Every year at this time, people all over the world embrace the mantra of “new year, new me” and start looking for New Year’s resolutions to make.
Whether the resolution involves weight loss or learning how to meditate, the goal is usually self-transformation. But who says that your resolutions have to revolve solely around massive life changes?
Instead of trying to find a way to reinvent your life, consider making some changes to your craft. Improving your photography can open you up to new ways that you can express yourself through imagery. And unlike meal-prepping an endless menu of grilled chicken, or training to run a 5k in icy winter temperatures, you may even find yourself having some fun while you do it.
Photography New Year’s Resolutions
There are all sorts of new and different things you can do to become a better photographer in 2020.
It’s possible that you’ve even considered changes, such as changing your preferred subjects or experimenting with different styles. If you’re having trouble coming up with good photography resolutions, though, here are a few ideas that you might want to consider:
Mix It Up
As a photographer, it can be pretty easy to become set in your ways.
You know the sorts of shots that you like and you know the subjects that you’re most comfortable shooting. While this familiarity can result in great photos, it can also lead to you becoming a bit out of touch with photography as a medium. Perhaps this is the year when you should shake off a bit of the dust and try out some of the current hot trends that are taking photography by storm.
Photo Challenge Fun
The best way to become better at anything is practice, and this is certainly true with photography. Consider tasking yourself with a photo challenge that will force you to exercise that shutter finger more often.
Not sure where to start? There are plenty of photo challenges to choose from on social media. Many follow similar themes, such as taking a certain type of picture every day for a month or posting a new picture every day to social media without any copy for context. Not only can these challenges make you think more about some of the photos you take, but they can also help to bring you closer to photography-minded friends and colleagues, since tagging friends so they can participate as well is part of the challenge.
Ditch the Camera
This might sound like strange advice for a photographer, but leaving your camera behind can actually have a positive impact on how you take pictures.
Using your iPhone instead of your Nikon will lead you to think more about your shots, the lighting and how to get the most out of photo opportunities that are less than ideal. Making this practice a regular thing can reframe how you approach your photography craft. If you want to really up the challenge, pick up a cheap prepaid phone at the store and see what you can create with a good old-fashioned flip phone.
Attend a Workshop
Different photographers have different experiences, and by attending a master class led by an industry expert, you may pick up a surprising amount of tips and tricks for your own work.
If you haven’t been to a class since high school or college, make a point to sign up for a few in the new year. You will be able to meet other photographers of varying skill levels who will impart their own insights about the craft as you learn from an expert. You may even learn new ways to do things that you were already familiar with, in new and better ways.
Up Your Editing Game
Sometimes a shot just comes together with a perfect combination of lighting, staging and opportunity.
Other times… well, that’s what editing is for. The new year could be the perfect time to learn some new photo editing tricks and tips to help elevate your photos from good to great. Whether you sign up for a class, follow online tutorials or learn your new skills in some other way, the time you spend improving your editing ability will always be time well spent.
Make a Fresh Start
If you really want to challenge yourself as part of your New Year’s resolutions, try getting rid of your old pictures on Instagram or a similar platform.
That might sound extreme, but the blank canvas of an empty account might inspire you. Once everything’s gone, your new mission will be to fill the account back up with new shots and photos–this time, perhaps, with more intention. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to archive all of those old photos so they aren’t really gone for good. (If this seems a bit too extreme for your taste, you can also simply sign up for a new account instead that’s more photography focused.)
Consider Physical Keepsakes
If most of your photography is digital and the only printing you do is standard photo glossies, one of your 2020 resolutions can be to branch out into other physical keepsakes.
Whether you’re giving them as gifts or using them as unique portfolio pieces, items such as photo books and photo cards ensure that your work stands out in new and exciting ways. Best of all, these keepsakes provide you and those you give them to with one-of-a-kind treasures that will become part of your legacy.
Make Photography Fun Again
Not all of these photography resolutions will match your style or your preferences, and that’s ok. The goal is to help you find ways to challenge yourself and grow as a photographer, this new year and beyond.
Whether you use these methods or others to create your new year’s resolutions, this year should be a fantastic one for your photography.