The Self-assignment “Gig”

I was talking a few days back about self-assignments and how those could fit in a Professional Photographer schedule. Monday I had a bit of free time on an awesome day here in the beautiful San Diego. I thought it’s the best opportunity to fill the void with a self-assignment. So, here it comes… Since my young son’s first birthday is approaching quickly and we decided to host the party at a neighborhood park, which park fits the best for the task? And what’s the best way to assess this particular situation other than visiting the place and taking a few shots?

The Photo Self-Assignment

Firstly, what’s a self-assignment? I think it’s self-explanatory… a self-assignment is an assignment or a job which has no paying customer, but it’s the decision of the photographer to perform it.
In this case, my self-assignment sounded like this: go and shoot 5 neighborhood parks close to your home. Resulting photos have to reflect the resources and amenities present over there. I started by scouting on Google maps and ended up with a list of the parks I like to visit.

The Shooting…

All went well, I was not apprehended by anyone with an “it’s not allowed to shoot pictures here” kind of things. I was smiling at people, people where waiving back. Etc. Just in case, I had a few business cards with me, if someone asks me what I do here and why I shot, usually a business card with a “I’m a photographer” calms everybody down. I have business cards with me all the time, you never know who do you bump into. Gear? Camera with a 24-105 lens on it and my phone running Geotag Photos Lite in my pocket. I really like to geotag this kind of shot to reference and catalog the files better.

The Result

I ended up with about 120 pictures from 5 parks. Spent about 3h and a half to complete this assignment and I was pretty tired when I got home. Maybe it was the sun :) I had a blast doing this and I should come up with such self assignments more often.