The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.
Today’s featured artist: Rob Gregory
I began photography in the mid 90’s as a freshman in high school. I was signing up for classes when my older brother, who was full of older-brotherly wisdom and advice, pulled me aside and said, “Hey! I know you need an art credit. You should take Photography. It’s an easy A.” Funny how one person’s passing grade can become another’s life-long passion.
Back then I was rolling my own film, developing it by hand and enlarging it in the dark room. For years, I shot black and white exclusively. Even later, when I moved into digital photography, and began my career, I still gravitated towards high contrast, dark, moody images.
One day, a few years into my career, a creative director was reviewing my portfolio and said something that ended up having a huge impact on my work. He said, “Man, I absolutely love this stuff. I just wish our clients would go for something like this.” I asked what his clients typically liked, and he explained that they tended to go for bright images with lots of color.
I mulled over what he said and knew I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone. I went back to my studio and started exploring a world full of light and color — and I absolutely fell in love with it.
This project is an example of work that fully embraces this bright world I have come to love. I used LED lighting with full RGB capabilities to create unique color combinations that complimented the wardrobe choices. In recent years, I’ve found myself shooting with continuous lights more often than strobes because I love the versatility they provide. They allow me to control color temperature and RGB with the touch of a button.
This project wasn’t all smooth sailing though. I often say that my job is mainly problem solving, and this was no exception. The biggest issue I ran into was that the camera port on my main camera had apparently become loose and my tethering cable wouldn’t hold a connection to my computer. I spent HOURS working on it the day before the shoot before finally giving up and moving over to my backup camera: my trusty old Nikon D800. So, for all the gear snobs out there, this project was shot with a DSLR and lens that were both purchased back in 2012.
No matter what challenges may arise, I believe that having a clear vision for the work you want to create is the most important aspect of photography. When you have that North Star, it’s easier to roll with the punches and adjust without losing your cool or direction for the shoot. When you know where you’re going, nothing can stand in your way.
Wardrobe/Prop: Madeline Telford
HMUA: Viki Moon
Models: Eric Ntrakwa, Hailey Wilkins
To see more of this project, click here
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades. After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram