The Power of Personal Projects – Part II by David Wittig

Are you balancing work that fills your bank account with work that fills your soul?

We’ve all made excuses. 

“I’m too busy trying to finish projects for my clients.”

“I’m too exhausted to wake up a the crack of dawn to chase perfect light.”

“I’ve got to focus on work that pays the bills!”

Sure, there are plenty of good excuses. But the truth is: you can’t afford to avoid personal projects. Consider the risks. Without work that fuels your creativity and feeds your spirit, you’re sprinting down a path to boredom and burnout.

To explore the power of personal projects, The Photo Life is publishing a series of posts from photographers who have embraced risk and pursued long-term personal projects. The second post in the series is an enlightening Q & A with photographer Dave Wittig.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE A SLIDESHOW of Dave’s ongoing personal project, The Naked Portraits.

Why do you make time for personal projects?

Because …

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A Photographic Love Affair by David Wittig

I’ve fallen in love with many women, a dozen or so cities, and innumerable moments in time. But I’ve only ever fallen in love with one camera – the Leica S2.

By love I mean that irrational exuberance that can overcome any obstacle. That encounter with such beauty, intelligence, or elegance that compels me to rethink, even abandon, the way I do everything. That compulsion that allows me to gladly sacrifice almost anything to feel it once more, or prolong it just a little. Of course, love is also many other things, like the ability to overlook glaring faults. Some might say I’m actually describing infatuation, but they would be wrong – it’s love!

I’ve claimed to be in love with this camera since I saw the press-release images of it, admittedly that might be more like infatuation, or like saying I love Keira Knightley because I saw her in a beautiful film. Spending …

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How We Find Success in Dependent Systems by Nancy Beale

This is part two of The Photo Life Blog Series, True Life: I’m Married to My Business Partner. This series explores how husband and wife photography teams find success when their business and personal lives collide.

Dave and I have been working together for five years now. Initially, it was hard and some days it still is, but I don’t think we would have it any other way. Erin Youngren wrote an excellent post last week about how they function best by using what she termed “closed systems” in which each person has their own tasks independent of the other person. We do this to an extent (and after their article we are exploring what additional systems we can “close”), however we have found that having what we’ll term “dependent” systems have been hugely beneficial to our business.

As Jeff and Erin point out, “dependent” systems are often frustrating, and slow. However, we …

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