The Art of the Personal Project: Mark Hanson

- - 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:  Mark Hanson

I’ve been a lifestyle/fashion and commercial photographer my whole career, working with National and international clients, my job requires that the shoots I photograph or video, are planned out, stay in budget and are delivered on or before a deadline. But I’ve always enjoyed spontaneously capturing a moment, whether it’s an off guard moment on set, people on the street in another country or during a sporting event, such as football or volleyball. So when my daughters began playing volleyball, I started bringing my camera to all of their matches. At first it was just shooting my daughter when she hit, dug a ball or blocked. After a while those images all started to feel similar, just a different location or color of uniform. Then I started to shoot what was happening off the court and the moments between plays. I also started to experiment with shooting different angles while they were playing and using different focal lengths. I became obsessed with getting different images, getting that exact moment of the block at the net, or the celebration of the team when they got a huge win.

I spent three years shooting my daughters and their teammates at every tournament. Always looking for those shots I wanted but hadn’t had the opportunity to capture just yet. In my work with commercial and fashion clients, I can always control the images and direct the models so I can get the shot I want or the images my clients need, but you can’t stop a volleyball match, go out onto the court and ask the teams to do that again. A block at the net or a massive dig from the back row happen in a fraction of a second, so I have to be able to anticipate what the players are going to do and exactly when things are going to happen, but that’s all part of what makes it fun, that’s the challenge!

My youngest daughter still plays volleyball, so once again, this season; I’ll have my camera with me. I may not be as obsessed with taking pictures of everything that goes on this year, but I know I’ll always be looking for the next shot that will be different or more amazing than anything I’ve shot before. That’s what keeps it fun, and it helps keep me from stressing during those tight matches where they might lose.

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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