Dogwood Photography 52 Week Photography Challenge 2019

Do you want to be a better photographer? If you are like me then the answer is, yes!

Having the chance to travel around Japan and photograph some truly awe-inspiring locations was truly a pleasure and it is something I hope to continue to do in the future. It was in Japan and shortly after the new year that this article popped up on my Pocket news feed. The challenge itself looked interesting.

The Dogwood Photography 52 Week Photography Challenge is simple. 52 weeks, 52 photos. Each with a unique topic.

Each challenge falls under one of three categories: composition, inspiration, or storytelling.

Composition: In past challenges, we have explored the rules of composition. This year we push the rules even further by using them in specific ways to train your compositional eye.

Inspiration: In this wide-open category, we start with a simple inspiration. Use this inspiration as creatively as you can. There are no rules so feel free to think outside of the box.

Storytelling: Good photographers can take beautiful images of something. Great photographers can tell a story with an image. In this category, you will take a prompt and turn it into a photographic story.

About Dogwood Photography

Dogwood Photography is a “Shoot & Share” Durham, North Carolina photography studio. Shoot & Share is a way of doing business that puts the focus on the client, not print sales. We shoot the images, and we share the images. Simple. Based out of Durham, NC, Dogwood Photography has been photographing weddings in North Carolina for over 7 years. Dogwood Photography is named after both the tree which is the state tree of Missouri where we are originally from, and the flower, which is the state flower of North Carolina. The name Dogwood Photography perfectly captures our journey (source).

The complete challenge list can be found here!

*** This post will be updated each week with my newest submission***

My Gear

I don’t have a fancy camera, all my photographs are taken on the iPhone XR.

Product red makes things faster. Everything “red” is faster.

If I need to take photos at night, I tend to use the Blitzwolf Selfie Stick. Yes, it’s a selfie stick but it’s portable and also backs up as a tripod. It folds down into a manageable compact size, perfect for travelling. 

When completely folded up, the selfie stick is very small. Perfect for travelling.
The selfie stick transforms into a tripod easily. Perfect for impromptu low light shots or long exposures.

Camera Apps

Stock Camera on the iPhone

Halide (allows the iPhone XR to use portrait mode on any object, the stock camera only allows it to be used on human faces. Check out the subreddit based on this camera)

Slow Shutter (for those times you want to take low light shots, blurred motion, or tail lights)

Spectre (from the developers of Halide, I haven’t used it yet but for $2.79 I felt like supporting the developers. It also allows you to remove people and traffic from busy photos!)

Photo Editing Apps

Snapseed (made by Google and it is a powerful free photo editing tool)

Darkroom (some features are locked behind a paywall but for most people, the free tools will be plenty)

The Challenge

Week 1: Story Telling: Self-Portrait

Take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face.

Coffee mug in front of menu
Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 2: Composition: Rule of Thirds Motion

You already know what the rule of thirds is, now is the time to use it. Use Rule of Thirds to show motion in your picture.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 3: Inspiration: Black and White

Your inspiration this week is to simply take an amazing Black and White photograph of any subject you want.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 4: Story Telling: Warmth

Tell a story that makes us feel warm inside.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 5: Composition: Symmetry Landscape

Landscape is one of the most practiced types of photography. Use symmetry in a landscape to create a new viewpoint for this week’s image.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 6: Inspiration: #NoFilter

No limit on what you shoot this week, as long as the image is pure. No filters, presets or other edits. Basic exposure corrections only this week.

Taken on iPhone XR, not edited.

Week 7: Story Telling: Love

Make us feel the love in this week’s photo. Tell a love story in one image.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 8: Composition: Leading Lines

It is easy to use Leading Lines to show depth in an image or guide the eye to a specific spot in the image. Instead, this week use leading lines to show the concept of infinity.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 9: Inspiration: Mood

Your Artistic Inspiration this week is the mood you are feeling today. Take that mood and use it to create art.

COMING SOON! (Challenges do not need to be completed in order, you can go back at any time to complete them). 

Week 10: Storytelling: Hometown

Tell us the story of your hometown. It could be a famous landmark, something the town is known for, or even just your favourite place to relax.


Week 11: Composition: Fill the Frame

Using Fill the Frame is a great way to isolate your subject and create interest in your photo. Can you do it with only one colour in the frame? Fill the Frame with one colour.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.















Week 12: Inspiration: Trash

Trash is your inspiration. Tell a story or create something beautiful.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 13: Story Telling: New Beginnings

Our world is full of circular patterns; as some things end, others begin. Tell us a story of a New Beginning.


Week 14: Composition: Center Frame Portrait

Center Framed composition is a great way to isolate your subject. Use this knowledge to create a portrait that exhibits loneliness.


Week 15: Inspiration: Anonymous

This week’s inspiration is Anonymous. Interpret this how you wish.


Week 16: Story Telling: Shadow

Tell a story. Make it compelling while only using shadow.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 17: Composition: Balance

Balanced composition is pretty straightforward unless you are trying to shoot in the “Accidental Renaissance” style. So shoot a balanced image in the Accidental Renaissance style.


Week 18: Inspiration: Weight or Mass

Heavy as a stone, light as a feather. Find inspiration and shoot an amazing photograph.


Week 19: Story Telling: Aging

Love it or hate it, ageing is something we all experience. So tell us the story of Aging in a single photograph.


Week 20: Composition: Negative Space

Create a powerful landscape using Negative Space.

Taken on iPhone XR, edited with Snapseed.

Week 21: Inspiration: Serenity

What does Serenity mean to you?


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