“Become a better photographer” has been on my New Year’s resolution list every year for probably a decade. I guess it’s more of a goal than a resolution. I have made strides toward that dream, but have never really started the year with a “plan” on how to make it happen. Now I have one.
Dale Foshe from Dogwood Photography put together a 52-Week Photography Challenge to help photographers new and old improve their skills. Each week the challenge (now in its fourth year!) encourages photographers to perform a new task. They’re not photography classes, but more projects to get you out in the world and thinking about what you’re taking pictures of.
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Challenges are broken down into one of three categories: Storytelling, Compositional Eye, and Inspiration.
Each week you’re given a new challenge that fits into one of those buckets. You snap a shot and then share it to a Facebook group where other people doing the same challenge can view them and comment on them (and perhaps offer some tips on how they can be improved).
For instance, this week’s challenge is to take a picture that tells us who you are, without showing your face.”
The idea is that over the course of the year you’ll push your own boundaries, think about photography in different ways, and maybe learn a little bit in the process.
You also don’t have to start this week (although that might make things easier). The Facebook group for the challenge, which has over 8,000 members, notes that you can start your week one whenever you’d like “Each of us is on our own journey in this, and you are only competing against yourself.”
If you want to try it out for yourself, you can see the full list of this year’s prompts here. Here’s a little preview of the first 10 weeks to give you a feel for what you’re getting into: