Podcast #84 – Conversation with Mark Robert Halper – Doing Personal Projects

Do you have a personal project you are working on? If not, than this is a good show for you to listen to as I talk with Mark Robert Halper about how to get started putting together a personal project. Mark shares his list of how to make your personal project successful and then we take a look at Mark’s latest project, Sunlight and Water.

  1. Ask yourself – what do you love?
  2. Set aside time and money – and know your limitations.
  3. Come up with a few ideas – brainstorm with a few people for an hour two or three -and do it a few times.
  4. Choose a visual style.  A few consistent elements, but not too many.  Have room to grow.
  5. Keep it possible.  (While the Sunlight and Water work was certainly an investment for me, my other personal projects cost little or nothing at all.  I found the models, and set everything up.  There is nothing keeping you from doing the same thing, except yourself.)
  6. Just plan one set – too many creates too much resistance.
  7. Find your subjects.
  8. Schedule it, just like any other shoot.
  9. Edit and finish.
  10. Look for points of growth.  Where can you improve?  What repeated?  Where can you step off from?
  11. Plan a second set (see 5-8).
  12. Think about big ideas.
  13. Show the work.

Be sure and check out Mark’s Sunlight and Water project at http://sunlightandwater.com

You can find Mark’s website and info about all of his upcoming workshops at: http://studiomark.com/

You can also check out my wedding shot with a Lensbaby at:

Call in to leave a question for future shows at (888) 436-8647

Show Host

Kerry Garrison

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This podcast is also available on iTunes.

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Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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5 Responses

  1. Very enjoyable episode. It's really cool to hear from pros who clearly do what they do for the love of it (even if they have days when they don't feel like doing that corporate head shot). While I enjoy talking gear, I especially enjoyed that this episode was about the love of photography, taking on projects for the sake of improving, and being willing to fail. So many photo podcasts spend lots of time discussing raw vs. jpeg, Lightroom vs. Aperture, Mac vs. PC, Nikon vs. Canon, etc….. Thanks for bringing the human element to the Dojo.

    I enjoy them all, but this one goes in my favorites, right up there with the "zebra butt" episode with Roberto Valenzuela. Many thanks. Mike Kennamer (Manual DSLR Project.blogspot.com)

    • kgarrison says:

      Thank you so much. I never wanted to have a "me too" photo technique show. CameraDojo.com is for the tutorials and how-tos, while the podcast is generally less technique. Sure we do talk technique on many of the shows but I try to make it more at a different level than most. I think the formula works pretty well most of the time.

  2. Rafal says:

    I think Mark is an incredible photographer. He is sure of himself, he cares very little for what others think of his work, he even comes off a little arrogant in his interviews sometimes. But in the end there are Photographs. I think Sunlight and Water is very easily a classic production.

    Way to go, I really enjoyed this episode.

  3. Andy Frazer says:

    This was an interesting interview. Mark had a lot of good points about focusing on personal projects. My only suggestions are, first, I think it ran a bit long. And, second, there was a lot of distracting headset/mic noise, especially towards the middle of the interview. This is especially important when the interview is conducted by phone, and the interviewee is often coming through at a lower audio level.

    Otherwise, very good podcast.

  1. July 23, 2011

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