When I started the 52 Portraits project in 2020, I had no idea Covid was going to tank it. Yeah, the 85mm keeps me at least six feet away from subjects most of the time, but nobody was going out or coming over. I made it to 24 portraits.
2021 started slow. I always had a camera with me, but I had a tendency to forget to take it out when I was in the presence of potential subjects. Things picked up in the summer, and I ended the year with 53.
I regret that I didn’t get a shot of my dad before he passed away in April. I’m going to add him in anyway–an honorary 52–even though the shot was taken years ago. He was always a good headshot model, willing to let me try different lighting or posing ideas. He was a big fan of the 52 Portraits project, too.
I like the black and white format. Not surprising–I love black and white photography in general. I’m not sure what the 2022 “guidelines” will be yet. I toyed with the idea of Polaroid or 35mm or medium format film only, but I think I’ll save those for later.
5 Tips for your own 52 photo project
- Choose a subject you enjoy (portraits, bridges, landscapes, sunsets, etc.)
- It’s always good to challenge yourself with new subjects, but maybe not when you commit to 52 shots.
- Don’t let it become a chore (52 in a year vs. 1 per week)
- You may enjoy the one per week requirement. If not, just commit to 52 in a year.
- Carry your camera everywhere
- Doesn’t matter what camera you decide to use, just make sure it’s always with you.
- Choose somewhere to display your work
- You’re not posting it for likes, etc. You’re posting just to share with the world. Use whatever service works best for you–Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, SmugMug, Tumblr, your own website–it doesn’t matter, just share it.
- If you stop enjoying it, change the rules
- It’s your project. Do whatever works for you.
I didn’t get a chance to shoot a portrait of my dad before he passed away this year, so an older one will have to do. He was one of my biggest fans when it came to photography, encouraging me every chance he got.
What are you going to shoot in 2022?