Project 52 Photographer: Hiram Chee


We will be featuring some of the photographers who spent time with Project 52 this year (2011). These are their own words, and I am proud of each and every one of them. Whether you want to do every assignment or just one or so a month, you should consider being a part of the 2012 Edition of Project 52. Lots to learn, a lot of fun people and some photography assignments and critiques that are not found easily.

Meet Hiram Chee.

Hiram Chee
bonzersquad on Flickr
21 December 2011

“I joined Project 52 as a way to improve my skills after purchasing my first DSLR exactly one year ago, on Christmas 2010. I then found “this guy that really seems to know what he is taking about,” as I cruised the Flickr forums, which led me to Project 52. At the time that I joined, around assignment 20, I did not realize the caliber and experience of our esteemed instructor and of my fellow participants. I also did not understand the basic differences between commercial and recreational photography.

Since then, I feel that I have learned principles and nuances of commercial photography as if they were fed through a fire hose down my throat and I have managed to satisfy the requirements of most of the weekly assignments, having a ton of fun in the process. Some of the biggest challenges for me have been: to conceptualize solutions that satisfy the assignments, to critically review my own work and to produce attractive photos that tell a relevant story.

Overcoming challenges

Fundamentally, I am developing a better sense for ways of capturing high quality images that meet the needs of the assignment.
Not having much previous background, I have been learning by: 1) looking for examples related to the assignments, 2) doing and doing and doing, 3) participating every week in the discussions, and 4) studying the work of others that appeals to me.

Take aways

- Begin with the end in mind. In other words, visualize the desired image then work towards achieving it.
- Keep on shooting until you are satisfied with the results and then shoot some more.
- Commercial photography is all about satisfying the client within time and budget constraints. Understanding what the client wants and needs is step #1.
- Always have fun.

Plans

I plan to join Project 52 version 2 and do a better job now that I have a grasp of some of the fundamentals of commercial photography. I want to continue learning and to push my skills to the next level. In the process, I will keep looking for my own style to show itself. I am hoping to join some of the participants I have met in a few projects. Finally, I might try marketing my skills here and there.”

Thanks Hiram

See Hiram’s portfolio after the jump.
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Project 52, Assignment #2 Photograph a Stranger: and Selina Maitreya Interview

Audio from this past week’s discussion. This is from the Friday afternoon chat.

I had a wonderful opportunity to discuss the upcoming Clarion Call 2011, a free teleseminar for photographers, with the talent and brains behind it, Selina Maitreya. You can listen here on the page if you like, of see the link below for going off to TinDeck to listen there. Please feel free to embed this info into your websites/blogs.

Download it here.

I am honored to be in such great company, and am looking forward to having a terrific amount of information for you all on that day. Mark your calendars and stay tuned. Clicking on the graphic below will take you to the sign up page – and signing up and listening is free. We all are pulling for your success, so take the opportunity to get some great information.

Wednesday evening, January 12, 2011, 6PM PST. We discuss the new assignment, photographing strangers, and review assignment on Vision Statements.

Lighting Essentials LIVE for our UK and European followers will be Friday at Noon MST. Adjust accordingly, but that should be evening for you all.

Information regarding Project 52.
I have been asked if it is too late to join in. No. Join in at any point. Becoming involved and having a great experience with each and every assignment is the point. Learning and progressing is the point. Making photographs, learning about the business and feeling more confident is the point. Not whether you did one thing or another, but that you did it period.

This is the halfway point of the first Project 52 assignment – a vision statement (mission statement). There are a bunch of them already at the Flickr page. Upload yours there for discussion. We start to discuss them this week, with plenty of time for you to adjust and rework it as we move forward.

Remember, the point of this ‘vision statement’ is not something for public consumption – it isn’t a ‘tag line’ or something for your business, it is for you. A way of pulling your vision from your heart and mind and giving it a dimension. It is what drives the consistency of your work.

Of course we all want to make good, even great, pictures. And we want to be rewarded. We also want to make photographs that work for us on a personal, aesthetic plane. Images that mean something to us.

Here’s mine: “I make photographs that reveal the moments between, with an emotional and graphical environmental experience.”

Does that mean I won’t take photographs of food? Or cars? Nope… love to, but they are the wonderful ancillary to the work I want to do and be known for. And that little sentence, that little vision statement, drives so much of my work. Some examples below.

On to the Project 52, Assignment #2
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