Making New Year’s resolutions is a time-honoured tradition of committing to self improvement – out with the old and in with the new, and all that.
Whether you Tweet them, write them down, share them at forget-the-year parties or quietly say them to yourself, most of us see the change in the year as a significant threshold, a good time to make some kind of personal or professional improvement (whether we’ll actually stick with them or not past January 2). Most of our resolutions relate to our behaviour … good, bad or ugly -especially the ugly. However, we don’t always make honest resolutions. When we ask the magic mirror on the wall for a suggestion (I call mine “Tips” and he’s a dick), we more-often-than-not answer back “shut up!”
So, because I’m such a helpful guy, here are some good-to-go resolutions for you or the photographer you know:
“In 2016, I will …
… learn something new about my craft and apply it. Lighting, composition, what “M” means … doesn’t matter what, just something I didn’t know last year.”
… take more client images than I do selfies.” (great for business, even better for your friends on Facebook)
… stop asking other photographers what settings they used or “can we see the sooc?” Instead, I will ask them why … or just pay them a compliment on an image well done.”
… expand my vocabulary so I can find some other way of saying “that session ROCKED!”, “I LOVE my clients!” and “AWESOMESAUCE!”‘
… watermark the images I share on social media … or not. Ok, I’ll simply stop criticising other people’s choice to do either.”
… understand that shouting “GET IT RIGHT IN CAMERA!” – although true – doesn’t actually hide the fact that I can’t edit a photo to save my life.”
… create B&W images with actual blacks and actual whites in them because ’50 Shades of Grey’ is already the title of a book.” (it might also have been a movie … I think)
… acknowledge that ‘my way’ is not, in fact, THE WAY.” (although ‘Jaytography’ does have a certain ring to it, no? Damn …)
… show other photographers the same respect I ask from them by not trying to publicly shame their work, even though I’m ‘all that and a bag of chips’.” (I mean, you must be … right?)
… not share another passive-aggressive ‘oh, woe is me, the poor photographer’ meme begging for legitimisation from the social media crowd.” (all the cute kitten pics!)
… listen when an experienced shooter with a 20-year+ photography career gives me a piece of advice because 20 is more than 2.”
… give critique only when asked for it, take critique when I ask for it but otherwise remember what we all say about opinions.”
… work for more clients than I teach workshops … unless this is the year I’m turning 82 and will be retiring from active shooting. Is it? I don’t know. Someone remind me …”
… ask for no more than I’m willing to give. This will apply to fellow shooters, clients, models and my photographic Association … but not that Miller kid down the street. He’s a dick.”
… value myself and my craft by not offering ‘$200 sessions that include 30 retouched photos’ because I couldn’t possibly earn a living that way AND deliver a quality product AND still have time to poop.” (seriously, do the maths … no poops for you)
… break the GAS habit and learn to use the equipment I already own, because want and need are as different as having and knowing how to use what I have.”
Extra value! As you stuck with this to the end, a bonus resolution …
“In 2016, I will be less of a smart ass or, at least, try my hardest to be less of a smart ass. Failing that, I resolve to keep my smart assery to a dull roar.” (that one’s mine but you can use it, too)
Wishing you all the very best in 2016 – may the New Year see you healthy and happy!
This Post Has 9 Comments
Renata Caughlin31 Dec 2015
That was awesome… I have some personal goals!
1) to keep my website remotely up to date
2) to blog boring shit that no one cares about just for the SEO (I’m keep meaning to but never get around to it – i’m just not that interesting.)
3) keep it to under 30 images per session for galleries
4) go IPS ONLY
5) raise my prices, again (though I already get gasps and hate mail)
6) but you a coffee/drink and take advantage of the wonderful community I’m a part of here!
Jay Terry31 Dec 2015
All of those are definitely worth pursuing, Renata, although I think you’re selling yourself short with #2. As for a drink – I’m always down for that! If not before, then perhaps at Focal Point in September. 🙂
Chris2 Jan 2016
Love these resolutions – I have probably broken half of them and it’s not even 2 days into 2016. I want to add one to get my knees messier in the quest for a better angle.
Jay Terry2 Jan 2016
Very good point, Chris. We have to remember that WE are the zoom, the tripod, the boom and the mono stand. I keep a couple of heavy-duty blankets in my trunk for just such an occasion.
Renata H.2 Jan 2016
My main one is to find a mentor, so I don’t feel like I have to reinvent the wheel all the darn time.
Oh, and learn how to market my photography, because I…well…am terrible at it.
Jay Terry2 Jan 2016
I’ve seen a lot of reinvented wheels, most of them square. If you want, Renata, subscribe to my blog – there’ll be some good information coming in 2016. 🙂
Chuck19 Jul 2016
A pleasingly rational answer. Good to hear from you.
Emily3 Jan 2016
You forgot: Calibrate your monitor! Looking at fluffy white clouds and bridal gowns with a blue tinge gets me in a bit of a tizzy. 😉
Jay Terry4 Jan 2016
A blue tinge (or worse – yellow!), blown out so they look like marshmallow shapes … it’s all bad. Calibration is always a good one to add. Thanks, Emily!