Super-Secret Photo Projects Just for Kids! Back Off, Grownups.
superhero kid

Attention adults:

This week’s Photojojo is for kids. If you know any kids, send it their way.

If you don’t know any kids, you’re out of luck for today. Or you can pretend to be 8 years old and see if that works for you. Either way, no grownups allowed.

Attention kids:

This newsletter is just for you. If you catch any grownups reading it, we give you permission to make them sit in the corner until they’ve learned their lesson.

Just because you’re shorter than adults doesn’t mean you can’t be just as good a photographer as them. In fact, being kid-sized lets you get shots they never could.

Prepare to discover your secret photographic superpowers, small one.

Super-Secret Photo Projects Just For Kids

Photo credit: JPhilipson

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Pay It Forward: Portraits of Other Photographers
family bed

We love hearing from our adoring faithful Photojojo fans. And what we’ve heard lately is that you kids love the photo projects, but you really love the short photo projects.

Good news, everyone! This project will only take you one day.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Find another photographer.
  2. Take a portrait of that person with whatever matters most to them, be it their family, their cat, or their first-edition copy of Molecular Quantum Mechanics.
  3. Give them a copy of their portrait, on one condition:
    they have to do the same for another photographer.

There you go: one day of shooting, and you’ve set the wheels in motion for an ongoing (possibly never-ending) project. Get everyone to post their photos online, and see how long you can keep the project rolling.

We’ve started a special forum thread just for all of you, so let’s see what you’ve got!

Pay It Forward Portrait Project

p.s. Thanks to Joel Weibner for tipping us off about John Michael Cooper’s original Pay It Forward project!

Photo credit: sesame ellis.


   
   
Capturing Life from Dawn to Dusk
Don’t miss our *last* San Francisco Photo Safari this Sunday!
Dawn to Dusk photos

Once a year, a small army of photojournalism majors swarms over Athens County, Ohio, taking photos of everyday life from sunup to sundown.

It’s called the Dawn to Dusk project.

Documenting a whole day in a county sounds like a big, complicated undertaking. But break it down, and you’ve got a project doable for just about anyone.

In fact, you can do this with only as many people as you can count on your hand (even if you don’t have extranumery digits).

Read on for our tips on how to do your own Dawn to Dusk project: where to shoot, who to involve, and how to show off all your hard work.

Capturing Life from Dawn to Dusk

Photo credits: Sam Saccone, Alex Snyder, and Rachel O’Hara.

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Vote With Your Camera: The Polling Place Photo Project
polling place

If you happen to live in the United States, all you’ve heard about lately is the elections. (Chances are you’ve heard a lot about it even if you don’t live here.)

But when you get right down to it, the actual act of voting is so mundane, so taken-for granted, that more than a third of Americans didn’t even bother in 2004.

That’s why we like the New York Times’ Polling Place Photo Project. It elevates the ordinary, bland places where history is made.

Photographing your polling place is a great challenge: it makes you rethink the importance of what goes on there.

We challenge you to cast that church basement or high-school auditorium in heroic light, to raise the sleepy, coffee-deprived people lining up before work onto their proper civic pedestal.

And why stop there? Why not get out and document the process leading up to the election? Photograph the rallies, the clever posters, your friends arguing politics. If there was ever a year for political photography, this is it.

The Polling Place Photo Project

If you’re not in the United States, we’re dying to see how politics work in your country. What do the campaign posters look like? Do you have voter registration cards? Where do you vote? Post your pictures on the Photojojo Forum and tell us all about it!

Submit Photos of Your Country’s Political Process

p.s. New to the neighborhood? Don’t know where your polling place is? Google can tell you where to go.

p.p.s. Don’t forget to enter our Macro-zoom-ography Contest before it ends this Sunday, 10/26! The Nature Photography Contest is still going strong, too: enter here!

p.p.p.s. Some cities/counties/states allow photography in the polling place and some don’t. If yours doesn’t, please respect the rules, and be nice to your polling officer!


   
   
Project 365 in the Neighborhood
Hamilton365_feature.jpg

It’s no secret we love Project 365. We’re a curious bunch, and often it’s the best way to get to know someone (including yourself).

What happens when the logic’s applied to your town? Your neighbors?

Larry Strung knows. He’s taken Project 365 to the streets of his humble hamlet, Hamilton, Ontario. And we love his town.

Each day he photographs (and posts online) a different citizen. It’s like finally getting to meet all your neighbors, one day and one neighbor at a time. The biker who rides at 6 am, the doctor, the farmer, the mayor. Talk about a complete picture of a place.

Take a cue from Strung and hit the pavement while it’s still warm enough to do so. Meet your neighbors from behind your lens.

Larry Strung’s Hamilton365

p.s. Live in New York City or San Francisco? Come out to our awesomely fun photo meetup Wednesday night (organized with our pals at JPG Magazine and Lomography). Read more…


   
   
Scratch-N-See: Vandalize Your Photos in the Name of Art
scratch_feature2.gif

We love Josh Poehlein’s photography portfolios, “Unstill Lives,” and “Ghosts” because they don’t show us everything.

Wait, what? Sure, photography’s all about revelation. But sometimes the best photographs are of the things you can’t see.

Poehlein takes this one step further by taking one step back. Let us explain: he scratches off the emulsion from his prints in order to add another image, often of what you’d imagine would be in the photo but isn’t. A stream of water from a dry showerhead, birds in an empty nest, a giant boat in the distance of a still lake.

The results are even more awesome if you can draw. Which we can’t. Still, we had fun making our own scratch-n-see works of art. And they turned out pretty great, if a little amateur next to Poehlein’s genius. (That’s our monster on Coit Tower, in case you couldn’t tell by the, ahem, difference in skill.)

Scratch-N-See: Vandalize Your Photos in the Name of Art!

(via Taylor McKnight)

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The Photo Chain — a Photo within a Photo within a Photo within…
pictureinpicturepass-feature.jpg

Remember chain letters? They promised riches, luck, love, avoidance of certain death.

Well, we never got those envelopes stuffed with cash or cookies, but hey we’re still alive!

Take that simple idea, add photography, and you’ve got the Photo Chain, a picture of a picture of a picture, all across the world. See where your friends take a piece of you!

It’s easy:

Step 1: Start the chain by taking a picture. Easily recognizable objects work best–think bright colors, big shapes, like a giant statue in the woods, neon yellow daffodils, or your stuffed monkey. Aim for a neutral background in this first photo.

Step 2: Send it to a friend. Email your shot to a pal in Honduras, your grouchpa in Sweden, anybody who’s handy with a camera and printer.

Step 3: Instruct grouchpa to download and print a high quality 4×6.

Step 4: Ask him to take a picture of that 4×6 in front of something in his world (rocking chair? chartreuse refrigerator?). Hands in the photo are cool, just be sure the 4×6 takes front and center so it’s still clear as the chain gets longer.

Step 5: Get grouchpa to send his photo-of-your-photo along to a friend to keep the chain going.

What now? Ask members of your chain gang to send you each picture they take, then frame them in jewel cases or create an online gallery!

Bob Nanna’s Polaroid Picture Chain Video

Play the Picture in Picture Pass in the Photojojo Forum

p.s. Want your photo in the Photojojo Book? It’s easy! We’re looking for dozens of photos. Click here to see what kinds of pictures we need.


   
   
The Secret Lives of Benches
kid on bench
   

Ahhh, your friendly local park bench.

You’ve always suspected it’s up to no good.

Want proof? Tie a disposable camera to it, leave it there for a day, then come back and develop the pictures.

That’s what Jay did, and he got a bunch of pictures of all the friendly people who hung out at his bench that day. Here’s the note he tied to the camera:

Good afternoon,
I attached this camera to the bench so you could take pictures. Seriously. So have fun. I’ll be back later this evening to pick it up.
Love, Jay

Try it for yourself! Get a cheap disposable camera, tie it to a bench with a friendly note, and collect it at the end of the day. Pick a bench in an interesting place that gets a lot of foot traffic, like outside a cafe on a sunny weekend. If you’re shy about taking portraits of strangers, here’s your solution!

Go on, you know you’re curious about that bench now.

The Secret Lives of Benches
Thanks for the tip, Adam!

p.s. Hey. You. You got a mom? Our thoughtful, wonderful, you-were-always-my-favorite custom photo bags are perfect for Mother’s Day. (You didn’t forget, didn’t you?) The order deadline is next Tuesday, April 15th for regular delivery.

p.p.s. If you follow photojojo on twitter, you were first to find out about the video on Flickr, some nifty sunglasses with a camera inside, and a new camera app for the iPhone! Just hit the “Follow” button -> photojojo on twitter


   
   
Throw Gravity Out the Window — The “Dreams of Flying” Photo Series
Dreams of Flying

Our old pal Isaac Newton spent his whole life trying to prove that Up was Up, and Up pressed Down on things that were Down.

Well we’re bucking that now-established wisdom and making Sideways where it’s at.

Jan von Holleben’s photo series, “Dreams of Flying,” cleverly switches Up with Sideways by having neighborhood kids lie on their sides amid props on the ground around them.

We guess von Holleben figured that kids spend most of their time crawling around in the dirt anyway, so why not make the best of it?

Bucking gravity, his photographs recreate wondrous scenes from our childhood dreams – taking us back to a time when our grandest ambitions were to explore jungles, walk the moon, and blaze across the Sahara on doggie-back.

The results are imaginative and brilliant. And, taking a page from von Holleben’s book, we’re now off try this for ourselves! All we need is a ladder, some kids, and a camera… Viva la Sideways!

Jan von Holleben’s “Dreams of Flying” Photo Series

p.s. Try this out along with us! Post your results in this post in the Photojojo Forum, and you may be randomly chosen to win a special prize.

p.p.s. Keen readers may note that Karina blogged this over a year ago. We just loved the idea so much we had to write about it twice!


   
   
Make Your Own Pumpkin Photo Holder — Something for the Linus in Everybody
Pumpkin Photo Holders

Linus is sure somebody to sympathize with.

Brimming with childlike faith and optimism, his belief in the Great Pumpkin never falters — Every year Linus waits to catch a glimpse of the Great Pumpkin on Halloween, but every year he just misses it.

Man, we feel for him.

If pumpkin cheer is a bit elusive in your life right now, too, we’ve found the perfect something to make up for it — DIY Pumpkin Photo Holders. Putting ‘em together couldn’t be simpler:

Step 1: Get a pumpkin
Rescue a gentle gourd from your nearest pumpkin patch, grocery store, or the shady-looking guy on the side of the road.

Step 2: Pound some nails all around
With your trusty hammer, tap small nails in (not quite all the way!) around the top of your pumpkin, about an inch apart. Alternate between the top row and another row slightly below it, to offset your nails – all the way around you go now. Repeat along the bottom of your pumpkin.

Step 3: Thread string in-between
Thread some thin string between your nails to finish things! Try alternating colors – dark on the outside nails, light on the inside ones. Play with patterns. Experiment to see what you like.

Step 4: Insert photos, show off!
Plop your pumpkin in the middle of the table, stick some photos behind the string so they hug the pumpkin, and marvel longingly as you wait for the Great Pumpkin to appear.*

Thanks to reader Camille for this great tip. That’s her photo up above too!

* Disclaimer: Will only appear in the most Sincere of Pumpkin Patches.


   

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