The past 12 months or so just happened to be all about projects. I love how they keep me accountable for documenting all the important stuff happening around me. I really just wanted to give up the desperate feeling of where my next client was coming from and whether they like my style and to just shoot for myself. I tell you it has been so freeing and so much growth has happened in doing so.
My husband announced 16 months ago that he was going to finally enter in the Australian Nationals for track cycling. He’s talked about doing this for years, but you know starting a family can be very time consuming and life just gets in the way.
For most of his life track racing has been his passion. I knew this was so important to him and that this is such a huge part of who he is.
It started back when he was just a child with his Grandpa who used to race. So, when he announced he was going to enter, we talked about documenting his journey. It gives me such pleasure to be the family historian and documenting such important milestones in our lives.
When he’s old and not riding anymore, we’ll have pictures about this incredible journey to share with family and friends.
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Being together for 10 years, I knew his process of getting ready for the summer carnivals, but this time he was starting his training way earlier and it was going to be a lot more intense.
We talked a little about his training plan and I mapped out what I wanted to capture. With it being such a long time frame, I didn’t need to go out to the shed with him every night and take pictures, but whenever he changed his activity I’d head out and document him.
The beginning was a lot of training in the shed and at the track. He’d let me know when a good time was to come with him.
During the local summer carnival season, we’ve always toured around with him. To make a point of documenting him was fun and, as an added bonus, the kids would have a reminder of what Christmas holidays were like cheering dad on as he races. It’s something we do every year. Who knows maybe one of our children will follow in his foot steps if these pictures give them inspiration to do so.
There were a few things that I wish I’d documented, like getting his coach (who he hired towards the end). I don’t know why I never did this. It was kind of an after thought, but how silly. I also didn’t get the chance to attend the Nationals. It just wasn’t possible for us as a family.
I’m planning on putting all the images in an album for him. What I love most about the finishing product is that we have such a wonderful story to share with the kids. What a great example of putting your mind towards a goal and coming out a champion at the end.
For anyone thinking about taking on a long-term project (and you’re just not good at sticking to a 365 project like me), I’d highly recommend it! Especially if you’re looking for a way to reignite that creative fire. It’s such a satisfying experience, it keeps my passion and love for the craft alive.
Projects are a great way to have fun, relax and grow creatively while being more open to trying new angles and sometimes unexpected places and outcomes.
Find the time to start mapping out those ideas swimming around in your head.
- Start with the 5 W’s, who, what, where, when and why. Marie has a great storyteller’s challenge for this. This challenge is what got me hooked on documenting and finding ideas for my personal projects.
- Think about all the important people in your life and look back over your images. Who is missing the most? Once you identify this, start with them. Explore what’s interesting about them and what their passion is.
- Write everything down, studies show that by doing this you’re more than likely to accomplish your goals. Have a plan but also be open to the unexpected and change.
- Tell people what you’re doing and share your passions, you never know what might come from it.
- Go out and start shooting.
Writing and photography from Meghann Maguire.
About Meghann Maguire: I’m a documentary photographer from Tasmania, Australia. I’m a mother of 3 little rat bags and they are the reason I fell in love with photography. I’m a sentimental at heart desperately hanging on to the everyday crazy’s. I crave to capture the things that love: connection, and laughter we share with our loved ones. It’s not just the milestones that are important. Families grow, evolve and changes daily, which is a beautiful thing and is hard to find in a selfie or staged photo. In documentary photography, the most beautiful moment is the moment of truth.