Making This The Best Year of Photography

How might I make this the best year of photography yet? I’ve never really asked myself this question before. Usually I go along happily snapping photos and attempting to learn new skills as the need arises. Admittedly, it is a rather a haphazard approach.

Have my photos gotten better using this approach? I’d say yes although I realize better is a subjective term. Could they be better? Again, I’d say yes. I believe there is always room for improvement. Knowing I don’t want to continue haphazardly to try to get better, I should probably set goals.

So, this is a year for setting goals for my photography. Yikes! Now I must draw on my educational administration expertise in strategic planning and set specific, measurable goals. Next I’ll need to identify strategies and steps to attain those goals. Then, I’ll have to create a project management spreadsheet with tasks, due dates, and deliverables. Really?! Is all this really necessary?

Ultimately, all I want to do is enjoy my photography and maybe make enough money to buy new gear. First, how will I know if I am enjoying my photography? Second, what new gear would I like to purchase? Aaannnnddd we’re back to goal setting. I’m past the point in my life where I want to worry about meeting daily goals and I want to leave room to enjoy family, friends and free time. Therefore, I’m setting monthly goals to make this the best year of photography yet! This just feels right for me. You might prefer weekly or even daily goals.

Seems there is no getting around setting goals if I am going to consistently improve my photography (skills and resulting photos). So, here are my first drafts of yearly goals. I’ll spare you the details of goals related to branding and sales. I’ll follow up with a finalized version of monthly goals and my process for tracking in another post.

Yearly Goals

  1. Organize my studio/office. Find a place for each item and put it back after use. Get rid of the things I thought I had to have but have never used. I have already begun clearing out prints I have on hand to make room for what’s to come.
  2. Increase my body of work by adding at least four new works to my portfolio each month. This is not snapping a photo just to say I did. Adding something to my portfolio means it must be one that I am proud to share with the world. This may require that I make taking photos a priority and not wait for inspiration to strike.
  3. Improve efficiency and comfort level with my newly acquired Olympus cameras. One way to do this is simply by shooting often–practice makes perfect. Another is by revisiting photography basics while using the new equipment. I’ve enrolled in two workshops with projects that will help keep me actively shooting over the year. I also try to enroll in one multi-day photography event each year.
  4. Increase knowledge and skills related to photography by learning something new each month. There are countless webinars and online tutorials for Lightroom, Photoshop and many other software applications used by photographers.
  5. Grow the number of fans and followers.
  6. Generate revenue (for new gear).