Photographer’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2016    

2016 approaching

This month is half over already and I am thinking with all that’s happening in photography that 2016 is going to rush past like a freight train. The prospect of all the new opportunities for this year is exciting, and it may be worth jotting down a list of personal photography goals for this year, or a list of resolutions, as a good idea.

Every New Year I am interested in what plans other photographers will make for the year ahead and most respond with a usual list, for example, use a tripod more, turn off Auto mode, shoot RAW, make a photo-a-day challenge, and so forth. This year, however, I wanted more inspirational ideas for the year to come.

I revisited ideas from January 2015 that seemed to say a lot about ways to improve with this exciting medium and pulled these out. So for the future, for 2016 here is my “Lucky Seven” .

  1. Pay more attention to creative ideas. “This could be the year to begin evolving  creatively”.
  1. There is too much focus on what is the best camera. When we spend too much time worrying about the camera we forget about the story. “We should be concerned with making images that tell a story”.
  1. Take risks photographically and move away from always trying to please, to fit in with what everyone else is doing. Make this the year to push beyond the comfort zone without being concerned with other’s opinions, to be pleased first for oneself. Maybe this will be the year to put “me” in the photograph.
  1. Learn a new technique. Wonder about how the technique will impact your work and whether you will revert or continue to follow up in that direction. I think it’s as simple as experimenting, and definitely taking the time to “read up on something and then give it a try”. Photographers should always make the effort to learn new techniques. Maybe by taking a class, or at least buying some books, or CDs, written by accomplished photographic writers.
  1. Select new subjects to “get out of the rut of shooting the same thing over and over”. While practicing portraiture or landscapes is good, doing the same thing the same way over and over can result in a lack of inventiveness and creativity in our work.
  1. Make every shot count and stay away from the spray-and-pray shooting style. “It’s about quality photographs, not about the volume of pictures snapped during sessions”.
  1. Become viciously ruthless with one’s own photography and what is done in post-production, to be more critical, to keep “conditioning oneself to throw out the crap is the only way to keep improving.”

I’ll finish with a quote by award winning English author, Neil Gaiman.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.




9 responses to “Photographer’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2016    

  1. I love this list, John. So true and a great motivator for the new year. I just signed up for a class on developing one’s vision and portfolio which I hope touches on some of this. Thanks for another terrific post.


  2. I’m incorporating some of yours in my 366 already, and already learning new things, my still life month is really making me slow down and look at composition, and next month is going to be a real steep learning curve as am quite dismal at B&W! Great post!


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