Working in photo projects has a lot of advantages. The biggest one is focus.
When you have an intention to take specific photos, your mind acts like a filter and alerts you to the things you are searching for.
For example, if you walk through a city with the intention of documenting the lives of interesting characters you meet along the way, your mind will be extra-vigilant for exactly that.
You don’t even have to focus on it consciously. You can relax and take in the scenery. The intention is enough. It puts your mind on autopilot. Just trust it.
Another advantage of shooting in projects is that your individual photos begin to fit together and make sense. They develop what is often called a “narrative”. When someone looks at your photos from a specific project, he or she will notice a story line or a cohesion that provides additional meaning to the pictures.
The cool thing about this is that every viewer gets to make up his or her own story. They invest their own thoughts and emotions into your pictures and personally engage with them. This brings them closer to the images and creates a feeling of value.
This is why people love photo books so much.
To decide on a project, you should ask yourself what you are passionate about. What are you interested in anyway? It doesn’t have to be profound. It could be very banal. It could be cobble stones.
If you are obsessed with cobble stones, you will find a way to make them look interesting. You could put them in context with cars, weather, different kinds of light and, of course, people. This could be a very good project. And as banal as it sounds at first, it could really make people think deeply about something they usually ignore.
And that is the real value of a photo project.