Another year has begun and many of us are seeking ways to refresh our artistic-ness and empower ourselves to create. What better way to start that process than by making some New Years Resolutions for our photography - and sticking with them! Do you have a New Years Resolution related to photography? Here are some ideas to get you started...
Let other people critique you and don't bit their heads off when they say something that you disagree with.
The first time I opened up my photography for critique here on DeviantART, I was disgusted when someone gave me some feedback. (I was young, it was years ago, forgive me!) I was expecting praise and nothing but praise. A critique is about telling me how awesome I am, how fantastic my photography is and how I couldn't possibly improve in all the years to come... right? Wrong. Too often I've been sat in on Critique nights in the DeviantART chatrooms and see people sitting there with their work, waiting for some words to be flung their way and then becoming defensive and sullen when something that isn't
perfect is brought up. You meant to include that blur didn't you? That over-exposure was deliberate wasn't it? The slightly wonky off centre focus of the whole image is Artz right? Sometimes. But in order to learn, to improve, to move on and to keep creating and changing we have to let other people in on the situation. By the way, asking your Mum, Grandma, pet dog or 4 year old sibling for critique doesn't count. They're all biased, even the dog.
Don't have Equipment Envy
Freud theorized Penis
envy years and years ago and we basically develop almost exactly the same thing about our Photography equipment except it doesn't involve our parents, genitals or envy of our father figures. (Hopefully). If it does then perhaps you need to seek a different kind of article (and help). Don't let your gear drag you down. Too often, especially lately with the festive season and so many events going on, I've heard people telling me or their friends that they could too take the kind of Photographs that I've taken if they had the camera. I have bit back the urge to thrust my camera in their hands and take them up on the challenge, soon I'll do it I swear. But it's not all about the gear and we know it. We work hard to learn our cameras, to adapt to them, to instruct them and to get the best out of them - but we will only ever get what we put in. Stop blaming your equipment and start learning how to use what you have. I'm the worst person for this, constantly shooting on Auto and hoping that Photoshop will pick up my flaws...
I recently finished completing the 365 photo-a-day challenge for the second time. I spent the whole of New Years Eve sorting and filing my photographs from the year (i know how to live, I swear). If you have a system as you go along and you make the use of tags, titles, folders and indexing then you won't have that problem. Equally if you're doing something big like the 365 challenge you're bound to be creating a huge stockpile of stock images for the future, having them organised and ready to hand if somebody asks for something or you need something is a great process to work by. Sort your batteries, clear your memory cards and empty the fluff out of your camera bag.
Meet other photographers!
Don't be insular about your photography. It's good to get to know the competition if you're into it commercially, and it's good to mix with others to pick up some hints and tips and share your own. If you're just starting out don't be afraid of the old timers, and if you're an old timer be nice to the young 'uns. It doesn't hurt to do a bit of networking and meet some friends along the way.
Take on a challenge
Consider taking up a challenge this year. It's not too late to start the 365 photography challenge which can be picked up at any point during the year. Alternatively if that's too much consider the 52 week photography challenge. Head over to CRPhotography
where we're launching a 52 week photo challenge to keep you going and get you inspired creatively. Check out deviant365
where there are prompts and challenges regularly. Make a list of the things you want to shoot this year. Is your goal to get your photos into a newspaper? Start locally and get out there when events are happening as your local newspaper can't cover everything. Is your goal to sell a print? Start researchign printing prices and find creative ways to advertise your work.
Put your lens caps on
Okay so this is a personal one which I promised myself I would do two years ago - and still didn't. However with a completely new set of gear I really need to carry this one out and I bet there are others out there who are just in too much of a rush to treat their gear properly. Go on, cap your lenses!