It is strange that photographers take lots and lots of photographs for their clients - but not often enough for themselves. Since attending the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Bali last July, we have made a concentrated effort to develop personal projects.
Easier said than done! It is just incredible how you will always find a way to not have room in your schedule. It's like going to the gym, you know you need to go you just never seem to find the right time.
I think it is so important to find this time. To get out there - maybe even out of your comfort zone and start developing an idea, challenging yourself. Our idea was to get out one day a week and see what was going on in the world around us. We were trying to come up with some ideas for long term projects - and be diligent about working towards this goal.
Working on a self assigned personal project immediately stimulates creativity. Without a doubt the rest of our photography benefits. It keeps our work fresh. It helps us grow. Yes, we have had a professional photography business for over 20 years, but you are never too experienced to keep challenging yourself.
Committing yourself, challenging yourself, following your heart. That's what made us photographers in the first place.