How I used a personal project to learn a new skill, gain confidence directing behind the camera, and even open a few doors for new work.

So often working in this business you can be more of a tool for someone else’s creative vision than of you own. In order to maintain my creative drive I try my best to jump out of that box with side or what you might call personal projects. For myself, I wouldn’t say the motivation would be to gain more work from these projects but more so to just connect with something inspiring.  If I can learn something new, have fun doing it, and possibly add a new tool in my creative toolbox then I would consider a project successful.

About thirteen years ago I used that out of the box motivation to try and learn something new while creating unique images by photographing animals and compositing them into preconceived scenes within Photoshop. Within a couple years of practice I was able to convert that newly developed skill and confidence into creating unique scenes with people instead of animals. My video discusses the biggest example of all those hours paying off with the cover of Chelsea Handler’s book “Uganda Be Kidding Me”

James created a video about the whole process: click here  Video

James Quantz, Jr work can be seen 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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