Anna Phillips - my history in Personal Photography
Although photography has become a commercial enterprise, I’ve always worked hard to maintain an interest in my own, personal photography projects.
Whether it’s just taking my camera with me on a walk, or capturing my mum’s dogs doing something draft, I think it’s important to maintain a personal interest in photography. Personal photography projects that are done for fun help to keep you connected to why you fell in love with photography in the first place.
After all, playing with cameras for fun was what got me into photography in the first place. Were it not for personal photography projects, I’d likely never have pursued it as a career.
People often ask me “What constitutes personal photography? When you work for yourself, isn’t every shoot a job?”. For me it isn’t, as it very much depends on your mentality.
Personal photography is the stuff you do when you just want to have fun. Sure, every picture has the potential to sell, and every shoot could be the best you’ve ever done. But it pays to be relaxed and comfortable when taking photographs. I often think that many of the successful commercial shoots or projects I’ve been involved with, perhaps wouldn’t have been as successful if I’d been stressed or over cautious.
The key to staying relaxed? Enjoy what you do. It can be hard to do that if you go into every project with a mindset of “this has to be absolutely perfect or it’ll be a failure!”. Personal photography, those little projects that you do just for the sake of it, they are what ensure you keep this healthy mindset.
As you look through my personal photography portfolio, you may find that some of the shots look familiar. I really enjoying photographing the everyday occurrences that we sometimes take for granted. They allow us to capture memories, and associate positive feelings with the little things we see every day.
So that’s really what personal photography is about for me. It’s about keeping you connected with the passion that got you into photography in the first place. It keeps you balanced, but can also improve your approach to commercial jobs massively.