Giving Yourself a Photography Assignment, with Joe Glyda

The goal of a self assignment is to get you out into the world with your camera and to challenge you to see ordinary things in a new way.

Step out of your normal routine and out of doors with Joe Glyda, a commercial photographer best known for his food photography, as he shares a super fun and simple way to think differently about your photography with a self assignment. The goal of a self assignment is to get you out into the world with your camera and to challenge you to see ordinary things in a new way. The assignment can be as simple or complex as you want to make it, but if you follow through you’ll be surprised at the places it will take you and the insights you’ll gain!

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 02:09)

Join Joe in Gibsonton, Florida as he discusses the role of the self assignment in improving your photography.

Lesson 2: Assignment 1: The Alphabet (Duration 07:52)

Self assignments can get you out of your normal style of shooting, they get you seeing ordinary things in different ways, and can take you places you didn't expect. Shooting the alphabet is a very accessible assignment to get you started.

Lesson 3: Assignment 2: Mailboxes (Duration 02:13)

Another important component of the self assignment is to have fun with your photography. Leave the tripod at home, go someplace new, and have fun with the assignment.

Lesson 4: Assignment 3: Dunedin Oranges (Duration 05:44)

Discovering unique or unusual things about a place can also be a good project for a self assignment.

Lesson 5: Assignment 1 Results (Duration 02:59)

Joe reflects on the alphabet assignment while sharing the images he captured in Gibsonton.

Lesson 6: Assignment 2 Results (Duration 04:00)

The mailbox assignment proves to be a unique reflection on the character of a neighborhood.

Lesson 7: Assignment 3 Results (Duration 04:23)

Seeking out and shooting the mysterious painted oranges in Dunedin was not only a visually interesting assignment, but it lead to an interesting discovery about their origins as well.

Meet Your Instructor: Joe Glyda

Joe Glyda is a recognized commercial photographer specializing in food and product photography. Joe retired from Kraft Foods as the manager and primary photographer of their Creative Services department after…


  1. I like the concept and Joe Glyda is fun. I must admit I didn't realise it was a beginner course and was disappointed at first, but it's given me some ideas. I might give this a go, but aim higher than snapshots. I would be interested to see what you get if you try to be as creative as possible with the mailboxes or similar mundane objects. Thanks

  2. What a fun tutorial - I am so glad I watched it. This would encourage any of us to go out and do a self project - he is a happy and excellent photographer with a sense of fun, his tutorial beautifully put together.

  3. I did the alphabet assignment today. Not easy in a foreign country to find nice and special letters where almost everything is displayed in a different alphabet! It pushed me to search and look carefully around me to find the hidden F or Z. Great lesson!

  4. This was really a fun little course. Please do more like this. What I mean is that I think NOT ALL courses have to be in depth all about ISO, gear, f-stops, shutter speeds, etc. Those are all well and good-- and mostly the reason I am a subscriber. But I have to say, little courses like this are kind of a breath of fresh air. It brings the fun back into shooting. Not everything has to be mucho serioso all the time. Thanks for this one that is just plain fun.

  5. Ignore my previous post . . . I found the results of the Self-Assignments. Just had to scroll down a little bit more. Thanks! Really loved the Dunedin Oranges Assignment!

  6. I've seen Joe Glyda's self assignments at several Photoshop World presentations, and I always anticipate a fun and unique experience. This video course is also a great treat. I'm off to Vegas in a couple of weeks with my wife; while she's at a professional conference, I'll be giving myself a few self assignments.

  7. I loved the lesson. In fact, after stopping photography for a few months because of lack of inspiration, I saw your lesson advertised & was intrigued. I am going to do some self-assignments starting today. Living in Tampa there is a lot to chose from. When you were in Gibsonton I was annoyed that you called it Gibsontown, but you corrected it later. The nickname is Gib-town :-). Thanks again for the inspiration. KB

  8. This was a fun idea, and it seemed like Joe had a great time also. I live in a foreign country where we have different views and I think I have some assignment ideas for myself! Thanks Joe!!

  9. Honestly I thought this was going to be one of the lamest (no offense) online training classes BUT it turned out to be very cool and creative. I think these self assignments make you want to get out and just shoot. Glad I watched it and will be coming up with my own self assignments soon.

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