Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Project Planning

After my last post entitled "Creative Paths.....Creative Accidents", Mike Mundy made a comment wondering about the final output/usage of the images I was making for my flower project (to which I have given the tentative title "Botanical Blends"). I believe Mike intended that to be more than a simple question, and rightly so! In fact, I had been thinking about writing a post regarding planning the project.

As one thinks about a potential photographic project, I think they need to have in mind a number of important questions:

Who is the intended audience (although sometimes the audience grows, there should still be a primary target group who you think would be interested in the images...this target audience can be defined in either a very broad or narrow way)?

How do you primarily intend to reach that audience? This might be through a show (again, broadly or narrowly defined....from a gallery or museum show to hanging images at a local coffee shop or even at work or in your home),a magazine, book, pdf, or even as give away prints.

What other distribution methods might assist in reaching the target audience as well as making it easier for people that might not be in the primary target audience to see the work if they find it interesting. This might include any of the previously mentioned methods.

Answering these questions before delving into a project is important for some very practical reasons. Knowing the answers can help with some very basic issues such as:

Approximately how many images should one's goal for the project be? The number needed for a gallery showing might be different from that needed to author a magazine article.

What size prints are needed? Again, this will differ based on where the images are being displayed and how they are being used.

Are prints even needed at all? Perhaps not, if the final project is a magazine article, pdf, or your website.

Do the prints need to be framed, and, if so, how? The location of a display might well effect whether one chooses classic white matting or not, how ornate or simple the frame should be, or if some type of display without frames might be possible. In addition, this will give some idea as to the cost (and time) one can expect to be associated with framing.

What other non-photographic skills might be needed? These might include the software skills needed for making a pdf, laying out a book, or making promotional items, as well as framing skills, artist bookbinding skills, calligraphy etc.

How might the project be marketed or advertised?

These are just a few of the more prominent questions that immediately come to mind (and I am sure there are more that can be asked), but which I believe are important to contemplate before proceeding with a project.

Having written a bit more than I had expected, I think I will leave for my next post the specific answers to these questions as they relate to my "Botanical Blends" project.