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:  Claudine Williams

To keep my skills sharp and get my creative juices flowing, I do several personal projects each year for my portfolio. This work encompasses my many interests while representing the type of work I’d also like to do professionally. It’s an important practice that allows me to build a narrative – and tell a unique story – from my point of view. I love it.

A few years ago, I photographed a rather elegant woman with her prized Morgan horse but, hindsight being 20/20, I didn’t paint the picture I wanted to paint. There was something missing so I decided to make another attempt at photographing one of these majestic animals. Fortunately, I got a second chance via the goodwill of Sandra Campos, the kind-hearted owner of Sugar Bear Farm in Hudson Valley, New York.

Sandra is a generous soul who created Sugar Bear Farm to “rescue unwanted, mistreated, slaughter bound horses” in the area. And she’s got a long list of professional accomplishments too. Born in Texas, Sandra is a first generation Mexican-American business leader who rose to the ranks of CEO at Diane von Furstenberg’s eponymous company. Currently, she is a CNBC on-air contributor and the founder of Fashion Launchpad.

For this exciting shoot, I was inspired by beautiful glossy magazines like Town & Country and Vanity Fair. My aim was to convey a sense of luxury, balanced with a down-to-earth, realistic feel. A variety of wardrobe options were provided but I made the final clothing decisions to show this amazing woman in the best light. Overall, I was pleased with the results, particularly when considering the natural time limitations that accompany almost any shoot. I see this work as an editorial or commercial story, matching my intentions.

First Assistant: Leslie Horn

Hair and make-up: Priscilla Freire

Stylist: Cleo Urman

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 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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