We look forward to a new beginning at the end of the year. We want to let go of unproductive practices and work towards becoming a better photographer. The problem is that our resolutions for the New Year tend to be vague. For instance, “Get better at landscape photography,” “Become a Photoshop expert,” or “Earn (more) money from a photography company.” In addition, we don’t really put any effort into planning how our goals can be achieved.
One way this issue can be solved is by starting a daily habit. You could take a landscape photo each day, for example, or learn something new about Photoshop. This isn’t a bad approach, but we’ll look at how projects can help you achieve your objectives in this post. The benefits of working on projects are that they have a clear structure and deadline, they have an end result, and in the process, ideally, you will learn a lot.
The following five steps will help you to think about areas that you want to improve, create a particular project for each region, and plan to get started in the new year. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, an experienced photographer or a beginner, going through these steps will be useful.
1. Think: Consider the past and the future:
It’s good to first find out where you are before you set your objectives. By looking back on your past year of photography and making a list of your highs and lows, you can do this. Browse through the pictures that you took in the past year. There are some questions that you may be able to consider:
- Which are the pictures you are proud of?
- Which images require enhancement and how?
- Have you picked up any new techniques and abilities for photography?
Have you been playing with a particular photographic genre (portrait, nature, macro, etc.)?
- How have these experiments been going?
You may make a similar list of the services that you provide if you have a photography company. Which of your company practices or customers, for instance, gives you the most income and which is the least?
Looking at the list of highs and lows from the previous year, you should be able to tell which areas of photography you are good at, which areas require improvement, and whether you should quit doing anything, maybe.
You will begin to think about the future from there. Add any photographic skill, technique or genre you want to learn to the list, or any new service you want to offer in your company. Write as many of them down as you can. You can look at the work of other photographers, or search through these photography lists and business ideas if you need inspiration for your list.
2. Focus: Narrow your interest areas:
You’ll have to concentrate your attention if you want to be successful in developing your photography. It would be great to be able to focus on all the items on your list at once, but chances are you won’t make much progress this way. Instead, from the list you want to concentrate on in the new year, you can aim to select three to five regions.
At this point, understanding what motivates you is useful. Select places that you think are lucrative if you’re motivated by capital. Try to choose places that are interesting and challenging for you if you get bored easily. If you focus on what you want to do, instead of things that you think you should do, you will have a better chance of success.
Choose one area that builds on your current abilities, one area that you need to work on, and one area that is out of your comfort zone if you have a tough time narrowing down your options.
3. Plan: Deciding on particular projects:
Now that you have selected the photography areas that you would like to focus on in the new year, it’s time to turn them into concrete projects. To achieve the outcome, a successful project would have a concrete end goal and a clear plan of action. So, you should know what you are going to do at the beginning of your project. And you should know at the end of the project whether or not you have succeeded.
For each area you have selected in phase 2, think of one project. How could this technique, skill, or genre be better learned by you? How do you prove to yourself that there is something new you have learned? Imagine an end product of which you can be proud, something to add to your portfolio and present to your friends and family.
Being ambitious is okay.
Also, make sure that you’ll still end up better off when selecting your project if it fails. For example, you will learn a new skill if you decide to work with a new technology in your project, even if the end result is not as good as you wanted. If you collaborate on a business idea with new people, you would have extended your network, even if the idea fails.
4. Plan: For the next six months, make a schedule:
For the success of your projects, scheduling is key. You can never complete them at all if the tasks don’t have a definite deadline. A timetable is a perfect way to split up your project into clear sub-goals and keep track of yourself.
Create a plan for your assignments every week. Write down will project tasks you will perform each week for the months of January to June.
For a landscape photography project, this would be an easy timetable:
Weeks 1 and 2: research landscape location.
Week 3: Atmospheric conditions and lighting tests for shooting
Week 4: On-site travel and shooting
Week 5: Pick 20 images for editing
Week 6: 10 photos post-process
Week 7: 10 photos post-process
Week 8: Website photo publication and social media promotion
(A timetable is not fixed in stone, of course, and when faced with unexpected incidents and delays, you can need to be flexible. Be sure to change the plan in these cases without fully sacrificing the schedule or project.)
5. Create: during the week, block out creative time:
You should have an overall action plan and timetable for your projects at this stage. What you need now are unique times during the week to focus on your photography projects. If you can, it’s easier to work regularly on the same days and spend 2-3 hours working blocks of time on your projects. When you can focus on it for longer periods of time, photography is a creative practice that gets better. You need to handle your time as a manufacturer in a way that encourages your creativity.
At first, all this preparation might seem like a hassle, but the extra work will be worth making beautiful images and improving as a photographer. We look forward to seeing your awesome initiatives. In Advance Happy new year!