5 Tips to Grow as a Photographer in 2016

It's near that time of the year when we starting to think about New Year Resolutions.  My New Year resolutions are normally consisted of several photography related goals.  Because I am a mother, my subjects are my own children and family  99.9% of the time.   

At the beginning of 2015, one of my photography goals was to learn how to shoot film images with subjects that do not involve my own children...or any people at all.  I wanted to grow in a genre of photography that I have never explored before. 

Here are just some of the things I have learned this year while working on my own growth as a photographer, and I hope these will be helpful to you as well:

1. SET GOALS

Short term goal or long term goal, it's up to you!  You can even set several goals if you are a multi-takers like me.  The most important thing about goal setting is to have a real and achievable goal; one that doesn't cause you stress and frustration.  

2. BE INSPIRED

Visit an art museums or an art gallery, and find out local permanent and traveling exhibit dates.  Remember, your inspiration doesn't have to come from a famous photograph.  It can be an art from the Renaissance hanging behind a security glass box or a sculpture made by an local artist at a farmer's market.  When you go to the exhibits or art shows , be sure to take notes and write down what inspires you.  

3. LEARN SOMETHING NEW

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Seuss, I can Read with My Eyes Shut.

Have you always wanted to learn to shoot film?  Well, let's go!  Have you always wanted to learn to watercolor?  Do it!  Don't let fear stump the opportunity to learn something new and exciting.   Learning new things can be scary and overwhelming, but all you need to get started is to take a small step forward.      

4. HAVE A PERSONAL PROJECT

Start a personal project and stick with it.  The personal project can be anything from a collective themed project where you and a few friends share images from a theme within a set time period.  It can also be a 365 project which you take a photo a day for 365 days.  Perhaps you are working with a charity where you volunteer as a photographer.   Whatever it is, make it good, make it real, make it yours.

5. GET A MENTOR OR TAKE A WORKSHOP

Do you have a photographer that you admire locally?  Why not ask if you can shadow him/her for a day while on a job?   If shadowing is not an option, perhaps there is a workshop you have always wanted to attend.  It can either be an in-person workshop or online.  Read up on the reviews since there are many to choose from.  Keep this in mind: a well-known photographer  doesn't mean he/she is a good teacher.  

 

xox, Joyce