Well, now that we’ve entered in to 2017 my energy is split in two different ways; finishing up processing the images from 2016 that I want to include in my yearly retrospective book, and then, thinking about what I want to accomplish in the coming year.
Each year I try to set unofficial goals or desires for myself in my creative work. I try to set realistic goals for myself, knowing that I have a full time job and a family which all need to be taken care of. The one thing I try hard not to do is set goals that are too high, which will invariably cause disappointment at the end of the year when I don’t meet them. I try and set more modest goals, such as finishing one project, visiting one new area during the year, focusing more on a certain type of photography or style, or anything like that that gives me a general direction, yet isn’t so specific that I am bound by it. I do NOT set goals like “shoot one image every day for the whole year” or “photograph the coast once a month” or things like that. I want goals that are specific enough to give me direction, yet not so specific that I am bound by a narrow definition of success.
The challenge I’m facing right now is that I have a lot of creative energy and want to accomplish many things this year, however I know I don’t have the time to tackle them all. Some of the goals are in my comfort zone, yet several of them are outside of my comfort zone involving things I haven’t done before. I love when I push myself to try new things, however, new things take a lot more time to do because of the learning curve……learning new techniques, learning new software, etc. The trick for me right now is to temper my enthusiasm and focus my energy on those things that are a high priority for me. There are so many possibilities in the creative space to support my photography and not all of them involve the actual act of pressing the shutter button.
Here are a few of the project ideas I have in mind so far…..
– Photograph as much or more than I did in 2016.
– Commit to writing in my photography blog more frequently. I am continually thinking about art, creativity and photography and I should put more of my thoughts down in writing and share them.
– Redesign my website. ‘Nuf said. Long term I’d like to learn the skills to build and maintain my website instead of using a service.
– Explore and expand my video skills. This involves taking video, editing and grading video, then composing a finished product. This requires a new skill set and way for approaching a scene to video. Color grading and the software used is complex and can be a whole study by itself.
– Teach more. Whether one on work or in groups, I want to expand my teaching of others. This is one thing that brings me so much joy and something I think I’m pretty good at. However, being a bit of a perfectionist, it also puts a lot of pressure on me to create teaching materials that meet my standards.
– Work on several long term projects. I have started several long term photography projects in the past couple years and I would like to make progress on them. These projects are “theme” based projects of photos that someday I will publish in a book.
– Write more poetry or thoughtful words to accompany my images
– Create original music scores to accompany my slide shows. I absolutely love music, always have, and the free music out there just doesn’t appeal to me. I would love to create my own music, using readily available software. This is also a learning curve to learn the software.
– Start to write a photographers guide to a coastal location that I’m intimately familiar with. Won’t tell you which one yet :-). Pulling together all the images, writing the content, putting it together, etc. This can be a big project and one that will take a while. I’d like to get started on it.
Whew!!!! Thats just the list off the top of my head that I would l like to get after this year. Not sure exactly which ones I’ll focus my energy on, but I know I won’t lack for things to do in the creative space.
Do you set goals or desires for a year?
(originally published 1/12/17)