Wow, 2017 is nearly over and I hope you’ve enjoyed a great year of photography. With another year down, it’s time to recharge the batteries, both on your camera and your own internal passion for photography.
A great way to kickstart your drive for the year ahead is to take on some photo-related resolutions. In short, a number of challenges to push you outside of your comfort zone and to build your skills. We’re serving up 11 great ideas and you can choose to take on a handful or all 11, whatever you feel it takes to make 2018 your best year of photography yet…
Take on a 365 challenge: Committing to taking at least one picture per day is a great way to keep you creative eye trained up and ready to spot an extraordinary image within an ordinary scene. Take the challenge a step further by sharing your work on a blog or social media and, to put a fresher spin on the images, you could always follow various themes to filter your picture taking. Colours, genres, people, letters of the alphabet, the choices are endless.
Assist a pro photographer: If you’re looking to step up your photography and start earning money from your picture taking, then a great first step is to assist a pro photographer. This will enable you to observe different working practises, and learn the tricks of the trade. It may even open up future opportunities if you impress.
Give something back: One resolution could be to use the power of your photography to help good causes. Why not volunteer some of your time to local charities; your photography could help produce fundraising material the charity may otherwise not be able to afford. Alternatively, why not take the camera down to the local sports field and take some pictures for community teams.
Plan a photo vacation: Shooting the same locations again and again can leave you stuck in a photo rut. So, break free from these shackles by planning a trip to a far flung destination. Traveling to new horizons will result in an enhanced portfolio, but it will also breath fresh air into the way you approach your photography – plus, you’re bound to meet some cool people along the way.
Try a new genre: If you’re more used to shooting landscapes, try mixing up your endeavours by trying a genre completely outside of your comfort zone. Maybe something like street photography, where you approach complete strangers and ask to take their portraits, will not only get the heart racing but will also help improve people skills.
Print more images: It’s a sad fact that digital photographers simply don’t print as many images anymore. Instead of printing your hard work and displaying it on the wall, far too many of today’s images are kept gathering digital dust on memory cards or hard drives. Sure, you may upload a few to Instagram or other sharing sites, but there really is no substitute for a freshly made print, so why not make 2018 the year you print more, make wall art or even self-publish a book of your photography?
Collaborate with peers: Photography is generally a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be. Why not try collaborating with like-minded photographers to see what results you can come up with? With more hands on deck, production values tend to rise and you may have more budget to hire studio space or even models. A great way to start is to look for fellow photographers in your local area, so you don’t have to travel too far to create imagery.
Try a new lens: It’s amazing how changing focal lengths can freshen up your photography, so why not make January the month you try out a new lens. Instead of settling for a general purpose zoom lens, try a more extreme optic such as a fisheye or a macro optic. If you don’t want to jump in with both feet and purchase a new lens, you could always rent and try before you buy.
Embrace new technology: Technology is moving faster than ever before in the world of photography and this means there’s a whole range of accessories just waiting for you to try. Take flight and try out drone photography or reach for the flippers (and a protective housing) and give underwater photography a try. These accessories are more affordable than ever before, so try something new, what’s the worst that can happen…actually, if you’re taking the plunge we better not use that expression.
Learn new skills: While most of our tips have revolved around picture-taking, there’s still plenty you can do when the camera is back in its case. Take the time to learn new image-editing skills using Lightroom or Photoshop and your overall photography will rapidly improve. Learning image-editing is easier than ever before with the internet full of useful techniques, tips and advice. Looking for a bigger challenge? Why not try shooting and editing video to bring your creations to life?
Shoot on film: Digital photography has made images disposable and picture-taking a speedy and often unrefined process. By stepping off the digital wagon for a few weeks and shooting only with analogue film, your picture taking will naturally slow as you conserve exposures. You’ll take more time setting up composition and pay more attention to you exposures levels and this will serve you well when you switch back to LCD screens and megapixels.
Whatever resolutions you take on in 2018, we wish you a productive and fun year of photography.