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:  Pat Molnar

Most of our projects are pretty good-sized ad campaigns and image libraries with a big ole pile of people involved. Campaigns that include: agencies, clients, production teams, pre-pro meetings, pre-pre-pro meetings, trucks, motorhomes, castings, mood boards, etc., etc. It’s honestly a wonderful business and I’m honored to work with some of the best people in the world…a lot of whom are my closest friends.

Below are a few images that I have done as an ongoing personal project with families over the past year or 2. These projects are the absolute opposite of an ad project. We find a family….come up with a few very rough ideas a day or 2 before….and go shoot. Normally on these shoot it’s: myself, an assistant or 2, a wardrobe/prop stylist (we normally use the families own clothes) and a hair/mu person. Things are really loose and a whole lot of fun. We aren’t checking things off a list…’s really just playing around and finding what feels right.

The pictures aren’t really about what the subjects are doing….it’s really just finding an honest, human, imperfect moment that we all can relate to. I don’t remember any immaculate, picture perfect moments when I was a kid. The stuff i do remember is little details from pretty obscure moments. Working with kids is pretty cool because they are completely straightforward. They don’t care who you are, what you’ve shot or how big the budget of your last project was. If a 4yr old wants to pretend he’s a tiger for the next 2 hours… damn well better figure out a way to incorporate a tiger into your picture.


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

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.


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