I did, at the beginning of this year, join a Facebook group for pet photography. Pet Photography Challenge issues a new challenge (or theme) each week. You take a photo that fits the challenge/theme, and post it into that week's album. The world doesn't end if you don't get around to it that week. You can use an old photo if you want (I personally consider that cheating for myself, but it is totally allowed in the group).
And bonus, at the end of each week, group members "vote" for their favorite of the photos with facebook likes. The "winning" photo gets used for the next week as the banner/header photo for the group. It is a bit of R+ training for everyone, a bit of a reward.
So far, I've gotten two photos chosen at the end of a challenge and used as the group's header.
|Week 3 Depth of Field challenge winner|
|Week 5 Bokeh Winner|
I will admit that I haven't gotten a photo posted for every challenge. A few weeks, the motivation just wasn't there. On others, the end of the week arrived way before I was ready for it, and it just didn't happen. I did Week 1, backlighting, but with a photo I wasn't totally thrilled about. I missed Week 2, Rule of Thirds, because I just didn't get motivated. Week 4's challenge was From A Lower Perspective, and I had a perfect idea and awesome plan, and I just didn't get it done. It just didn't happen. But honestly, it is fine, because no one scolds you for not participating.
I am enjoying the group a lot. Even the weeks where I don't get a picture up, I am finding the prompts fun, something that gives me different ideas about what to try and what to work on with my photography.
This week (Week 6), the challenge is Window To the Soul. This is the picture I submitted:
|Koira is super soulful.|
Everyone is welcome to join the group. Even if your only camera is a phone, you can get some decent pictures and work on ways to improve your technique. The camera doesn't make the photographer (though it helps in some situations). Knowing good technique, good framing, good composition, all of that helps more than any camera possibly can. Many horrible photos have been taken with thousand+ dollar cameras!