The Personal Project as the Professional Tool

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When anyone can claim to be a photographer, differentiating yourself as a professional is harder than ever. A social media presence and a website (or two) are required just to keep up. The best way to separate yourself from the crowd is to develop, promote, and disseminate a personal project. Each project is unique to the individual, but successful projects that carry over from the personal to the professional realm showcase the photographer’s skills and help end-users know the photographer’s personality.

David H. Wells takes you through the evolution of his project, “Foreclosed Dreams.” He started with a vague idea and ended up with a body of work that has been featured in numerous publications, exhibitions, and website profiles, including the N.Y. Times "Lensblog" and the ABC News website. He has also profited financially from the project while using it to acquire more work.

Wells worked to make sure his projects dovetailed with larger political and cultural themes, ensuring wide dissemination of the work. Though Wells will talks specifically about his “Foreclosed Dreams” project, from the start to the present, he draws on his decades of experience working as a self-employed photographer to share his larger strategies for developing and disseminating the all-important personal project.