On Assignment: Many Different Photos

by | Dec 3, 2021 | Assignments | 0 comments

It’s the last photo assignment of 2021! A good time to step back and make sure all your photos from the year are well organized. And we have the perfect assignment for it: Many Different Photos!

Like normal, I made a demonstration video for this assignment. But unlike normal, it’s a membership-exclusive demonstration video this time.

Finding 14 different, specific photos for a publisher can seem like a daunting task, but if your portfolio is well-organized, you already have a significant headstart. Is your portfolio structured in such a way that you can go in and find the exact photos that you're looking for? If not, this is a great time of year to learn how to get organized, and that's what this month's video is all about!

Thankfully, you don’t have to watch it to successfully fulfil the assignment (since all the details are outlined clearly on the assignment details page), but you members can enjoy watching it especially if you don’t already have an organization system that you like!

Many Different Photos (play)

Since this assignment is basically a scavenger hunt for 14 different subjects, it did take me some time to search for them in my portfolio. As you can see in the video, I’m definitely not perfectly organized, but it was nice to know that I was organized enough that it didn’t take me more than a couple of hours to find something for 12 of the 14 subjects.

Before showing them to you, there was one thing I didn’t mention in the video that I thought would be helpful to add: how I prevent a backlog of disorganized photos. This is what I do. At the very beginning of every month, I allot a specific amount of time on my calendar to verify that the previous month’s folder of photos is finished being organized. Not necessarily edited. Just organized: the folder structure is correct, all the photos are moved into their proper folders, folder names are descriptively named, and location metadata has been added to all the photos. Though these are things that I should be doing normally after every shoot throughout each month, sometimes I just don’t have time to do it. This designated time at the beginning of each month ensures that I don’t ever get behind more than 1 month. I’ve been doing it this way for the past year, and it has worked well, even though the crazy busyness of convention season.

But side notes aside, here are the 12 photos I found in my portfolio for the 14 subjects! Hope the included notes on how I found each one is helpful too.

1. Wheat Field

You watched me find this one. The folder it was in was “Kansas Wheat Field”, so searching everything in Lightroom for “wheat” brought it up. I have precious few pictures of wheat fields: that’s why I made sure to stop and take some pictures when I found myself driving through wheat fields in Kansas earlier this year.

210628_James Staddon_9960 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 1-125 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

2. Broken Loaf of Bread With Bible

You watched me look for this one too. I know I have nothing of the sort in my portfolio. That means this one would go on my list of things to photograph before the assignment deadline.

3. Sea Shore

The one photo I found in the demonstration video didn’t have the feeling of a sea shore that Jesus would have broken loaves beside in Israel. So, I decided instead to submit this one that I thought had a more “deserty” feeling. This is a photo I had already keyworded for stock, so it was right there in the search results for “shore”.

Wafts of Wind

4. Close-Up Pages of Bible

As you know, I had the hardest time finding this one! Renaming the folder has now made finding this one again much easier.

171110_James Staddon_1737 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 58 mm, 1-2500 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

5. An Animal Coming to the Water to Drink

I searched “drink”, “thirst”, and “birdbath” with no success. I then proceeded to search “bird” and slowly scroll through all my photos of birds. When I saw this one, taken in the front yard who knows how long ago, I thought, “Perfect! That fits with ‘My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word’ pretty well.”

120719_James Staddon_4313 Canon EOS 40D, 200 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 5.0, ISO 200

6. Bright Sunlight Bursting Through Clouds or Foliage

I searched “sun burst” and this was one that came up even though the folder it’s in was named “sunrise at sea”.  It was keyworded with “sun” and “burst”. Not sure how it got those keywords. I think it was because I added those keywords when I was doing a project with this photo in the past. It’s kind of an oldie I use a lot. Probably because sunbursts are very conceptual. Having so few has inspired me to look for and take more pictures of sunbursts to add to my portfolio!

120503_James Staddon_1880 Canon EOS 40D, 121 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 14, ISO 200

7. Darkening Landscape

There’s a lot of room for interpretation for this one. I searched for a couple things and saw some options among a lot of random sunrises or sunsets. But then I thought to search everything for “moon”. This photo, taken in 2006 (from the front yard again), came up and it seemed to fit the bill very well.

One morning when I woke up, the moon was just over the rising sun. It was increadably dark, but a long exposure made a picture possible. It was fun taking pictures of the moon afterward.

8. Sunbeams Over a Landscape

Sunbeams (and sunbursts and sunrays) are good things to have a lot of in a portfolio. From the get-go, I knew this photo taken in California was the one I wanted to submit. It was just a matter of finding it which was easy since it’s like one of my favorite photos.

Light Over Darkness

9. Rainbow

Wasn’t hard to find something for this. Who doesn’t take pictures of rainbows and not put them in a folder with the word “rainbow” in it? I needed to do a bit of editing on this photo. It was in a similar situation as my Wheat Field photo.

120929_James Staddon_8857 Canon EOS 40D, 55 mm, 1-10 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 200

10. Something Colorful in Nature

Of course I could submit photos of flowers. But I wanted something special. I searched “bird” to see if I had anything taken at a zoo. There wasn’t much, so I searched “aquarium”. And that found all sorts of great pictures from random field trips I’ve been on with the family.

140412_James Staddon_9747 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 55 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 1600

11. A Cross

I was surprised at how scarce pictures of crosses were in my portfolio! There were things and places that had to do with “crossing” but not really anything that had to do with the “cross” of Calvary. I looked and looked to no avail. Even if I had pictures of crosses, they wouldn’t be in folders that had “cross” in them most likely. Then came this memory of photographing the following photo. If it was a cross at all, it was in a stone wall at a cemetery entrance very close to the Pittsburg airport. So I searched “airport” and found the photos I had taken of the planes taking off at that spot. Sure enough, in the same folder of airplanes were all these pictures of the stone wall with a cross in it! I went ahead and keyworded this photo with “cross”, “Jesus”, and “Calvary” so I could find it easier next time by searching any of those words.

190211_James Staddon_136447 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 200 mm, 1-250 sec at f - 4.5, ISO 200

12. Bread

A photoshoot I did in 2013 of David’s homemade rolls came up when I searched “bread”. Not sure if it looks too much like the kind of bread Jesus would break in His day, but hey, at least it is an artistic-looking photo.

130607_James Staddon_9758 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 75 mm, 0.3 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 100

13. A Broken Rope, Chain, or Handcuff

The only “broken” thing I could find in my portfolio was a UV filter! I have absolutely nothing of this subject. It’ll have to go on my assignment shot list!

14. A Peaceful Landscape

After shooting January’s photo assignment, coming up with this one wasn’t hard at all.

140817_James Staddon_0111 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 23 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

Now It’s Your Turn!

I certainly don’t expect you to have all these 14 subjects in your portfolio. Some of them are pretty specific. And you certainly don’t have to feel like you have to submit 1 photo for all 14 subjects. But it doesn’t hurt to try! You might be surprised at what you unearth. And there’s always the option to add these subjects to your portfolio by going and photographing them afresh! At any rate, have fun organizing your portfolio and shooting for this month’s photo assignment, Many Different Photos!

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