Even though we’re already 2 weeks in 2018, it’s not too late to reflect on the road ahead. Specifically, the road to becoming a better photographer than you were last year, because even for us professionals, the learning never stops! Here are 5 resolutions that we’re adopting this year.
#1 Be less technical
Yes, technique is important, but because it can be such a complex world, many of us pros find ourselves getting lost in it! We find that sometimes, the best photos come from focusing on the story behind it, and less on the f-stop or light metering. This year, while you should not neglect the technical aspect completely, we suggest focusing more on crafting the story, because that is the surest way to connect with your viewers.
#2 Use social media to your advantage
If you haven’t started an Instagram or Facebook or Flickr account for your work yet, do it now! Not only does it get you exposure, you can also tap into your followers for opinions, which can be useful when you’re in a pinch. For example, is this photo better in black and white or in colour? Tapping onto your fan base offers you an unbiased opinion, and help reveal popular public opinion. You should also follow other photographers on social media, and be active when it comes to Liking or Commenting as it can potentially open up conversations and even collaborations. After all, no man is an island!
Also, it’s worth pointing out that social media, while beneficial, can also make you doubt your self-worth as a photographer if you do not get as many Likes or Followers as you hope. Remember, don’t place too much value on these numbers!
#3 Shoot for yourself
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! If you found yourself feeling a little burnt out at the end of 2017, perhaps it was because all the shooting you did was for the cash, and not for the soul. This year, look towards working on some personal projects that don’t have a dollar value attached to it. This also allows you to be as creative as you please and improve your personal skill set as you experiment, which will do your career favours in the long run. Most importantly, you won’t have to stick to any client-provided guidelines which as we know, can sometimes be severely limiting!
#4 Invest in good backup systems
Whether that means splurging on several solid, shock-proof and water-proof harddrives or a Cloud system, back your work up! You don’t want to be that poor guy who lost years of work (or even worse, a recent project that hasn’t been fully delivered) because of a dropped hard drive or computer crash. We recommend opting for products that deliver both hardware and software back ups, like WD for instance. Their MyCloud system makes an instant copy of your drive while backing everything up to a Cloud. It’s 2018, time to use technology to your advantage.
#5 Re-evaluate your gear needs
Think of it as spring cleaning. We know how easy it is for lenses and random gear to pile up over the years, but how many of those do you actually use, and are they doing anything at all for your photos? We suggest looking at your work for the last 1-2 years and seeing if you should add any new gear to your kit, or replacing old ones. We also recommend donating or selling older gear away for cheap if you can afford it, and give back to the community! We’ve all been poor, struggling photographers at some point, and it would really help budding photographers get started in their career.