Getting off the Dock in 365 by Brian Palmer

Day16_Burned_Leaf

If you haven’t seen Day 1 of my 365 project, then the title of this post probably doesn’t make much sense, allow me to explain. The ‘Dock’ is a metaphor for the ‘sidelines’ of whatever career you are wanting to jump head first into, for me that career is photography.

Zack Aries, a talented photographer and One Light instructor from Atlanta Georgia, wrote several blog posts about a photographer, who went by the alias of B, in July of this year that was stuck on the ‘Dock’. ‘B’ was a part-time shooter with a full time day job and family to balance around his love for photography, but was ready to throw in the towel since his skill level stayed stagnant for the past year. The outpour of support to B was incredible, between Zack’s blog (where he posted B’s email), and Facebook, there were several hundred comments, all positive, supporting, and offers to help B as well as others who felt they were in the same situation. There was a follow post about how to take the next step (i.e. step off the Dock) in our careers, my next step was the 365 Project.

Now, let’s rewind about 60+ days back from today, I decided to join a 365 Project started by Tasra Dawson, who was challenged by Scott Bourne, of Photo Focus, to improve her photography 300% in a year. This feat could be accomplished by shooting and posting one image, reading a page in the camera manual, and viewing an accomplished photographer’s work every day for a year [weekends included!].

The cool thing about this challenge is that Tasra invited other photographers to join the journey with her, which is where I entered. My reasoning to start this project with Tasra was:

1.       To stay fresh and engaged with my craft by shooting as much as I could during and after the wedding season.

2.       To streamline my creative process and workflow to be more efficient.

3.       To do something different that I had ever done before and that was out of character for me.

With a considerable amount of days already into the project, I can say it is one of the best projects that I have undertaken and the hardest! In the early weeks, I struggled to balance family life, work, photography, blog post, and making time for my photography business. Days where I either had to work late or needed do errand running were difficult to get a shot for the blog. But with a lot of patience and help from my awesome wife Perla, who assist with setups, shootings, and grammar checks, this project has been a success.

For the future of my 365, there is no telling what will come next, but this project has completely re-energized my love of the craft and willingness to try shooting compositions I normally would not attempt in the past.  It’s just remarkable what you can come up with when you only have 24 hours to make something out of nothing. Additionally, you may rediscover what inspired you to start shooting in the first place, for me it was capturing nature on a film medium to share with anyone willing to take 5 minutes to look. Now with digital photography and the internet, I can reach a larger audience.

Everyone wants a magic formula to catapult them into the spot light and help their career take off, or that one picture that sends them to stardom. I think it only comes along when you’re ready for it because you are the magic formula; with any craft, dedication and hard work are never un-noticed. Take on personal projects to better build your foundation, contribute to online communities, network, network, network, and just be you. After all, you spent all these years being you; it should be the easiest person to be.

Keep shooting everyone!

Brian Palmer

Check out Brian’s 365 Project journey on www.brian-palmer.net.

Brian recently posted on the Pictage forums about the 365 Project.

Written by Pictage member and Ohio-based wedding photographer Brian Palmer.

Images are courtesy of Brian Palmer, they have all been featured on his blog for different days of the 365 Project. Click on the image to take you to the post of that day.

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