Photo Projects

This is a great time of year to start thinking about photo projects, and not necessarily those kinds of projects that get you out shooting.  Although when the weather is right, get out and shoot.  What I’m referring to are those types of projects that don’t get done because we are always out getting new photos and never seem to find the time to do the other stuff.  The fun stuff that let’s us see what we’ve been doing with photography all year long.  The kind of stuff that we don’t want to do; like cleaning up our file system, backing up (which we should have been doing all along) and organizing our photos with keywords, tags and ratings.

Our weather in Washington can have a way of keeping us in-doors during the cold wet winter months. However; just because we’re ‘stuck’ in the house doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun with photography.  I use this time to catch up on many of the things that I like to do such as;

Creating the family photo album for the current year.  Our family still likes the old fashioned way of looking at photos, sitting together at the kitchen table and flipping pages in albums.  So I go through the past years photos month by month, pick my favorites and print them on 4×6 photographic paper (I use the Costco  brand and have for years, it’s good paper at a great price and hasn’t shown any signs of fading).  Then pick up an album that will hold the number of prints I finished up with and put them in the album. I try to finish each years album project by New Years Day and that gives us a fun way to welcome in the new year and offers a planning opportunity for the coming year.  I now have 10 years worth of these.  It can be time consuming, but it’s the kind of wet winter project that you can take as long as you like doing and it’s fun along the way to visit all that you did last year.  If you don’t have a printer just create folders on your computers desktop for each month and use one of the many on-line printers (Costco, Mpix) and upload a folder.  You’ll usually get your photos back within days.
Prints, framing, photo books and gifts.  Now is the perfect time to look back at your photos from the past year and find some of your best work.  Look around your house and see what walls need refreshing with new photos and go shopping for frames (Aaron Brothers has a One Cent sale twice a year – buy one frame get the second for 1 penny ~ a great deal.)  I like changing out the art in my house once or twice a year and sometimes make it a seasonal thing.  By that I mean I’ll hang winter photos during the winter months and spring photos in the spring.

Now is also a good time to think about Christmas gifts for family and friends.  There are so many on-line companies that will produce coffee mugs, calendars, aprons, T-shirts, etc with your photos.  Now is a good time to start picking your favorites and placing your orders.  My mom loved getting a new calendar and an apron every year with the grand kids photo right on the front.
Organizing my photos from the past year.  This is something I try to do as I go, but it never really happens perfectly.  So, I use the dreary days of winter to go through my files of the past year, month by month, project by project and delete any files that I don’t want.  I tag, keyword and rate the ones I like and then back the whole bunch up to an external hard drive.  Actually, I backup much more frequently than once a year and would advise everyone to do the same. 
So those are the activities I look forward to with the onset of our shortened, rainy days and gray skies. I don’t stop shooting; but the opportunities are certainly less frequent.  With so much extra time at home I find myself still engaged with photography, organized, supply happy friends with fun gifts, new art hanging in my house and a photo album to sit and plan next year with.
Thanks for visiting and Happy Shooting.
Tom