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With a new year and a new decade upon us, it’s time to start seriously setting your intentions for your career in the 2020s.
I’ve never loved resolutions for photographers, because I usually find myself breaking them about two months into a new year, which is why this “New Year’s Resolutions for Photographers” list is really more like an overarching photography tips list that will help you to set your intentions this year and beyond.
Shoot More (and Then Less)
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Most of these resolutions for photographers are more about beating yourself and less about competing with others.
For example, you should try and shoot more than you did in the previous year, and this is a different number of shots for every person.
But, you should also be more intentional with the shots you’re taking, so throw your “spray and pray” tactic out the window and make it your goal to learn how to improve your photography through intentional shooting.
Photo by Hannah Skelly on Unsplash
This type of intentional shooting may mean setting aside time each week to shoot, or it may mean embarking on a special photography project you’ve been putting off.
The key to shooting more great shots is to make sure you’re actually passionate about the shots you’re taking, which may mean shooting outside of hours you’re getting paid for your photography.
Set this time aside.
Get to Know Other Photographers
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Out of all the New Year’s resolutions for photographers, this one is the most important. You need to start networking.
Besides the fact that most of my jobs when I was just getting started in the industry were referrals from other photographers, meeting new photographers is also likely to make you more creative
photo by vorDa via iStock
So, join a photography class or club, join a social media group dedicated to photographers, or simply Google, “photography group near me.”
MeetUp is also a great resource for those looking to meet photographers for the cheap price of free.
Print More Photos
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There’s nothing I love more than seeing my photography hung up on my wall because I can see the evolution of my photography and the evolution of myself through that photography.
There’s a reason photography prints are making a comeback with the younger generations, which is why Kodak is pumping out disposable cameras like it’s 1995 again. Photography prints are nostalgic. They’re warm. And they’re a form of rebellion in a totally digital world.
I use CanvasHQ to print my photos for a few reasons. One, they’re not expensive. They almost always have a deal going for 20-30% off.
Two, they feature the highest quality materials available on the market. Their ink won’t fade, their canvas frames won’t warp, and I’ve had one of their canvases hanging on my wall (and stuck in a box in my garage, and flung a little bit too precariously during my move) for close to a decade. It hasn’t aged a day.
Finally, their customer service team is really helpful. They care about their products. You can tell that they love creating canvas prints as much as I love creating the photography that goes on them. That sort of passion for your work is rare.
Back-Up Your Photos
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Buy a hard drive right now. Seriously, the LaCie Rugged Mini, which holds 2TB of data, is on Amazon for $80.
Most photographers I know use the LaCie because it’s seriously durable, which is a quality you’ll want in a hard drive if you’re traveling a lot, or out in bad weather. Plus, they’re cheap.
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
But, backing up your photos doesn’t just mean dumping them on a hard drive. In fact, experts tout the 3-2-1 rule for backing up all of your digital info.
The 3-2-1 rule states you should have 3 copies of your data, with at least 2 of them stored on different devices and at least 1 of them stored in a different location.
With the 3-2-1 rule in place, your photos will be safe from fires, corruption of files, thieves, and pretty much any other horrendous scenario.
photo by South_agency via iStock
I previously mentioned how I hate resolutions for photographers, but this is the one exception. You need to start a project you’ve been putting off for years.
I think the best way to challenge ourselves as photographers is through long-term projects. This long-term project can be something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time or energy for, or it can be one of many ideas available to you online that simply sounds fun.
For example, the Leica Society has a series of videos with suggestions for long-term photography projects that you can start in the new year to try and grow as a photographer.
It’s a new year and a new you, so why not add some new resolutions to the list and start growing and improving as a photographer?!