Photography Challenge: Personal Expressions

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This week I would like you all to participate in a personal challenge.

Before photography is anything else, it is an expression of your inner personality. Whatever your reasons are for taking photographs – a professional obligation, a school assignment, capturing vacation memories, recording an important event – your personality and sense of creativity are captured within the image.

It is because of this that it is important to take the time, among these other obligations, to create for ourselves. Remove duty from the joy of framing and clicking the shutter. Take a photograph of something simply because you want to, because it speaks to you in some way. Remember how to play with your camera, get creative, get loose from the structure and just have fun. Break out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Become your own audience and shoot for the pleasure of it.

Sometimes I find myself experiencing an extended period of time in which I’m photographing more often for others than for myself (as I have of late, with many positive opportunities that still have put personal creative expression on the back-burner). When that happens I try to carve out a day, a week, or even just a few hours in which I can get back to rediscovering the joy of photography.

I would like you all to do this for yourselves this week. Reacquaint yourselves with your creative sides, share and discuss your experiences, and lend positive feedback to your fellow photographers.

Here’s what I’d like you all to do:

Choose one, several, or all of the following suggestions. Or, choose a creative avenue of your own inspiration. Post your photographs on our Facebook site, or in our Flickr Group (I’ve added this Discussion Topic for the challenge), or here in the comments. Don’t forget to tag your photos (something like “Personal Expressions Challenge” is good). Tell us about your creative process, how taking the photo made you feel, and what you do to inspire yourself. Post as many as you’d like, as often as you’d like. And please give your fellow contributors the positive feedback that they so richly deserve.

- Use a photo effects or enhancement tool such as Picnik, Big Huge Labs, textures, or the like to do something fun and unique with your photos.

Get creative with the use of light. Use reflective surfaces, capture reflections themselves, angle a single light source in a dramatic way, use filtered sunlight, etc.

- Photograph the views that you see every day. Take shots looking out your back door, your front door, a window of your home, your office, or your car (safely!).

Write your favorite inspirational phrase on a piece of paper, and photograph it in a setting that lends support to that phrase. Create it to look upon as your source of inspiration when you need a little boost.

Create a self portrait, as simple or as fancy as you want. We photographers spend so much time behind the camera that we never end up in any photographs, and we deserve to be chronicled as much as anything or anyone else. When you post your contribution, tell us a little about yourself.

The challenge runs from right this very moment, until Saturday June 11th. We will choose from among the contributions those which delighted us, inspired us, and spoke to the true heart of this challenge. Those contributions will be featured in an entry of their own, next week.

It’s time to start sharing again. It’s time to get creative again. It’s time to have fun again!

Enjoy yourselves!

(All photos copyright Tiffany Joyce.)

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  • Joyce

    This was a really great post, Tiffany! I agree – no matter which field of photography we are into, whether it is creative, nature, nude, advertising, or business
    and no matter what reasons we have for taking the photographs, we should always aim to make that personal expression come out because only through this that we can produce high quality photographs.