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:  Shaun Fenn

I shoot personal work throughout the year around commercial assignments. Sometimes you just do self-assigned projects to feed the soul.

I grew up surfing around Mexico. It’s a place that is close to the heart for me. Recently traveled around the Baja Peninsula searching out and casting Mariachi band members. With an assistant and an outdoor studio, we focused on creating a series around the wonder of the Mariachi tradition.

I am a huge fan of Spanish culture, the food, the history, the people, and the traditions. This project allowed me to work on a project I have had on my list for a long time. Many years ago, while in NY for work I sought out an artist to paint a backdrop for me knowing I would eventually run out of excuses to take on the project and just go do it.

An opportunity came up when Marianne Campbell (my rep) was putting together a project including all her photographers. I needed to shoot something for it to be included, but I wanted it to be unique.

Normally I shoot in an editorial or story telling fashion where I’m immersing myself in the story I want to convey. Here I just focused purely on portraiture and the beautiful people performing their passion. I wanted to convey the commitment and joy around this tradition. The color palette chosen was based on my experience with the subject matter. To me it had to be warm, romantic and include the authentic elements. It’s hard to listen to this music and not be moved. I hope I have captured that in beautiful and respectful way.

The musicians were happy to be performing as they also have been affected by 18 months of lock down due to the pandemic. It was such a joy to be serenaded for several days. It was really a magical experience.

To see a video on this project click here

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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