Project 52 started last year as a way for photographers to get critiques and assignment in a real world setting. In a no BS arena of commercial insight and realistic assignments.
On many forums discussions range from what kind of lights do I need to the best prices on batteries. Others feature photographers discussing their 10 day assignments for big tech firms and how difficult it is to get 10 cases of gear through customs in places with names no one can pronounce.
And all that is fine, and fun, and definitely useful.
But I didn’t find very many places where photographers could learn all the stuff I learned when I was assisting, starting a business, opening a studio in a renovated flower shop, making the mistakes and having the wins of a small market photographer.
Sure we should specialize. But being able to do a competent job or better on a variety of subject matter is important as well.
Shooting to a layout. Taking an assignment and finishing it with success, delivering the images and billing the client is important stuff to learn.
Bidding. Now there is an entire truckload of worm cans ready to be opened.
So I had an idea. I do that a lot.
I would give an assignment each week.
Then the photographers would do the assignment, we would look at the assignment and I would offer my experience as both a photographer and a designer to critique the work from a commercial standpoint.
I didn’t charge for it. And the free version continues just as it did last year. There are some variations (last year I did not give one architectural or interior assignment – just overlooked it) and there are some more twists coming there.
The PRO version is something I thought about last year, but nixed it because I wanted to see how it went. To see how the appetite of photographers was in relationship to this real world experience.
We had a very successful year. Some of our photographers are shooting professionally, some full time.
Portfolios were created and the photographers were making appointments and showing what they learned.
But there is only so much you can do in a format like that.
I found as I went along that there was a lot of stuff that needed more attention and should be separated out from the original Project 52 as they are more for the serious, commercially focused, photographers.
So Project 52 PRO Edition is born.
It is a very tightly integrated approach to getting a business going in this calendar year. Full time or part time or just to make it real, we are focused on the exciting aspects of being in business, the mundane necessities that must be addressed, and the real world values that can make or break an entry into the world of commercial art.
Our goal? Build a Plan, Work the Plan, Get Clients, Shoot the Work, and Get Paid.
We are not wedding/baby/maternity/boudoir focused. We are fully committed to commercial photography. If you are a wedding shooter and want to break into the world of commercial, this may be a great project for you.
These are crazy times, and we want to smooth out the crazies a bit as we move forward.