Bee & Rog Walker: Personal Projects

In the process of selecting the sessions that I wanted to attend at The Rural Workshop, I wanted to ensure that I receive input not only from those specialized in the wedding industry, but also from those proficient in other types of photography. In all honesty, I had never heard of Bee & Rog Walker before this workshop – it didn’t matter, because their work intrigued me. And I loved the fact that they mainly use film and not digital cameras to produce their images.

In the session, they focused on the importance of doing personal work. Not only does it keep us inspired and fulfilled, but it can eventually lead to paid jobs doing exactly what we love. Early on, next to doing paid work, they made time to explore New York City and photograph people that they found interesting and consistently shared the images online. Slowly but surely, they were able to build a following online which led them to be noticed by brands that loved their aesthetic and were eager to have them photograph upcoming campaigns.

They are currently directing Paper Monday, which they described to me as the modern version of the Sunday Paper. On the main page of the website, they write:

Paper Monday is an ongoing visual project. Through PM we use portraiture and visual storytelling to explore identity and produce an expansive collection of authentic stories.

They have found an innovative way to present their work. I absolutely love it!

Often in the beginning, the focus of most creative entrepreneurs is to acquire clients and make a living. For the most of us, once the business is running, we start yearning to do more of what inspires us and break out of the mold that we got ourselves into by serving all types of clients. This transition is never easy and does not happen overnight. I believe that it really is important to pursue personal projects on the side (even if we feel that we don’t have the time) for the sake of our current creative sanity and for the sake of our future creative work.

Bee & Rog Walker demonstrate that it is possible to monetize your personal work and live a life on your own terms. I am so thankful for their openness in sharing their experiences (the good and the bad) with us. I am excited to follow along on their journey…

Food for thought: What sorts of personal project would you like to start pursuing?

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This article really rings true to my heart – It’s so important to leave the time and space for yourself to experiment and create work you are passionate about! I’ve been doing a mini version of this by leaving the last five minutes of each of my sessions as time for me to experiment – that way clients can have the majority of the session getting the images they expect and love, but we can also play around a bit to create some new interesting things together!

I really love taking photos of my dogs. I think at some point I’d like to incorporate more pet portraits into my work so maybe I should start showcasing my dogs more on my social media accounts!

My constant personal project is keeping updated with portraits of my son. It’s an amazing project but certainly a daunting one! I think it’s so important to have personal work though in addition to client work!

Lindsay Zilke

Your post is so inspiring. I have been wanting to get in to film photography, as it is so beautiful and creative. Not that digital is not, but film is just so different. I hope to work towards my goal after my busy season this year!

I have recently completed a personal project and felt such a high and fulfilment that I think I need to do them more often, but sometimes I am paralysed not knowing what sort of project to do. This is a great post!

I love this post. It is so important to follow your heart in what you do for a living. It is perfectly ok to work to support your family in any way possible, but getting the chance to follow your dreams and pursue something greater than a 9-5 can give you is priceless and worth all the effort.

Andrea

Yes, yes, yes to all this! Shooting for yourself is the most rewarding feeling. Refill the cup that drives you! Whenever I’m feeling a bit stagnant I drive up to the mountains and just shoot, it’s such a relief and centers me so I can focus more on my work.

Our blog is our creative outlet. Our day jobs are in finance at tech companies, but our blog is all about creating unique events and fun activities and exotic travels. Being creative is just so important.

I’ve gotten SO bad at doing personal work. I never really pick up my camera any more unless it’s for work. Thanks for this great reminder!