My boss likes to say “the first step in meeting a goal, is setting a one.” With that in mind here are my photography goals for 2012.
1) Become better at posing people
Posing people has to be one of my biggest weaknesses as a photographer. I often get stuck in a shoot. Furthermore facebook photos have created the standard, hand-on-hip, twist your torso and smile look, as good posing. I understand why girls do this pose: it is very flattering. However if you are using the same poses in every photograph you are recreating the same photos over and over again, just with different people.
I sincerely want to move away from that. I want my photo shoots to be as individualized as possible. Each time I shoot I am photographing a different person, in a different part of their life, with a different story. The posing should be a part of telling the story.
2) Focus more on writing in the blog
I am REALLY dyslexic! I am sure it shows in my writing. I have poor spelling and bad grammar. Because of this I have shied away from posting blogs with too much writing in them. However, I have decided that photos cannot stand alone. Photography is about telling a story but words help tell that story. National Geographic does not just stick a bunch of really nice photos in a magazine and call it a day. No! They pair the photographs with articles. It is time for me to do the same.
3) Meet more photographers
I really do believe that meeting other people who are doing what you are doing is a great way to learn. Every time I talk to another photographer about photography I learn something new: tips about new locations, poses, fashion trends or how to deal with clients. I find that by swapping stories, lessons are learned and friendships are made. I become better because I know good people and I learn with them. That is true in every aspect of my life. Photography is no different.
4) Have enough couples photos to create a couples page on the site
Someone recently told me that the type of photos you put out there, are the type of clients you attract. Basically, if you want to shoot senior photos then profile senior photos on your blog and if you want to shoot weddings then profile weddings. I think I have the senior/profile photos covered (though I don’t want to stop doing them) but I feel I have not shot enough couples. I would really like to do more couples/engagement photography. In 2012 I am really going to work on building that portfolio.
5) Get a new laptop
I am currently working on a 6-year-old laptop my mom got me my senior year of high school. I love that computer more than anyone can possibly know but it is time for a new one.
6) Get Photoshop (I love you GIMP but it is time to move on)
I am currently using GIMP to edit my photos. It is a great FREE online software but if I want to take my photography to the next level… it is time to upgrade and get Photoshop.
7) Invest some money in a pro WordPress site
Investing a little more into my website is the next move to establish my online photography “brand.” Showing I’m serious by investing a little money in my site (aka how the world mostly views my work) is a good thing. I would also like my blog to expand it is content next year. I think it would be good to do more than just show my photos, random quotes or stories of what I’m up too… that gets really boring. Next year I would like to post more interviews with photographers, have more “how to posts” and more posts that get clients ready for their shoot. My blog needs more information!
8) Be comfortable enough with my skill to raise my prices
Charging people for photos still seems strange. However I am beginning to understand how people can make a full-time living off of it. Being a photographer is a lot of work. You have to scout locations for shoots, do pre shoot prep work, shoot the event and the edit all the photos! It takes an awful lot of time. And I am coming to realize my time is valuable. I work a lot hours in my day job. So my free time is a valuable recourse.
I am also noticing that as I become a better photographer I am more confident in asking to be paid. I know I can produce at least a few good photos and I know that I am at least a little better than some other photographers out there…I am still not great. I am probably not even good. But I am okay. And that is better than I was before. I should have confidence in my work and realize it is okay to ask to be rewarded for it.
9) Do some street photography!
I do not always get to book shoots as frequently as I would like. When this happens it is easy not to pick up my camera for a while because I have “nothing” to shoot. The major lesson of 2011 was that the more I shoot the better I become. I NEED to shoot more!!! With that in mind, I think street photography will help me do that. There is no excuse not to do street photography. I can do it on my own time, anywhere I am. It is perfect for me and my crazy schedule!
10) Read more about photography and about photographers
There is a lot to be learned from reading books. However, I don’t think I have read many books about photography or about other photographers. Time to change this… it is easy enough.
So these are my photography goals for 2012. Wish me luck!!!