As one year ends and a new begins, we tend to look back on the year and think of things that could have been done better. Many people make resolutions on heading to the gym more often or spending time with family more. It is the same for me. I have looked back on a what went well or not so well for me personally and professionally in the past year. I decided to jot down a few of my photography resolutions for the New Year.
1.) Clean up my Desktop! ( Real and Virtual)
It is hard to get work completed when your desk is cluttered. Even if you know where everything is within the pile, it takes more time to find it and time is a precious commodity. When you own a small business, the paperwork appears to grow exponentially, but it is necessary to have all your papers in order and separated as to what is a business and what is personal. While I have a good filing system for my paperwork, I tend to keep papers on my desktop too long before I file them. Generally this is because I am going to do something with the paperwork in a few days and want to “keep it handy”. The problem is the other 5 things that get piled on top. This leads to time loss (looking for the item) and stress when it comes time to take care of that item. My Resolution is to clean up and keep my desktop free of clutter.
The same thing happens with computer. If you don’t have your virtual desktop organized in a logical fashion. Take the first weekend in January to clean it up. Get rid of files that are no longer needed, organize the desktop in a way that corresponds with how you would set up your regular paperwork filing system, so they are coordinated and then…. BACKUP your system. Backups are vital. Technology fails and it would be horrible to lose important papers or pictures. Have at least two, if not three backups and schedule a time for the files to be backed up on a regular basis. Depending on your usage, backups could be scheduled monthly, weekly, daily, hourly. You need to determine a schedule that works best for you. How much data would you like to lose.
2.) Speed up my workflow
When I return home from shooting a full day of photos, I normally can’t wait to get the images off the camera and into the computer. Then I become overwhelmed by the amount of images there are to review, choose and edit. Lightroom has a number of tools to aid with batch editing images, which has helped, but I admit to spending too much time, particularly in culling out images that may be good, but not ultimately the best in what I wish to convey. For the New Year I will utilize more ways to speed up my workflow.
3.) Shoot Less
It may seem irrational for a photographer to shoot less, but there is a purpose to this. When I first started getting serious about photography, I would go out and take hundreds of images in just a few hours of time. The problem was that most of the images weren’t good….or just redundant. I could have 10 images that were virtually the same in my folder of images. I was guilty of using the continuous shooting button ad nauseam. While I might have 1 good picture out of every 10, this meant that I only had 40 images out of 400 images shot in a session. This would contribute to feeling overwhelmed when it came to culling and editing those images, which slowed down my workflow. ( A vicious cycle to be sure!) Today, I find I do shoot less than I did when I started photography, but I feel that I could always be more intentional in what I shoot.
4.) Visit More Places
This will probably be on my list every year. I love to travel to new places and see new things. There are places far and wide that I would love to visit, but there are also places close by, that I have not seen. I will make an effort to see new places in and around Central New york and the Adirondacks that I have not seen.
5.) Blog/share more!
I love taking images and telling about my experiences to individuals, but when it comes to writing this down and sharing the experience and the images, I have a difficult time. I am hoping with speeding up my workflow, as well as some other changes I have put in place, I will find the time to share my images and blog to all my supporters. I promise not to suddenly inundate all of you with daily emails and posts, but I will resolve to keep you better updated on my activities and adventures. With this said. Look forward to the coming weeks/s to hear about my adventures as an Artist In Residence in Penn Yan.
6.) Take time Off
When you work a full time job as well as have your own business, days seem to blend together. When you are done working at one place, then you look at your business and see you need to do things there. Days can run into weeks of deadlines and commitments, leading to burnout. I love photography, but felt burnt out toward the end of August this past year. When I looked back at the year, it was because I never truly spent anytime on me, sans business. This year, I resolve to spend time away from the business of photography, just to enjoy myself.
Now that the New Year has begun, I will start to work on my list. I would love to hear what resolutions you have come up with.