Each year, I try to make a little list of the things that I want to be able to achieve during the next 12 months. It helps me focus a little, as lets face it, there is a LOT to learn, do, buy and achieve in photography, that I find it helpful to narrow it down to a Top 10. OK, if I'm honest, I rarely achieve all ten, but it's nice to try! These are my ten goals for the year….
1) Don’t Buy Any More Photography Gear / Actions / Presets etc etc
I have bought a LOT of stuff over the last year; I can officially say I have everything I need right now. There will always be other things I want (Sparkle filter, 35mm lens, off camera flash set up to name but a few. I could go on) but I need to focus on what I have already, rather than spending more money when I am not yet a master of what I own. So, no new gear of ANY description - if I mention I'm going to buy something, then please, I want you to all leave comments telling me to STOP!! This will actually be a hard one as I do love to shop!
2) Take ONE Photography Course
There are tons of photography courses out there, for all different levels, and for all different genres, and some of them are excellent. However, I feel that I am at a point now where I need to simply take more photos, rather than learn. I am going to find an online workshop that deals more with exploring creativity to give me a little push, but that’s it. No breakouts, no books, no other courses.
3) Learn Camera Flash
I got a Speedlite this Christmas, and although I’m not a huge fan of flash (that’s a little bit of personal taste, but in reality more to do with the fact that I can’t rock it like some people can!) I do want to learn the basics for those occasions when light is at a minimum.
4) Complete the Project 52
It is hard to commit to shooting each week, and I know there will be times when I really can’t be bothered, but I am determined to see through my Project 52 for the year! (This is what I'm completing if you haven't heard of it yet)
5) Complete a Photobook for 2013
I think I had this on my list last year (to complete 2012’s!) but I don’t seem to have time to work on the backlog of photos – I had a hard enough job just keeping up to date with 2013 photos. Because of my super duper filing strategy for 2013 (which you can see here), I am hoping to complete the photo book by the end of March. I’m quietly confident on this one!
6) Complete Editing Each Month by the end of the month
I tried this last year and did fail a few months (and I’ve been working through the backlog for most of December) so it’s another goal I’m carrying forward. I want to make sure that by the end of each month, I have all the photos edited and backed up by the end of that month. It really does make life much easer. Again, see the post on my filing system to see how you could set this up if you haven't already done so.
7) Get behind the camera each month
I fail miserably on this one every year. I really would like to get in front of the camera more (it’s my life too!) but it can be such a pain in the behind to get it all set up. So, I adding this as a monthly goal to try and make sure there are at least 12 photos on me in 2014. There are some self portrait tips here if you would like to have the same goal!
8) Create a Portfolio
Brand new in at number 8 is building a portfolio. This really is just for myself, a folder of photos that I consider to be my best work and reflect what I want to achieve. (It's currently empty!) Although I take many, many lifestyle photos, they are for recording my family - I want this to be a folder of those that I feel are more what I hope to achieve artistically. I’m going to try actively setting up photos for my portfolio, rather than just winging it like I normally do.
9) Print more Photos
Considering the amount of photos I take, my home is seriously lacking in prints. I really want to start to print more of these out and have them on show! I just went and bought a heap of frames to fill to get me going (I needed a shopping fix)
10) Improve Knowledge of Light
Light is the key to stunning images. I work quite well in “easy” lighting situations, and I tend to take photos in the same places and at the same times. I want to break out a little from that safety zone and become more proficient at a wider range of lighting scenarios. So you can expect some lighting tutorials this year on the blog!
I should have one more really - aim to get a portrait photo of my son where he is not scowling, holding something up in front of his face, with his eyes shut (deliberately!), or simply holding his hands over his face as in the photo above. We'll see.