It’s incredible how quickly 2013 rolled around. I had big ambitions for this blog in 2012 but life got in the way. Rather than beat myself up for what I didn’t get around to I’m moving forward setting new goals. Before I get to those, here are some of the lessons learned this past year that I think put me in a better place on my photography journey.
- Don’t go at it alone. – The highlights of my year are being able to collaborate with other photographers. Building these supportive relationships is a critical part of getting better at this craft. Whether it’s getting encouragement, sharing creative ideas, troubleshooting technical stuff, or getting a some critical critique – knowing you have someone or a community to turn to is one of the most powerful rewarding parts of this journey. Over the past year, I have been lucky enough to build strong relationships with work colleagues who share the same passion for photography, be able to participate in lunch ‘n learns held at our offices, and continue friendships built in weekend photography classes.
- Continue your formal education – This past year I had the opportunity to take a Photoshop processing class from my favorite photographer, Sarah Cornish, over on Clickin Moms. What an experience it was to learn from an artist like Sarah and to get to know her a little better and learn some of her stylistic secrets. It was certainly an investment of money and time but it was the best learning experience of the year because of the focus and the feedback that I received from Sarah and the other mentors. I also participated in study-along programs on lifestyle photography and did other elearning programs.
- Apply all that learning – Move beyond the snapshots and make a list of sessions you want for yourself whether its taking an annual family portrait, taking your kids’ birthday portraits, or taking friends’ and family’s holiday pictures. With each of these situations I had to think through shot lists, locations, posing, lighting, exposure, and creative processing. Conducting these sessions allowed me to take all that book learning, integrate it, and shoot some photos that I’m really happy with.
So what are my goals for 2013? Pretty simple:
#1 Push myself creatively and technically by participating in weekly and monthly themed challenges. Here are the ones that I would like to stay active with
#2 Book more sessions!
#3 Capture the everyday moments using whatever camera is at hand. With 3 dSLRs, two point and shoots, an iPad, and an iPhone there are no more excuses!
#4 Print more prints! 10 or 15 years from now no one is going to sit around and pop a CD into the computer. I’m going to stop playing the perfectionist when it comes to photobook design and just do it.
So in the spirit of just doing it. Here’s my favorite photo from 2012 and I’m entering it in the Rock the Shoot January Photo Challenge.
It’s as simple as that.