Why I Participate in Photo Challenges

water balloon fight

I’ve fancied myself a pretty good amateur photographer for a couple of years. I have the gear I need and I love taking photos. Sometimes I have plenty of reasons to do so, but then other times I go for long stretches without an excuse to feed my inner shutterbug.

Photo challenges are a great way to force myself to get out and take new photos. I look at other photographers’ work to be inspired to make better photos. The bonus is by participating in a couple of Facebook groups, I also  see a glimpse of people’s lives from around the world.

Heron at Delta Ponds
365 (+1) Days in Nature Weekly Theme: Greenery

365 (+1) Days in Nature (Facebook) is exactly what you might expect. Nature photos. In fact, the group rules say that your photos should have few (if any) man made elements. There’s a weekly theme, photos are generally very high quality and the participants are from all over the world.

playing in smoke bomb smoke
Photo 365 Prompt: Never a Dull Moment

365 Photo (Facebook) is probably my favorite group. Like many photo challenges, there’s a new list published each month with a prompt a day. The quality of photos varies from very amateur or professional. The moderators choose a set of “top shots” for each prompt, which is a nice recognition for a good photo.

FMS Photo a Day (Facebook & Instagram) is the first photo challenge I participated in on Instagram. I found Instagram to feel less like a community than the Facebook group, but both lists use the same list. Photos vary widely with the top picks for each day’s theme typically very high quality. But  scroll through the feed and you’ll find plenty of snapshots in the mix, too.

ClickinMoms (Instagram) is pretty kid-focused, but even if you’re not a mom, you may have young siblings or spend time with kids in your life. I love the photos the feed features; I get so many great ideas for photo composition and editing with my own kids. There’s a monthly prompt/theme list.

It’s My Week (Instagram) is a new one to me, but I love the way the moderators showcase the theme and the photos. Each week has a new theme and the featured photos are lifestyle/editorial in style (not obviously staged or posed).

FMS Photo a Day Prompt: Blue
FMS Photo a Day Prompt: Blue

Or, if you don’t want to be bound by someone else’s theme, you can try a photo challenge that gives you a little more flexibility. Two that I’ve seen on Instagram are:  #100HappyDays and the #365Project.

What do you think? How do you keep your creative muscles active?

 

Random Bits of Me

Nedra Weinreich tagged me to give you eight random facts about myself.

1. I have spent two of the last three new year’s eves in Las Vegas on the Strip. I go with my Dad and we skip fancy clubs and just people watch. It’s a blast. (photo of dad and me to left from last year’s trip)

2. I have a somewhat-surprising Brazilian connection in my life. My grad school roommate is from Salvador in northern Brazil. Also, during the 2005-2006 school year, my partner and I hosted Marilia, a senior high school exchange student from just outside Sao Paulo. Beijos!

3. I have two big dogs – a Rottweiler named Otto and a Greyhound named Jake. Otto was abandoned on the steps of my parents’ church as a puppy and my partner Mike and I adopted him. Jake was a racing Greyhound who raced once, came in last, then went up for adoption. Both are 5 years old this fall.

4. I love office supplies. Love them. I can’t go into Office Max or any supply store without leaving with a new pen, maybe a notebook… My favorite right now is the TUL pen.

5. I’m the oldest of seven kids, plus a foster sister. Five girls and three boys ranging in age from 32 to 20. Five of us live in Eugene, Oregon. One lives in Las Vegas, one in San Francisco and one in San Diego. Four are married, and three of us have kids (all boys).

6. I have a little, um… caffeine addiction. I am a sugar free vanilla nonfat latte girl through and through. If you need to bribe me, that’s the only payment required.

7. I went to 17 different schools between kindergarten and 12th grade. My dad worked the construction trade (welder) in the 1980s and rather than go work union jobs for months without his family, we all went along. I’ve lived in Texas, Idaho, California, Washington, Wyoming and Oregon.

8. As a follow on to point 7, once we settled down, I was in 7th grade and my dad spent 20 years as the senior pastor of a local church. So, yes, I’m a PK and yes, everything they say about PKs is true. Wanna see my tattoos?

I tag eight more people: Stu Holdren, Leona Laurie, Shelley Ivey, Karen Russell, Robert French, Paull Young, Kami Huyse, and I can’t think of an 8th. If you want to answer, consider yourself tagged. I need to get more friends (who blog). 🙂

Related Posts with Thumbnails