Come on now, admit it. We’ve all done the new year resolution thing and while some of us have done quite well with our resolutions, statistics show that the majority of us don’t last very long with them. Here are some New Year resolution ideas for photographers of all skill levels.
1. Learn a new technique or skill; try something different. That could be shooting in RAW instead of JPEG, black and white instead of color, bracketing shots for HDR images, macro photography, or long exposure. Get out there and experience shooting in the golden hours. For example, if you normally do portraits then try nature photography. Just take that step out of your comfort zone and you may discover a new way to flex your photography muscles.
2. Join a local photographers group. I’ve personally joined a few groups through Meetup.com. You can meet people with all levels of experience and make new photographer friends as well. This is especially useful if you are new in a town.
3. Find a local photography store and get to know the staff there. They can help you in so many ways on your photographic journey plus they may even offer classes or photo expos where you can learn more.
4. Rent some equipment. That could be a lens or even a camera. This way, for a far cheaper expense than buying, you can test drive equipment to find out if you really want to purchase it one day. This is also good if you need one lens just for a particular job or for travel. You can’t lose with the price point of rent vs. purchase if you aren’t ready to own yet. I’ve had good luck with mpex.com and adorama.com.
5. Learn something new about your editing software. This can be done by buying a book about your software, viewing YouTube tutorials, or finding tips on Pinterest boards. Mentioning editing software, you can often do a try before you buy 30 day trial of many editing programs out there. Or if you are content with the editing program you own, try a trial of a plug-in to expand your creativity. Here are two examples of programs that offer 30 day trials – Topazlabs and Corel.
6. Travel. This doesn’t mean out of town necessarily, although that is great to do, it could mean go someplace local that you haven’t been to before. Visit a new town on a day trip or a park you haven’t been to before. Google abandoned or historic plus your states name to see what interesting places come up.
7. Try a project. Many people start projects like the 365 project. If that isn’t for you there are so many others out there like NaBloPoMo (do a blog post every day for a month), daily or weekly photo challenges as found in WordPress.com, 100 Strangers, or invent one of your own. Maybe do the first year of your newborns life, a year in your garden, or do a”Where’s Waldo” type of post using a toy or some other object of yours and photograph it in different places every day or week.