Saturday, February 28, 2009

gotta get my creative juices flowing

A really close friend of mine (Seth Gooby @ is currently involved with this project called the RPM Challenge. On the most basic level it is a challenge to musicians around the world to put together an album of all new material during the month of February. He's doing this with his band Breakfast Song (which is a duo between himself and his girlfriend Isis).

This is the third year Seth has been involved in the challenge. I've always admired the way he's been able to jumpstart his creativity through this month-long record making process. I've been struggling lately with trying to figure out what I want to shoot, and have been trying to come up with concepts and things to make images for, but I've been only half heartedly doing it.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a post at the Online Photographer blog about a very similar challenge for photographers. It's called the SoFoBoMo (Solo Photo Book Month) and it's an open group event where photographers from around the world spend about a month (31 consecutive days) putting together a photo book of their own images. The rules state that you should include at least 35 images, all of which need to be shot during the "fuzzy month" that the challenge is happening in.  

Here's a little spiel from the website:

SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month - a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish, in 31 days, at more or less the same time. It's modeled loosely on NaNoWriMo, where participating writers all write novels in a month, and NaSoAlMo, where musicians write and record solo albums in a month.

So far 168 people have signed up for SoFoBoMo '09. View a list of all SoFoBoMo '09 participants

For SoFoBoMo, the goal is to make the photos, write any needed text, layout the book, and produce a PDF image of the book, all in 31 days. Rather than confining it to a single calendar month, we use a 'fuzzy month', where you can pick any contiguous 31 day period inside a two month window - this makes it a bit more flexible and encourages broader participation.

Sounds like a pretty sweet concept, right?

So between May 1st and June 30th of this year I will be putting together a photo book. Given the time constraint I think I'll rely on the trusty digital camera for this one instead of film, but I am toying with the idea of only using images taken through my 50mm lens. I think constraining myself with that might help me actually piece something together.

I'm encouraging any of you photogs out there to join in on the fun. Just visit for more info and start thinking about a subject for you book! I'll plan to post up a progress report of sorts on here from time to time.


C. Wade said...

Matt! I have been planning on doing SoFoBoMo too!

It should be really gratifying to focus on one project for a month. I can't wait!

Karen J Montalvo said...

I saw the link to your blog on Heidi G's 'running like a girl' blog and what FATE!!
I'm a photographer in San Antonio, TX and I've been looking for a project to jump start my creativity too.
I'm thinking of doing a portrait of someone different every day. Should be easy... until I run out of friends to use. Then I'll have to start grabbing strangers off the street and going out of my comfort zone :)
Thanks for blogging about this.


Shari said...

Thanks for the link! I've been looking for a project for the "year", but this may be the one I've been looking for!

Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

Wow, and grrr... That sounds like such a neat idea, and takes place pretty much when rafting season is just ramping into full-swing again. I think that would be too much photo-food for my plate, but... I certainly am glad to hear you're doing it! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :) Please do give me a nudge/update when you finish. Do they do this every year?

Julie Magers Soulen said...

Thanks for the link! My daughter has done Nanowrimo for the last 4 years. She inspires me to try this challenge to photographers!