The Art of the Personal Project: Dana Sabre

- - Personal Project

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Dana Sabre

Personal projects are hard! I’ve been trying to do one for years.  I kept thinking…. what do I care about? Empowering women…. the first thing that came to mind was a project featuring the super badass high achieving women who have defied all odds, shattered glass ceilings… survived cancer.  But what about those of us who haven’t crushed chemo or invented Spanx? I started thinking about doing something more simple. Just something very “every day” and relatable…. more me.

I’m lucky to have a large group of amazingly talented and hilarious female friends and I’m one of three sisters. So I drew inspiration from the stuff we talk about and the things we find funny.  My sister and I have always joked about our “mirror faces” we make when we are trying to get ready and the way we must have our mouths hanging wide open to do our mascara (try to do it with your mouth closed, it’s impossible).

That was the idea. For the execution I had a giant mirror behind me while shooting and I told the models to do the things they would normally do in front of a mirror.  I practiced at home with my own mirror faces and wrote down about 50 different kinds of faces incase we ran out of ideas. I’m pretty sure if anyone had seen me preparing for this shoot they would have thought I was mental.  I also had an excellent team of two hair/makeup people and two wardrobe stylists.

Then I sent the work out in an email blast.  I specifically said in my email that this was a personal project. I didn’t say much else however, just a couple quick sentences. Within about 15 minutes of sending my second round of emails out I got an email back from a creative director who wanted me to bid on a job for Samsung.  He liked that I had my own ideas and wanted to work with someone who could get authentic moments from people. I was awarded the job AND I was able hire a couple of people from my original crew for the shoot, which was awesome.  That’s the long explanation. But to put it simply, the important question is — “what’s your mirror face?”

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram


Suzanne Sease

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