OK, we are in a new year. It’s 2011. This is the time that we all make promises under the guise of “new year resolutions” and I will be doing the same, except I call them goals.
I have done this in the past, but have failed each time. The question is: Why did I fail? I think partly because I didn’t have a plan.
I have spent some time reading about how to keep resolutions and have found what appears to be a common theme on how to be successful in keeping resolutions. The different websites that are out there are numerous, but I finally found one that I think sums up the process well. The site is on About.com and you can read it here. The funny part is that it is about controlling inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). No, I don’t have IBD, but I like the logic behind the suggestions and I think that they can apply to all resolutions.
So, what are my resolutions?
- Get published. I want to get at least one of my images published in a publication. Not one that you can pay to get your images published, but a regional or national publication that uses the image as part of an article. I want to do this because I think it sets a very high standard and goal.
- Sell at least one fine art photograph to a client. Not a senior session or wedding type of image, but one that I took for the shear beauty of the scene.
- Enter at least two photography contests a month. This would result in 24 contests for the year. I am not limiting myself to 24, but must enter at least 24. This would make me really look at my photography and how to improve it.
- Take at least one workshop on posing and lighting models. I need to learn how to pose and light people. I know how to expose images to capture the vision I have, but I have no idea how to pose people or use lights to get an image I like.
- Photograph inside at least once a week. By this I mean that I will set up a situation with props or models and shoot it. Something like my water drop series.
- Get outside and photograph at least once a week. I need to get off my butt and shoot in different locations and in different situations.
- Take myself and my photography less seriously. By that I mean I don’t want to get so discouraged by set-backs or attempts at something that aren’t successful.
About.com’s suggestions for succeeding in keeping resolutions include:
- Being realistic
- Planning ahead
- Outline your plan
- Make a “pro” and “con” list
- Talk about it
- Reward yourself
- Track your progress
- Don’t beat yourself up
- Stick to it
- Keep trying
I think I have covered numbers one and five here. I think that my goals are realistic and I have made them public. I don’t think any of the goals are completely out of reach. Yes, I may not reach them all, but I think I can strive to achieve them and in doing so, will become a better photographer. And, honestly, that is more important.