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New Year Resolutions for Photographers

New Year Resolutions for Photographers

Written 6 years ago by Lee Milthorpe

It’s that time again when we all start making resolutions for the new year, knowing from past experience that we may as well not bother because within a week we will have already failed.

The thing is, we fail because we set goals that are so ambitious that we can’t possibly achieve them, or we set goals that are just far too vague that we never know where to start.

This year, I want to get better at photography.

That’s the resolution I made last year. Now I’m sure I don’t need to point out what’s wrong with that. Sure, I might have achieved that goal but if I hadn’t been so vague, I’d have probably improved a hell of a lot more!

Let’s get more specific.

This year, I want to get better at landscape photography.

Better? Yes. Perfect? Far from it!

At least we have something to go on now. We know that we need to take the camera outside and learn more about shooting landscapes but there’s still something missing. How do we decide when we’ve achieved the goal? What does getting better actually mean to us?

To give yourself the best chance of sticking to that resolution and succeeding, make it as specific as possible. Make it achievable. Better still, make it easy!

If it’s so simple that you succeed within a week then fantastic. You’ve achieved more than you did the whole of last year.

Have you wasted the year on something so small that it can’t possibly be useful?

Definitely not! When you’ve completed the resolution, set yourself the next small, easy goal. Before you know it, it’ll be December again and you’ll have achieved 52 of those small goals, without once feeling overwhelmed.

And you know what? You’ll be a better photographer than you ever would have been by simply saying this year, I’m going to get better at photography.

My New Year Resolution

I’ve used landscape photography in the example above and that is something I’m aiming to improve on in the new year. Last year, I wanted to improve my photography. That resolution included shooting landscapes but looking back over my photographs from the past year, I don’t have one single landscape shot!

So my first goal is going to be something stupidly easy to get me on my way.

This year, I want to shoot a landscape.

A laughable resolution I know, but I’m feeling confident that I can achieve it.

Another Quick Tip

A great way to help you stick to your resolution is to commit publicly to it. If people know about your goals, they might ask how it’s going and provide an extra incentive to reach them.

Why not make that public commitment right now? Use the comment form below to tell everyone your own resolutions.

I’m interested to see what goals you guys have. Even if they’re not photography related, it’s always good to hear what our readers are up to.

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Comments
Nikki  6 years ago

One of my New Years Resolutions = My first 365 project… a little aprehensive because I know how hard it will be to complete… but determined as well. It will be a picture a day of my son… we’ll see how creative I can get with a 3 year old :) Wish me luck!

Nic Robinson  6 years ago

I am such a newbie at photography. I am still trying to get to grips with my D90. My resolution is to take lots of pictures and to get more out of my camera. Hopefully getting much better and being classed as a photographer.

Lee Milthorpe  6 years ago

Good luck Nikki, that’s a challenge alright!

I’m quite tempted to try a 365 project too but think even a 5 project would be a test too far for me! I just don’t have the patience.

Hey Nic, there’s no better way to improve than getting out there and playing around with the camera.

Lindsey Epps-Tucker  6 years ago

To choose to let my work determine my clients. Not to let my clients determine my work.

My Two Seasons  6 years ago

I have two photography-related goals this year: Complete a Project 365 and 52 Week Project. I tried to do project 365 in 2009 but didn’t do very well. I really enjoyed doing it, I’m not sure why I quit. So this year I want to stick with it! Along the way I want to improve my artistic vision, to look at things in new ways.

Desmond W.  6 years ago

My New Year Resolutions is to shoot more, and to improve my post processing skills.

Nikki  6 years ago

Thanks Lee…It’ll sure be a challenge on my part… Who knows how long I will last, but I’ll do my best. :)

You should give it a go… See how far you can take it and post it here for everyone to see… I’d follow to see your progress.

drec  6 years ago

I’m starting a 365 day project as well. I’ll try different styles and break out of my comfort zones of Landscapes/Seascapes and try more Portraiture and Off Camera Flash. I just want to see how far I can push myself and improve – publicly.

Lee Milthorpe  6 years ago

My Two Seasons, I think a project 52 would be more suitable for me. Good luck keeping up this year. Nice blog by the way!

Desmond, I was watching a video yesterday showing photographs before and after post processing and they looked incredible! That’s definitely something I’d like to improve on!

Nikki, thanks for the suggestion. I might do that, it would definitely give me a reason to keep going.

Good luck with the project drec!

Kim  6 years ago

My New Years Resolutions:
1. Always carry my camera with me
2. Take at least 1 photo a day
3. Learn as much as I can to improve my skills
4. Focus on more food photography and styling
5. be happy
Happy New Years!

Mark  6 years ago

My resolution is to work on my website more and add more things to my site where photographers will be able to interact with each other. – str8photography –

Amit  6 years ago

My new year resolution is to have patience and to be with my camera always. Just loved the topic, thanks.

nick  6 years ago

this is a little different than the other responses, but my goal this year is to better organize all my back up solutions. i went from having a collection of external hard drives to one in addition to a drobo. it’s, obviously, crucial to keep everything backed up properly and my goal this year is to perfect that as much as possible.

Lee Milthorpe  6 years ago

Kim, I have to agree with your number 5. I need to do far more of that this year!

Nick, that’s actually a really good bit of advice. Something else I don’t take enough care with but really should!

dee  6 years ago

i’m going to:

1. try to stick to a project 52
2. blog my work
3. follow the work of inspiring photographers
4. get to know photoshop better…..

thanks for an inspiring post lee!

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Smile for the camera!
Things you shouldn't say to your clients: "First I'll shoot you, then I'll blow you up, then you can go home and hang yourself."