Week 1: Self-Portrait | 2018 Project 52

First I want to say welcome to our new Project 52! It has been AWESOME to see photos posted to our Flickr group, some people returning from last year, some new folks too and even familiar faces from my everyday life. This project is a great way to learn more about yourself, about your camera and how to explore the world around you. So I’m very excited to see our member count go up and I hope that you guys enjoy what we have in store for you!

OK… so I take self-portraits often, but I know that most people hate them. And for the sake of defining it, I don’t consider a “selfie” a self-portrait; they have different reasons for existing in the world. But the logic behind why I started taking self-portraits is 1) to get in front of the camera more often, 2) control pictures of myself vs photos that others share, and 3) learn to be less self-conscious about the way I look. And it’s helped. I know I have one eye that opens more than the other, I hate my gummy, small tooth smile, I have baby hairs that I cannot control ever… but these are things I’ve noticed and am learning how to photograph better. Because I am known for having the goofiest face on the planet in pictures. That’s actually really annoying. Thus, self-portraits.

So I got to work on New Year’s Day. Found the place I wanted to shoot in, set up my tripod, grabbed the remote and my fancy paper crown…


Settings: f/4.0, 160 sec, 35mm, ISO 1000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

… and the puppy parade began. The dogs were in and out of the room, licking my ears, smelling the camera, hovering nearby, getting in each other’s faces. And it was so much fun! The number of outtakes I had… woof.

I chose this photo because I think it reflects my everyday life. The BDD is my shadow – she follows me all over the house, even into the bathroom, she has to lay on me in the bed, she bullies Chase out of the little dog bed even though she’s too big for it only because it’s closest to me. So it didn’t surprise me when she saw me sitting and decided to “sit in my lap.” And she really didn’t plan on moving. I pet her, rubbed her chest and… she stayed. This dog is a pain in the ass, but she makes me laugh regularly because of the silly stuff she does. Who knew she’d grow up to be a 10-year-old puppy. But here we are. With a doggin taking over my self-portrait.

Week 2: Circle
due 01.10.18

Let’s ease into our weekly photo project with finding some shapes. You’ll probably see these reoccur through the year, much like we did with colors in 2017. Remember that you can photograph shapes in different ways: positive vs negative, diagrammed within the photo itself, using them for composition, organic vs geometric… Look around you for inspiration and see if circles jump out at you. Or write down ideas to see if you can bring them to life. Don’t be afraid to try something that feels silly because we can’t see it until you share it with us – so experiment and get a little weird to see if something ordinary becomes magnificent!

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!