Start your own personal photo project

Jennifer Salvage is no runaway bride. But she HAS worn her wedding dress 148 times across 19 countries.

Over the past five years, Jennifer and her husband Jeff have turned the dress into a playful photography project. Whenever they travel somewhere new, she puts on the dress to pose in front of some of the world’s most iconic and exotic destinations.

She’s worn it kayaking, paragliding, sand dune climbing, swimming with dolphins, dog sledding, horseback riding on the beach, snorkeling, visiting hot springs... in cities and countrysides the world over.

Why, you might ask, would anyone stuff their wedding dress into a backpack and wear it horseback riding in some foreign country?

Because it’s fun, that’s why!

Now they have all the pictures to prove it, plus a blog and a coffee table book, all of which you can find at their site.

Personal photo projects are a great way to break out of your everyday routine. They get you shooting and learning... and sometimes they gain exposure for your photography, too.

And it doesn’t have to be as complicated as lugging a wedding dress to 19 different countries.

One of my favorite personal projects involved photographing one stranger every day for a month. Another involved photographing myself every day for a month.

Here are a couple of my favorite shots from that project:

These photos didn’t bring in any money. They weren’t destined for a magazine page or a gallery wall. But they were fun.

And the simple act of shooting every day for a month got me excited to keep going. I learned more about my camera, studio lights, isolating on a white background, processing images... and even learned a bit about myself. All through the act of play.

The camera is a tool, but it’s also a toy. Get out and use it. Go play.

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