So…I know "New Year's Resolutions" are corny...but we all have aspirations. How’s it going so far?? Time slips away doesn’t it…not to mention that it seems like every year it slips by faster than the one before…
If you find that you’re not accomplishing your goals or advancing your photographic skills as you had hoped, here are 20 ideas to inspire you.
- First and foremost, the act of writing down your goals for the year is good but not enough - get your family / spouse / friends involved so you are somewhat accountable (in a fun way). Even better find a mentor or photo buddy to keep you in inspired and focussed on your photography.
- Create a wish list for camera gear you’d like to own, but don’t get stuck there…appreciate what you have - no matter what you have - even if t’s only a smartphone - it’s still a lot more than others have so get out there and show your gear some love. Enjoy it.
- …that said, if you have a lot of bits and pieces it might be time to take inventory and tidy up your camera bag. Don’t like it, don’t use it - sell it! (or give it to your young niece or nephew who’s a budding photographer and future photo buddy). Less is More!
- You might be surprised how much useful information you’ll find when you explore your camera’s User Manual…True!! You’ll find new features, tips and tools that you never know you had. Can’t even find it? - go online and google it. Download a PDF copy to your computer or better still download it onto your reading device or smartphone so it’s with you on the go. One of the easy peasy New Year's resolutions.
- Challenge your skills and confidence by entering a competition. There are many options and levels you can compete in and you never know - you might just win something. Do a search online for photography competitions and see what you find.
- Check out local photography exhibitions, online galleries and even just google image search and enjoy looking at other photographers work…broaden your awareness of whats possible, and…
- …you’ll benefit greatly if you’re keen to develop your own style. Discover your passion and I guarantee you’ll become even more addicted to taking great photos!
- Your friends and family may not understand your photography addiction and once a while it pays to reconnect with them so learn to leave the camera at home - just every now and then…but…on the other hand, maybe you just don’t take it with you often enough so you might want to…
- …create a habit so you don’t forget to take your camera with you. Nothing is more frustrating than assuming you won’t need it or think it will be an inconvenience to carry, only to end up in the most magical situation that you cannot capture.
- One way to hone your skills is to try something you’ve never done before. Try a different technique or approach. Ever seen a photo and wondered ”wow - how did they do that??”…get some ideas from that exhibition or online gallery/google search.
- Take your editing to the next level…if you don’t edit…OMG…make it a must do this year! Explore some new editing tools. Apps and programs are being updated with new features all the time making them more and more attractive to use. All amazing photos you see are edited - keep up!
- Watermark your work before sharing. NO not the big logo plastered over the centre of the image. Make it nice and subtle and if you can add a watermark to each image individually, do it, it allows you to control the size, colour, position and transparency tastefully so it blends nicely and fits the image. You deserve the bragging rights if you’ve created a great image and you awesome images deserve tasteful branding.
- Where are all your best shots anyway?? There are times when you just know its time to spring clean - admin - yuk. How are your backups by the way?? How are your image files and folders on your computer?? Tidy? Easy to find stuff??…hmmm…book it in…try and have it done by the end of the month…or next month…just not the end of the year! This one would be one of your most responsible New Year's resolutions.
- …Filing nice and tidy now — awesome! Did you revisit some of your old photos? It’s surprising how enjoyable it is and how much better they actually are on second
look than you thought at the time you took them sometimes….hmmm..what now…
- Now this is novel…have you ever thought to print your work! Remember those days - wads of 6x4 images in boxes and empty albums…photos all over the fridge…favourites posted off to Grandma…But don’t just print off a few pics - with a slight effort these days you can create an amazing coffee table book...or if that is too adventurous for you to start with try a calendar…There is nothing like having the tactile visual piece of your work to look at - that’s why I love doing exhibitions - it creates such impact - wow factor!
- If you are wondering what on earth to print, why not start a ‘Personal Project’. It will also help to expand your skills and encourage you to make the time for your photography. It could be a theme of like black and white, or seaside, or textures, or a family event. Or maybe start with the end in mind…work with your home interior and choose 2 or 3 colours to work with and create a series of photos that co-ordinate.
- …Your Personal Project could even be a broad theme like capturing your life. Capture more memories not just to print but for your future and your kids. Do you adore your old family Black and Whites like I do? So will your kids…
- And to ensure your photos are going to be their best…and this one is a broken record…Get off Auto!!!….struggling?…Take a course...nuff said.
- Join a club, group, forum. Share, learn and get good at accepting constructive criticism and contribute back - offer your thoughts to others in the community.
- On overload?…take action...just pick one…now...and go out and have fun.