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: Fred Greaves

I was invited to tour The Abalone Farm facility in Cayucos, California, with some marine scientists that were headed to look at the facility months after it had been shut down. The owners of the property were hoping to find a group (or groups) who would be interested in taking it over and restoring it to become a research or conservation facility.

Abalone, as a species, has struggled to survive on the west coast due to a number of different challenges, the main ones being disease, overfishing, and a serious decline of the kelp forests where they feed.

These researchers saw the potential for the facility, but also wanted to see first hand what it would take logistically and financially to make it viable again.

Having previously photographed smaller abalone research/restoration programs at the university level, I was really excited to see this giant facility and also, hopefully, to be able to tell the story of a massive commercial abalone farm that is dusted off again to help restore one of California’s hardest hit marine invertebrates.

This work was all shot in early March 2020. At the time I imagined it would be the beginning of the story showing the transformation of this facility. But, like just about everyone, I was blindsided by the changes that COVID-19 was going to bring to just about everything, including most of the momentum on the restoration of the abalone farm.

So nearly a year later, it is still not clear if this is going to be chapter one of a bigger story or nothing more than a photographic obituary of what could have been.

Fred Greaves is a commercial and editorial photographer, specializing in traditional visual storytelling, based in Sacramento, CA.

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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