How to start a photography Project

 A still photographic image suspended in time is utterly beautiful, uniquely loaded with memory and pathos. But, we as photographers have always had a need to go beyond the single image to create a series. If a single image has sense mystery about it perhaps a series is imbued with an authority. Perhaps, within us (as humans) is a need to tell a story, to be understood, maybe we need to create these pieces of work to make sense of who we are and the world around us.

Talk to most photographers for a short time and you will quickly end up discussing some self initiated project that they are working on.

Projects usually form from a passion or interest on a particular subject or a way of seeing the world, a self-expression and a need to communicate.

So how do we go about finding a 'project'

It should be something you are interested in, have a passion for.

Keep your ears and eyes open- often you a throw away comment in conversation, a piece of music, or a news story, scene in a film could lead to some personal interest

Many artists trawl the net/library looking at other people’s work to copy or use as inspiration.

You could also check the net to see (once you have an idea) whether your new idea has been done before. It shouldn't matter too much but if you are going to sell it as a magazine editorial piece you may want to reconsider?

Be prepared to spend some time researching

The work should be something you can make 'visual’- we are image-makers after all. Some ideas I have had in the past are interesting (on a journalistic level) but wouldn't make a good photographic projects

Is the work of interest to an audience (exhibition /publication/web?)

Maybe have an audience in mind?

Can I make the work financially? How do I make it happen financially?

Chat to friends and colleagues and see what they think of your ideas.

Don't be afraid to start! Often projects develop from other projects so just get stuck in and see what happens

Keep ideas for projects in sketch book. Even projects that don't quite make it into reality now may ferment into life in another guise in the future!


Just a few starting places for photography inspiration


Lens Culture

British journal of Photography

World Photo

Feature shoot

Dazed and Confuzed

The tate modern