My Twitter feed and Google Reader are both full of posts asking this question, “What is your New Year’s Resolution?” Typically lose weight, eat healthier, and save money are on the top of the list, but these prove to be difficult to keep year after year. (You’ve seen it happen, haven’t you? You hit the gym for the first week in January, but by February your gym shoes have gathered some dust.)
This year, I am going to focus my resolutions on something different: my hobby. Below are five New Year’s Resolutions fit for any photographer. I am going to do my best to keep them and hope you join me!
1. Take A Photography Class
Whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting out, taking a class can give you a fresh perspective and help ignite your creativity. You can find local photography workshops through Meetup.com or check with your local camera shop. Misfit Sister actually found a deal through Living Social for a photography course on photographing kids, which we will be taking in January. The best part…it was only $35 per person!
2. Take Part In A Weekly Photo Challenge
I have to admit, I get “photographer’s block” occasionally. Ok, so maybe it’s more than occasionally. The reality is, not all of us can travel around the world taking unique and interesting photos of places yet unexplored. One way to spark creativity is to participate in a weekly photo challenge. WordPress has been posting a weekly photo challenge that I find very engaging, and I’m sure other photography sites out there have something similar. Bonus: posting links to your weekly photo submission within the original challenge post can help drive traffic to your blog or Flickr account.
3. Join A Flickr Photo Group
I often get inspired by looking at other photographer’s work and Flickr is the perfect place to do that. A number of photography groups have been created within the platform based on specific niches, such as nature photography and black & white. Many of these groups allow you to join and submit your own photos for review. Some of the groups I currently belong to include: The Nature Conservancy, Black and White, and The Pioneer Woman Photography Assignment.
4. Enter A Photo Contest
This past Fall, I entered a small online photo contest for nature photography and ended up winning 1st place! The prize was simply recognition, but it also helped drive traffic to my blog and Flickr account. There are numerous photo contests available for entry each month. Check out PhotoCompete.com to browse which ones are currently open, but be sure to check the eligibility as not all are available to U.S. residents. Even if you don’t win, studying the photos that do win can help you identify areas to work on in your own photography.
5. Take More Self Portraits
A couple weeks ago, the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was “Self-Portrait”. I was amazed at how many people commented that they would be sitting out of this challenge, because they never photographed themselves. This sentiment seems to run rampant within the photography community. Let’s use 2012 to change this trend! Remember, self portraits don’t have to be cheesy, awkward family photo moments. Here’s my self portrait submission as an example.
These New Year’s Resolutions are meant to help you (and me!) make 2012 our most interesting year in photography yet.
What about you? Have you set New Year’s Resolutions yet?