A Photo Project Blueprint: 21 Questions to Ask Before Starting
It would be safe to say that the gap between the number of interesting project ideas I’ve had compared to the number of photo projects I’ve produced is a wide one. In order to hold myself accountable in executing some of my project ideas, I’ve created a blueprint that helps me get past ideation and into producing new content.
Start with the name of your project, followed by a one-paragraph description. This won’t likely be the name or final description of the project but it’s important to start to be able to verbalize what it is you want to do.
Next, answer these 21 questions;
1. Who is your target audience?
2. What do you want to say? Is your opinion an educated one?
3. Why does what you’re trying to say matter?
4. Has someone done something similar before? Who?
5. How will your project be unique and different compared to this other work?
6. What photographic tools will you need to complete this project?
7. How will you create a unifying visual consistency to your images?
8. What focal length/aperture will you shoot this project on?
9. What will your color schemes/tones be?
10. Will it be shot on location or in studio?
11. If in studio, what kind of backdrop/set will you have? Where will you get the materials? How will you build the set?
12. If on location, will it be just one location or many different locations? Where?
13. How will you get your crew/gear there?
14. Are there any safety concerns?
15. What will the weather be like when you get there?
16. If no artificial light is being used, where will the sun be compared to your subject?
17. If using lighting, where will they be positioned relative to your subject/the sun?
18. How can you light your subject to better convey your message?
19. Who will your subject(s) be? Are they the best subjects to convey your vision?
20. Who will your assistants/crew be?
21. When will you shoot?
Build out a calendar for yourself from today until the day you’d like to shoot. What can you do today to start getting this set up? For me, getting started is always the hardest part so I try to involve other people ASAP in order to help hold myself accountable.
You can also start to write down people who you’d like to present your photo project and how you plan on getting your work in front of them. Mentally this reminds me of the impact the project can have and further motivates me in following through.
About the author: Gavin Doran is a Brooklyn-based photographer best known for his cinematic portraiture and dynamic lifestyle imagery. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website or by following him on Facebook and Instagram. This article was also published here.