Tag Archives: Project 52

Tuesday Viewsday: Make a Call (Commercial Photography)

It isn’t often that I take on a commercial photography project if it doesn’t relate directly to my passion as a portrait photographer like the set of 50 headshots I recently did for a local accounting firm (more on that later). Last year, I challenged myself to dive headfirst into Project 52, a set of weekly photography challenges and assignments put together by the great @wizwow, Don Giannatti.

Can You Hear Me Now? (2012) - Photographer Michael Vujovich posing with a smartphone against a bright white background for a commerical photography project

Can You Hear Me Now? (2012)

This is a great project for any photographer at any stage of professional development to take on as Don takes you through each assignment, you upload your entry into a Flickr thread along with hundreds of others, and then he holds a live online critique during the week to give you feedback. It really does push your boundaries as a shooter. Unfortunately, life and all that comes with it started to snowball and I had to drop out of the projects shortly after completing the photograph you see here.

In the short time that I was a part of Project 52, I did push the envelope beyond what I was normally used to especially when it came to commercial photography. For the seventh assignment, Don asked us to create a couple of images for a point-of-sale display for a local cellular phone company. Since the height and width were defined for the use on the display, I knew I had to shoot for a tall and skinny layout.

At the time, I was exploring blown-out white backgrounds using only my studio strobes and I decided to try my hand with that look in these commercial photography shots. I also needed someone to model the phone and, since time was short, I went with the only guy I had available at the time: myself.

So, if you’re adding this up now, I have the camera on a tripod, two monolights pointed at the background behind me at full power to blow it out, plus a single speedlight with a softbox in front of me to light my face, as well as a remote control for the camera in one hand and the phone in the other. I can’t juggle to save my life, but I sure can multitask!

It took me about 30 frames to finally end up with the lights and posing the way I wanted them. I wasn’t completely happy with the final result honestly, but I do feel it’s something out of my normal wheelhouse and helped me to explore a new avenue I wouldn’t normally have explored. Next time, I would definitely spend some time securing a separate model so I can keep my focus where it needs to be: behind the camera and working the lighting of the scene.

What do you think? Comments? Critiques? Fire away in the comments below!

Project 52

Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring

With the new year well underway, I figure it’s about time I got started on my new set of photography resolutions. I’ve purposely put a theme to the past year’s resolutions to help pull them all together. 2010 was the year of portfolio building and setting up my portrait business while 2011 was my year to focus on selling fine art and explore the world of fine art fairs and markets.

2012 is my year to explore my craft and my vision. Actually, “explore” is a little too generic; “focus” would be a better term. I’ve spent the past few years getting my name out into the local arts community and I’ve done a lot of pro bono work portfolio building so it’s about time that I really take my vision and stretch it out a bit. I have a better understanding today than I did five years ago of exactly what sort of vision that is, but I’ve tasked myself with taking the vision and using it to drive my own personal projects, concepts, and ideas.

It seemed like serendipity when my good friend, Lily, decided to undertake Don Giannatti’s Project 52 a few weeks ago. With my resolution in mind, I took the plunge as well.

What is Project 52?

Spill

Spill

The idea behind Project 52 is not only to make better photographers out of all of us who are participating, but to stretch our skills in the commercial market. Don plays art director and provides us with an assignment every week.

Each assignment is due every two weeks so you are always concepting one assignment while shooting another. Then, every week Don does a live audio/video chat critique and goes through the set of photos posted and gives his thoughts on each. It’s a pretty sweet deal all around.

The part that I enjoy, and I feel will really help push my images above and beyond where there are now, is that Don sets down rules for each assignment as if he were a real-world art director. Assignments include everything from portraits to product shots to action images and we are often constrained by size, image orientation, and requirements of what the “clients” are looking for.

Here We Go

We are quickly approaching March and I just turned in my fifth assignment. I plan on shooting my sixth (theme: chocolate!) this week and we have already received the assignments for seven and eight. It’s a fast-paced project and I never thought I’d have to do homework again after college, but I feel like I do with this one. Like my mother always said, “Do your homework first, then you can go play.” With Project 52, I get a bit of both.

Stay Updated

Want to see how the project is going for me? I have a special set on Flickr for this project.