Another New Year has arrived and, with it, the time for the inevitable New Year’s resolutions. Now, resolutions are a dangerous thing at the best of times – it’s easy to swear off rich food and drink when you’ve spent most of New Year’s Day groaning on the sofa.
But, inevitably, by the end of the month, a glass of wine or two will start to seem appealing! It’s no different with photography resolutions so, in this article, let’s take a look at some resolutions you might actually keep.
Back it up!
No one said backing up your photos is fun, but it’s an essential part of being a photographer. Make it a resolution to back up each job and shoot as you go along – that way you won’t have a huge pile of work to back up when you eventually get round to it. I also recommend backing everything up twice – either to two different hard drives, or to the cloud. That way, if the worst happens and a hard drive fails you’ll still have your work elsewhere. This is one resolution you really want to stick to!
Stop buying things you don’t need
There’s always going to be new gear hitting the markets and, unless you’ve got a private trust fund, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to afford to buy everything. All photographers have a tendency to think that they ‘must’ have a certain piece of new kit but this year, why not take a step back before you buy? A new camera, lens or gadget isn’t going to automatically make you a better photographer! And besides which, you don’t want to be weeping over the bill long after the last mince pie has been polished off…
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still print all my personal photos and put them in albums. And equally, I encourage my clients to get physical prints of the images I shoot for them. Prints, particularly large scale ones, have an impact that a computer screen can never match. In a world that’s increasingly ‘online’, one of the important traits of a pro photographer is the ability to provide a client with a visually stunning reminder of their shoot. And it also helps to get your work out there into the world.
Take photos for pleasure
I’m guilty of making this resolution every year, and then not sticking to it as much as I should. But, after 20 odd years in the business, I find it’s important for me to remember why I became a photographer in the first place. When you shoot photos for a living, it’s easy to forget the love of photography that inspired most of us originally. So this year make a promise to yourself to shoot at least some images just for yourself. I personally have a little project in mind that I’ve been working on gradually over a few years and this year, I intend to complete it. You don’t have to pressure yourself – just remember to occasionally pick up your camera for love, not money!
Be less aimless
If you’re a pro photographer, it can become easy to just drift from job to job, without any clear aims or goals. Of course, that can be fine if you’re a manically busy pro with regular jobs every week. But for most photographers the level of work can be massively changeable from month to month. This January take some time to sit down and set yourself some goals you’d like to achieve this year. Don’t overload yourself or you’ll never get anything done! Instead, think of a few things you can undertake in quieter times that will help improve your business. Your website might need updating, or you might need to spend some time working on your SEO. Setting small creative goals will undoubtedly help you to focus as a photographer.