SoFoBoMo – and then what?
I think it’s easy to forget in the build up to this that it was generally intended as something of an exercise – the fact that you”’re shooting all the images within the space of a single month (or less, depending on how long you need for processing and editing) has a good chance of limiting the quality of photography in it. Or, to avoid the suggestion that 35 great images can’t possibly be taken in a single month which is probably untrue, the focus of the project wasn’t necessarily going to be about the quality of the images themselves. If that were the case, we’d be more likely to be doing SoFoBoYe instead.
Of course everyone has their own motivations and a lot of people are choosing projects that are incredibly well suited to being shot in their entirety within the timeframe of a month. I’m looking at it with my own situation in mind though, where if I was to create a book that I’d want to produce and possibly market in some way, I’d be more concerned with what’s in it and probably want to choose from my archives. But that’s where the beauty of this thing, as an exercise, comes in – because you”’re forced to take a whole new set of images for it, there’s none of that baggage connected to the shots you’ve taken in the past and have a ‘relationship’ with. In some ways, it makes the thing harder, but in others it also gives you a kind of freedom you don’t have when the stakes are higher, and a chance to iron out the technical quirks in a less pressured environment.
So, say the month is over, I’ve shot, edited, processed, page-layouted (?!) and produced a pdf. I’ve learned about the mechanics of putting a book together, basically. The real challenge is to put that experience to good use and produce something that I’ll want to keep, or market, or share. Something that I do think represents me as a photographer, either as a larger portfolio, ‘best of’ type thing, or another project. Now that’s a scary project! Hopefully the SoFoBoMo will take some of the fear out of it though, and I think that’s what it’s for…