Sometimes we can get so caught up in the hamster wheel of our businesses, that we lose that feeling of inspiration and love for photography that got us started. It is when you can really share that love you have with the world is when things get REALLY good. This is where photography passion projects come into play.

What is a Passion Project?

A passion project is a photo project that you take on because YOU love it. Not because you think you’ll get paid, or because someone asked you. It’s a pull towards a particular type of population, a genre of photography you’ve always want to explore, or a social cause that brings those “you’re on the right track” goosebumps.

How Passion Projects Can Inspire Your Other Photography

A personal project, like any one of these, can really ignite a fire in your photography, and potentially on social media as well. Our goal is to get others excited and inspired by what you do, and get them thinking of their own ideas! It doesn’t have to be a photography project necessarily, the goal is to spread the word of helping others.

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But What if I Don’t Have a Passion?

When we get to the core of our soul, what inspires us and what makes us feel connected to the rest of the world, that can leave traces in our other work…that is what other people call “passion.”

Now, this exploration may take some work. You may need to dive into many different types of photography until you land on something that feels right. This can take weeks or YEARS.

There is no timeline, so please, don’t ever feel defeated if you haven’t found your “passion” yet. Follow your curiosity, step by step, the flow, and if your interests change weekly…THAT IS OK.

I highly suggest listening to Elizabeth Gilbert, who will make you feel a HECK of a lot better if you haven’t found your “passion.” (Tip: Listen to the whole 9:56 minutes, I promise it’s worth it.)

The trick is to just follow your small moments of curiosity. It doesn’t take a massive effort. Just turn your head an inch. Pause for an instant. Respond to what has caught your attention. Look into it a bit. Is there something there for you? A piece of information?

For me, a lifetime devoted to creativity is nothing but a scavenger hunt — where each successive clue is another tiny little hit of curiosity. Pick each one up, unfold it, see where it leads you next.

-Elizabeth Gilbert
mother and daughter

Sharing Your Creativity Has Ripples

When you find the “thing” that feels more like a RESPONSIBILITY to the world, you may have nailed it.

Let’s chat about this for a second to explain this a bit better.

I love horse riding! It makes me SO happy, I can connect with my sweet horse, clear my mind, and forget about the world for a few hours a day…it’s GLORIOUS. But it doesn’t feel like a responsibility.

When I take photos, connect with families, capture moments of genuine love and connection, and then deliver those moments…it feels like my RESPONSIBILITY. Are there a million other photographers in the world? Obviously…and MANY more talented ones. But it is my heart’s mission to deliver those moments. To my friends, to paying clients, to strangers, etc.

I simply feel like it is my duty, and THAT is when you know you’ve found a “passion” worth pursuing. It’s almost as if your heart is not really giving you a choice.

That responsibility turns into a mission, which turns into you making the world a better place! Not bad!

Giving Back to the Community

You can incorporate your community AND your passion project. For example, for every regular portrait session, you agree to donate $25 to an orphanage in Rwanda.

Or for every wedding, you “gift” the bride and groom a certificate that they funded a year’s worth of food for a dog or cat at your local shelter. Think of the endless good a photo session can do for your local community!

Passion Project Ideas

two zebras
  • Environmental conservation: You could find an NGO and take photos of native plants and give the photos away to help raise money for conservation.
  • Travel: You can travel and find little “hidden gems” all over the world and promote local businesses.
  • Architecture: You can inspire kids to pursue architecture through your photography.
  • Special needs children/adults: You can create a project that highlights the amazing things that special needs families conquer daily!
  • Nursing homes/elderly: You can donate your time to taking photos of the elderly and give joy to their families.
  • Fashion: Promote local artists!
  • A local pet adoption agency: Donate your time to taking professional photos of pets to help get them adopted by loving families!

Check out our recent Find Your Focus Podcast episode on passion projects with KT Merry!

Share Your Love,

A fellow hummingbird