September Challenge

December Challenge day #8

In recent challenges I have sent you all out to shoot the challenge, and then stepped back to see what happens. It has been interesting to see those photographers who commit, and keep up, without any constant reminders. Several of you are committed to growing as a photographer, and you do what it takes to achieve growth. Good for you!

Now, I understand that many of us have lives, outside of our photography. Me too! I have wanted to contribute more to the challenges myself. So I’m not trying to criticize those who haven’t been able to completely meet each challenge. You, growing as a photographer is the goal.

Looking back at the almost full year of photo challenges, I am satisfied not just with my own efforts, but with you efforts too.

You started out with your own theme, several of you joining me as I shot B&W, all month long. Then we all shot a portrait-a-day. What a challenge that was, for me. I’m confident that I learned more during that challenge, than all the others combined. We have continued on, shooting a wide variety of themes, each one bringing another layer of talent and skill to our tool chest. It is the portrait challenge that I keep going back to, though.

So, without any more tension…

For the month of September, 2008, we will be shooting a portrait-a-day, again. This time, there will be a prize! For the first time ever, here at, we’re shooting for a prize. I have amassed a team of judges, to assist me with selecting some of the best portraits, shot by you.

These guys will be helping me judge your work, at the conclusion of the Challenge.

Of course, with the addition of a prize, there will be an increased need for you, the participant, to follow the instructions of the challenge. Here they are:

  • Each photo must be shot during the month of September, 2008. As great as your past work is, the purpose of this challenge is for you to plan, organize, and shoot your submissions within the time constraints.
  • Only one shot per day may be submitted. You aren’t being required to shoot every day. But, if you do, you increase your chances of winning. Plus, you’ll grow that much more.
  • In addition to shooting a portrait, each of the four weeks will have a different type of portrait for you to focus on shooting. (The last 3 days of the month will be open to any portrait submission you choose.)
  • You’ll have to be a Flickr user. This makes it so much easier for me to organize the work. If you have issues with this, please contact me directly.
  • You must tag your submissions properly.
    • You may shoot more than you submit. We’d love to see all your work. For these photographs, you can follow the regular procedure. “photochallenge” & “septemberchallenge2008” are all appropriate tags.
    • Of course, you can add the all to the Flickr Group pool.
    • The actual submissions you choose, must be submitted to the Flickr Group pool AND be tagged with, “septemberchallenge2008-submission”.

To quickly close, I recommend you take a look at the Digital Photography School’s recent resource packed post about portrait photography. This post is more than just a good article. It is a resource you’ll probably need to bookmark and go back to, several times.

December Challenge day #17Candice Auer

0 Replies to “September Challenge”

  1. Bob Simmons

    I saw someone else mention doing 1 a week instead of one a day. I think I can do that. Better than nothing right? I started out doing the light sources in July, and got about 6 or 7 and just didn’t get time to do more. Too much stuff going on to shoot daily, and portraits will be more of a challenge. Just a suggestion, but in the off months, why not run a one shot/week challenge. People who are real ambitious can do both, but some people may be more interested in doing just the daily, or just the weekly challenges.

  2. trevor

    @Nathan, That’s great! Welcome to the challenge.

    @Nancy, You have some nice looking portraits on that project. I love personal challenges like that.

  3. Nancy Lehrer

    Well, you have me intrigued on this one. For nearly 2 months I have been shooting Camera Phone Portraits with a 2 MP cam phone. I thought my flickr buddies would tire of them, so I’ve stopped posting many of them. They are a unique aesthetic.
    I have family, friends, colleagues, strangers, posed, unposed. Working in 2MP makes you really concentrate on form and composition, movement and color. Oh, and yes, they are all post processed.

    This is my very best one –

  4. Nathan

    Another Newbie looking for ways to get better. This one sounds like a real challange, something that I have been thinking I would do on my own. Several of my flickr contacts were part of the contests, and came away with stellar results. I am going to take some time to start planning out my plan of attack!

    Thanks for pushing others to get better.

  5. trevor

    @Ann, Yes, we only have a challenge every other month. This allows me and you to rest and shoot more freely. I’ve organized the challenges this way since last year, and it seems to work well. If you’re itching for another challenge, you’re always free to shoot for the 2008 Challenge!

  6. Ann

    I’ve only recently found your website, and look forward to a few portraits for the September challenge, but I’m curious … we went from July to September. Where’s August? or are the challenges only every other month?

  7. trevor

    Well, I’m glad you’ll be joining us, Wolfy! (even if it’s only once a week) Your chances of winning are only limited by the number of photos you submit.

    As far as hints, well, um…keep watching here this week. I’m writing a nice long post that will lay it all out for you. Soon, very soon.

  8. the_wolf_brigade

    I’ve tried very hard to keep up with all the challenges, but my college work has been a major prohibiter, and with my switch to film, even tri-weekly submissions are dependent on me finding time to develop and scan.

    That being said, the portrait a day challenge has definitely been my favourite challenge so far, and has been the one where I learnt a lot. I was recently thinking about how much I enjoy doing portraits but I often find myself lost for inspiration.

    I think that while I won’t be able to manage 1 a day, 1 a week for me would be realistic. While I may not be applicable to the prize, the inspiration I’ll gain from following the challenge will be invaluable. Good choice Trevor to return to such a challenging subject.


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