 2014 at 11:39 am · Reply

    Yes, a useful and well written article; funny how I am finding myself in a “black-hole” right now, too, but I am not worrying since I know these moments come and go.

    During these times, shifting to-and-from film and Polaroids has always been a huge help since a change in methods keeps the air fresh. But also scouting for new or yet-unexplored apps works wonders for me: trying new filters, exploring new possibilities and edits is gold.

    Of the suggestions you give, I quite like “A day in the life”, since I am a very curious person and these things intrigue my mind deeply,

  3. Jacob January 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm · Reply

    Hi Andy,
    These are very interesting ideas. Thanks! I may start with the 30 day project and see how it goes.

    Cheers

    • Andy Butler January 30, 2014 at 11:13 pm · Reply

      I think a 30 Day project is a good one. I tried a 365 project last year and burnt myself out by April.

  4. GarryN February 1, 2014 at 12:52 am · Reply

    I like the ‘Day in the Life’ and ‘Photowalk’ ideas. I will try those.

    Though to be honest I don’t have a problem with impetus for taking photos. I’m now on my third straight 365 project. Sure some of them are pretty rubbish and only mean something to me, but still managing to keep up with it after two years.

  5. Craig Poltock April 13, 2014 at 11:30 am · Reply

    Hi Andy, when I’m in a photographic slump I force myself to take a day trip somewhere be it the seaside or a museum. I just take one camera with me ( normally the iPhone) and chose one app either hipstamatic with a combo or pro camera etc…then I wander about taking images and normally get back into the zone as it were. I find this approach normally helps me. Thanks for the great article.

    • Andy Butler April 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm · Reply

      Thanks for the tip Craig. Getting out somewhere different, especially by the sea always helps to invigorate my outlook.

  6. Cha April 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm · Reply

    Hi Andy :-) Your article is very helpful and spot on for me right now. I did a 365 Project last year and enjoyed it. I like the 52 Photowalks. That’s going to be on my list for 2015. As for now, I kept going with the 365 Project. Last year I missed two days. This year I’m hoping not to miss any!

    Cheers and Thank You :-)

    • Andy Butler April 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm · Reply

      Well done on completing your 365 Project and continuing on with it. As I found, 365 Project is a very challenging undertaking.

  7. Peter Bryenton August 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm · Reply

    Creative block is a normal part of life. Don’t fight it. Roll with it. It doesn’t last forever. You will generally find that ideas have been simmering gently beneath the surface of your conscious mind. When they surface into more tangible form, you’ll start working again.

    If block becomes a serious issue, the exercises in the classic book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron should soon have you back in business.

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