I live in a classic prewar New York building with a long history. Sadly, the building was a bit neglected for a few decades up until a few years back—just before we moved in—when a new co-op decided to take more control and do a major overhaul.
Fast–forward to today and we have a new roof, new boilers, new elevators, gardens, energy-saving lights, and soon new lobbies! I’ve helped out a bit with the web/graphics part and last year they asked if I’d be interested in taking some photos for the new lobby.
Can’t remember if I said yes or hell yeah!
This brought me to a topic I’ve been thinking about lately: Side Projects.
On one side I’ve listened from a side of the design community where everything is: Charge for everything! Only do work that pays! Don’t work for family! Don’t work for friends! Hustle all the things! Then hustle more! You are not hustling enough! Be like Gary Vee! Become a millionaire! Don’t do work that will bring more of the same work! Why are we yelling??
On the other side there are people like Aaron Draplin, and Chris Coyier, and James White, whose message is more in the lines of: Do work, rinse, and repeat. That’s it. Of course, be smart and learn how to run a business but just do what you love, who cares.
The reason I’m going on about this is because I’m not a professional photographer. I did take some photography classes in college and have been taking photos as a hobby and, like millions of people, share a passion to capture moments the way I want to remember them. But I don’t intend to sell my next photo at Christie’s.
If I would’ve had thought like the first group I could have invested those hours doing something else, something that gets me closer to retiring at 40. But I said yes to the project because it sounded exciting, because I want the place where I live to be better. Because I still learned a lot just by going all over the city capturing places. Because it made me a better photographer and made me understand a bit more about a fascinating world.
Anyhow, the message is: YES take on side projects. Even if they are for your friend or if you don’t expect to get money in return.
This has to be the longest intro for a set of photos. So without further ado here they are:
*Huge thanks to Melissa Strada for putting so much of her own time into this project!