How to Create Your Personal Project


Turning Personal Projects Into a Career


Lesson Info

How to Create Your Personal Project

Now it's all about you and your personal project how do you create it? So if I'm going to go through now is been my process and I hope by you hearing my process you can use that to help you with your personal project because it's not easy but it's not supposed to be easy it's not supposed to be easy this is you showing the world how you feel and the universe will test you to see if it's just a passing idea if you really believe in yourself so let's go through that process how do you create your your personal project? It's also you discovering something about yourself discovering what you care about and sometimes it means you've to die gress and go back to your childhood and remember that first book that made you feel something that first movie that touched your heart the first time you felt you wanted to become a photographer? What was that first image? Who was it of? What was it off? What made you want to keep shooting? What do you love when you shoot you love she would you care about...

people feel that and even getting back to that question about approaching strangers about your personal project when you're shooting what you love it's just pouring out of you people feel it, you can't hide it, you can't fake it, so what you shoot should be something that means something to you that resonates deep within that's part of your dna. I love this stuff. I love seeing that child come alive as I highlight them and then asked him questions it's all about them and their future? What would you do if you were the next president twenty years from now and then start thinking about themselves being that person in charge and for the first time sometimes it's an adult listening to them then the world know that they care that we care about them and what they have to say because they are our future. The night is a child, there are that the person will be in charge taking care of us and our country years from now. So how do you start with your project what's phase one taking action right away and this sometimes is the hardest part to take action right away. You get that idea, but you're maybe scared too ashamed to put it out there and say it out loud. I felt that way. I'm sure you have too, but take action right away. Put it in writing. Write down your idea pinned the paper printed out if you put it online on your computer printed out, put it in an envelope, seal it up and put it away just for you not for your clothes been wife, girlfriend boyfriend anybody else to see this is for you to get your idea out there and how you feel in that moment write it down printed put it away that's for you you can look at it years later and say wow, that was the idea back then and see where's come now it's a great thing to go back and see your journey before you tell anybody about it create teen images first it's what I did was one thing to get the idea but can you bring to life? Can you do it proves yourself first that you can you know in your heart and your soul that you have what it takes to bring this product a life now show the world create ten images first before you tell anybody what you're doing get to work right away did you camera pulled out, shoot your concept, be focused on your idea, give yourself a name for your project and put it everywhere so you see it but when you're your bathroom mirror on your refrigerator, this is for you so that you can stay focused on your idea your product may take a month to do or you to do or five years to do it's up to you but stay focused on your goal bringing your product a life when you possess great treasures and we all do within you and try to tell others of them seldom are they believed you tell you I do your friends, your family, your parents, your mate your husband, your wife and then the doubt comes in the other voices this is a quote from one my favorite authors pablo coley ho the alchemist it's my favorite book I love that book I read it once a year to give me inspiration to keep me on the path because it's not easy, you will will be tested let's talk about being tested. So my first book, cp dreams I had this great idea I want to take pictures I want to interview people and turned to a book now, mind you, I had never done a book before, never been published before, so I'm going to have a bunch of friends and two of this people in this group had just graduated from heart with the mba is I'm in this big group and we're all sharing see each other I'm living in new york at the time and it's winters dead of winter all together hanging out, having dinner and I decide this night to tell my friends about my idea for my book my guys went to this book if you always celebrities that a are all excited about the project and then everybody at that table of that night like oh no you know it's hard doing a book it takes years to get a deal you know is he heard all the doubt nobody was positive about doing a book used to be how hard it wass how much time it takes how possible is to get a deal a publisher it's all it was all the doubt I was so depressed after this dinner I walked home twenty blocks the dead of winter in new york city but also decided that night I was going tell anybody else I just want to do it when people tell you their doubts it's their doubt it's not yours they don't know your experience your inspiration your vision even when you tell them they have a different picture in their mind but your project your dream that's your dream it's up to you to bring it to life because you have it in your heart in your soul and you know that can bring to life now special it is so get to work through those ten images first and prove to yourself that you can bring your product a life prove it to yourself so my first book I go about photographing and interviewing different celebrities about their journey who inspired them with halle berry was a teacher. Each person has their own story and on this book also I found out that is very often when you are very young when it happens which is why today I'm doing this book with children twelve and younger as a child when it's you find that special moment when somebody comes into your life ah parent a teacher in this case or sometimes it's a stranger gordon parks I'd never met him before it was the book halle berry it was a teacher who inspires them and tells them you know what your special you can do this anything you dream you can achieve so I go about doing this book but yes, their hardships it's not easy it's not supposed to be easy and today I love the journey more than ever before so be prepared to be tested you should be tested don't let those other voices discourage you as a matter of fact look forward to them and when you hear them think about this in this moment and remember that I told you they're coming because they will come it's part of the journey it's those broken bricks on the road to your success be rifles, ups and downs when they come but more importantly, don't give up because you do it you can do it, you have a story to tell and we all want to hear your story if you're your brand new you've just speaking came for the first time but you have this idea that's new and out of the box we want to hear it, we want to see it don't give up you may have the next great thing being photography or something totally different you may have the next great thing that would change all of our lives the next facebook thing you may have it out there and we're all waiting for you to share your vision with the world and change the world it is said that the darkest hour of the night it comes just before the dawn what if you're almost right there about to break out and be it's amazing photographer or inventor or artists or president but you give up right before you make it and the world never knows this is the universe testing you to see how badly you want it? Of course is also for my favorite book the alchemist you should be tested it shouldn't be easy if it was easy anybody could do it but you're special we have a vision it's your unique vision don't be scared to show the world how you feel through your photography so you will have ups and downs not anything you do is going to work but you don't give up so does that look like so well back in two thousand seven I had an idea for the project and start shooting it and I called it joy forty four and that idea was to go out and this is before the recession go around the world and photograph forty four groups of people about possibly having an american president who was african american that's the idea at the tie go out and forever different groups of people around the world and find that exuberance around the world or or the opposite what have they were feeling around the world the time was traveling a lot I was working a lot so I found a family from dubai the president of iceland for we have them and interview them about how they felt groups from sweden from germany from japan I found forty four groups of people photographed them and interview them finish the project and then I saw joy forty four the worldwide celebration of change that was my idea in my book the concept everything and then if I finished the book what happened? Recession hits recession hits the country the world for that part and I can't get a deal I just feel like oh we know by time the book comes out the exuberance will be over now but we touch it all that work nothing that was down about it for wow so in this book I also had a special section where I felt we had four children and I thought these children as being future presidents there's my special section to go into the book so I didn't know it at the time but that was really a blessing that joy forty four didn't make it couldn't get published he left in all of this work foreign thing to people around the world and getting their views their opinions I love the project but that led to what I'm doing today it was meant to be so how did that happen? Joins a special section called future presidents where I guess for we have four people as a small section inside joy forty four then I get a flash of inspiration years later if I can't get joy out there I had this idea that comes to me through a friend at sony who says, oh, we like for photographers to go out and shoot picture is based on the upcoming election and it was for a photo contests but like oh wow, I had that special section for my old book that should be its own book so that start working on this project we were doing it now but that came from failure. This project came from the failure of joy forty four sometimes your ideas I do believe that anything happens is meant to be everything that happens is meant to be the world's changed a lot since it doesn't eight and once upon a time you needed a publisher to get your work out there that world's changed so let's go back to c p dreams again so from I ask the question early about how it got published who published it in ninety nine nine that's a working one cpu dreams and two years later I finished the book and had never done it before but a friend of mine says oh you need to go see a publisher you get a literary agent so they put me kind of literary agent I go have a meeting they love my book project and she signs me on and she took the book out there three days later I have seven publishers fighting for my book now I'd never done a book before all my friends were saying oh it's taken me years to get a deal I find it agent she takes the book out in three days I have seven publishers fighting for the work and I get my deal and seafood dreams comes out but all voices who tell me no they stay in your head there back there as you're shooting as I'm out there shooting fifty people for the book a morning well this be picked up am I being a fool will you know it might be wasting my time shooting this all those of the voices seep in and there were times doing the process of making cp dreams when I almost gave up is a matter of fact that's part the process because in doing cpo dreams interviewing people and I asked him the question did you ever want to give up and you know what? Everybody did at some point in their career they want to give up sam jackson vanessa williams, tyra banks at some point they've want to give up but then they keep going and then success comes you don't give up you will be tested you'll want to give up is a matter of fact is a point doing cpo dreams I want to do fifty celebrities I get the forty and I couldn't find anybody else was doing no I don't know if the notion what to know I'm like wow I've only got forty it needs to be fifty before like months I couldn't find anybody and then I get a call I wanted to photograph lena horne who's now passed away and I pushed her early on in the book process and had a contact didn't contact with her so I sent a package to her I get a no so doing my interviews of other celebrities I found out that people have been inspired by her when they were kids like halle berry so I take sections of my interview from like ten different lebanese have been inspired by her and I said those selections to lena horne I get a call from lena horne herself saying hi honey let's go I'm ready so then I get my foot in my forty first interview and then I go on and get to fifty I'm doing like yes, I've got fifty done then I got a call from when this lebanese saying she wants to back out of it some back to forty nine like ah it's part of the process but first I get as number fifty was way better than that pursue backed out that's the process you will be tested to see how badly you want it it won't be easy what's worth well and now I love I love the stories that I've had from cp dreams and I know the process so even when joy forty four, didn't make it, I do this thing better coming I don't know what it wass but here we have now future presidents and I love this project so much it's not the commission work from a client it's me putting my heart and soul out there. So how I financed this book so far? I've used all my mouth to flight in places I've we've driven everywhere there's one time when the markets and I drove three hundred miles in a eleven day period, which is a lot we backed off going that that fast now since things I was a lot, but I love the process so I've self funded the book up into this point because I have to believe in myself so I do a job doing assignment don't come back and I'll travel that's how I've done it for the last year and a half but today we have other things that could help us now share that later on make it easier for you to get your products funded and get out there and brain into life that one around five years ago, what, ten years ago, even with my joy forty four I self funded that, but I was at the time I was working a lot so I could do that. It's not that way. Now work has fallen off so it's not is busy. It was it was at that time before the recession. So believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. Invest in you and your work before anybody else will invest in your work. You need to invest in yourself and believe in your project if you don't believe how can you expect somebody else to believe in your project? You should first believe in you before I go on I think a fast question. Yeah, there's ah, they're loading up the questions coming in from the internet. But before we check in there, are there any questions in our studio audience from you guys? Don't be shy, any questions you have? I'm sure about it, said the same question. I absolutely let's let's take one from the internet asian far checks and again from england. Is there anything you would do differently if you had a chance to shoot your earlier projects again? Absolutely everything I do differently I would definitely definitely get more people involved in helping me I think the mistake I made with cp dreams the beginning I felt like I had to do all myself I would get others involved because if you have a great project it's great to get your friends and others involved who are creatives because creatives do come together and really bond so and get advice from other people have done it before you get advice from others who have done it before you and we'll help your journey and help you through those harpoons did you come through make it easier on yourself as a matter of fact they're suing photographers who have done great jobs and doing personal projects and shortly I'm gonna share tar for who's doing an amazing job of doing personal projects because it helps you helps you in your career it helps you in your soul it helps you deep down within by sharing to the world how you feel what means something to you what means something to you what do you care about? So I fashion inspiration and I do c p a dream then I go and do joy forty four then I'm now doing future presidents that inspiration what if I get the idea for it and like oh no joy didn't make it I should leave that low that's those are the voices that pop in your head the doubt that's part of business not everything's gonna work but you gotta believe in yourself and put it out there so if my new book I don't have it tied to any party no republican democrat I don't do that anymore could make that could have killed my other book joy forty four so now it's just open I love that and I call it future presidents of course going through that before and then I think the idea it was time for me to hit the road to get out there and start shooting so I lived on anyway second the road start driving around america simple had the idea I know how to shoot people I should celebrities are gonna have their crew but now it's just me going back and doing what I did at the start of my career shooting my ideas my concepts going around finding children all over america vegas virginia d c hawaii going out finding people and getting their stories planting seeds inspiring people in america all dreams of possible from the farm to the white house future president future american president I want inspirational ideas to put out there for the shoot that want to do today and for the next eighteen states dive yet to go to what can I put on these boards that would be an inspirational message that will last not just today, but twenty years from now. Fifty years from now and inspire children every generation. That's what I want to do. Imagine this book one hundred years from now being passed down and your message out there forever. I want to create a team, a group, because, yes, this is my book, my idea by one able to be involved in it. I would like this book to be ubiquitous everywhere, it's always to say, we had a hand in making this thing come alive being part of the process. So join me by sitting your ideas in on the facebook page, or crave live and sharing ideas that you might have for a board that were used today and for the rest of the book that you can show you your child. Hey, that was my idea there's my concept, and they used it. Also, if you're home with your child, you could take a picture of your child holding a board and posted on the page and be a part of this community as well. That will last forever. You use your iphone doesn't matter anything you want.

Class Description

"You build your business shooting for other people. You build your career shooting for yourself." From creating and choosing projects to organizing details and financing, this course will teach you how to effectively manage personal projects to grow your photography business. This inspirational workshop is designed to help you practice your craft and elevate your photography business. During this comprehensive course, Matthew will offer step-by-step instruction on how to launch and execute personal photography projects. Matthew’s workshop is part of a 3-day event sponsored by Sony called “Shoot What You Love", a 3-day inspirational event sponsored on April 22-24 with fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Me Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.