The what and why of photography projects
While assignments are the bread and butter of the professional photographer, amateur photographers seeking structure and purpose in their work often turn to photography projects. They will either create their own or they will accept an external challenge, set by another individual or by a group.
For amateur photographers there are lots of reasons to take on a project. The structure of an assignment – a collection or series of photographs in a specific theme or genre or for a specified purpose – has immense appeal. While an image can stand in isolation, a project is a body of work with an additional contextual dimension and, hopefully with that, a deeper purpose. It is the desire to express meaning through photography which drives almost all photographers, both amateur and professional.
Photography projects take many forms and can encompass all aspects of photography, from the craft through the art, through the documentary, varying from short-term challenges to long-term themes. Most amateur photographers at any given moment will have, or be planning, at least one and often a number of projects. A photography project is predominantly a journey of discovery, and what is created may land anywhere on a scale between hard labour and a labour of love.