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New Year Resolutions for the Photographer

January 7, 2010

“I am clutching my 5DMKII and literally buzzing inside, thinking about the photographic potential of the new year. The possibilities are endless. Now, I just have to commit the time and passion required to become a great photographer.”

~Lisa Bettany

What are your photography related resolutions for the new year? I know some of mine!

I know I am getting a post out on this topic a little late but the new year is has been a whirl wind! It is the 7th of January where I am and I feel like the last week has been a year!  My post is spurred by a post on the same topic as Lisa Bettany of MostlyLisa.com. Ms. Bettany is a former Ice Skater and Model who has become a word class photographer in the past few years. Here are some of Lisa’s resolutions:

1. I will learn how to use my camera.

This seems like an obvious point, but we are all guilty of skipping our camera manual and just fiddling with settings…

4. I will not be hindered by the gear I do not have.

You can take great shots with any camera. From an iPhone to a $20 Holga to cheap point and shoot to a 1DMKIII. Don’t let your lack of gear limit you, but rather let it open up new possibilities to be creative…

6. I will learn how to process my shots

No shot comes straight out of the camera perfect. Every shot needs a little bit of processing TLC to take it to the next level.

9. I will set goals and be proactive about my photography career.

10. I will connect with other photographers

Lisa has ten in total but there is nothing special about that number. The key is she has looked at her photography and assessed what she needs to do in over the next 361 days! From the simple task of learning to use her camera, which is highly advanced and a very detailed, to challenging the physiological block we all have of “I don’t have that kind of lens!” or “I can’t afford a flash!” she has considered how to further her photography. For example, when she thinks she does not have the right gear her response will be, “be creative.” For example, If you do not have a flash learn to use light panels to give you a little extra light. Furthermore, learn to use the settings available for your on camera flash or figure out how to use the desk lamp on your desk as a light source. Check out DIYPhotography.com and make your own light source. Essentially learn how to use light, not a flash but just light whatever the source, and creativity will follow. Lastly, each of Lisa’s resolutions show thought about why she is committing to them and reasonable ways of accomplishing them. 

As I mentioned I have a few of my own resolutions:

  1. Publish at least two quality photo books
    With the advent of self-publishing sites like blurb.com it is easyto get your work out there and get it seen. While getting seen is great it is not why I am going to publish my books. I want to c0mmit myself to this goal because I want to follow through and complete my projects. It is essentially a personal problem that I want to say no to: giving up over the long haul!
    Why two books not only one? Publishing one book should be easy, I have one 3/4 done but a little shy on the quality I want. Two will be more of a challenge. Why not three? I want a challenging but realistic goal that will not stifle my my freedom. I think three books would be enough work to limit me from exploring what I want.  As to quality they may not be full of professional grade images but they will be my best.
  2. Continue the Front Element Challenge
    Every week I will take out my camera and make a great image! This is the reason Joe and I have committed to our weekly photo challenge and it is my goal to see it out for the full 52 weeks!
  3. Learn a new skill, style, or rule every two weeks (or so)
    This year I want to focus every few weeks on a specific skill, rule, or style for a few weeks at a time. By doing this I will learn to incorporate the concept in my photography and learn to see the possibilities of my images.
    Currently I am working with seeing lines and using them to create dynamic images. Over the last few days I have been lax in this but life has been busy. I realize that life gets busy! In light of this fact I am leaving this resolution a ‘loose’ both in how much I learn and the time I take to learn it. How well I stick to this resolution will not be seen solid numbers at the end of the year but in better quality images over the next 349 days.
  4. Project 365
    Everyday this year I will take out my camera and take a photo.  I will not require my photo to be word class but I will do my best to make a quality image. I want to use this in conjunction with learning new skills. I will also display these images so others can see! (solved, will post weekly collections on this site)
  5. Learn through various means
    Over the next year I will continue to get my work out on sites like Flickr.com with the intention of getting feedback on my images that help learn more. I will learn form the many professionals who have blogs and educational sites.

  6. Enjoy Photography
    This is the most abstract and could be the hardest but what ever may com of the other resolutions I will do what it takes to enjoy photography though out the year.

Well those are my six resolutions. January 1st 2011 I will pull this list out and tell you how I did. I recommend you make some resolutions whether photography related or what ever your hobby.

I recommend checking out Lisa’s full article at MostlyLisa.com

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