Just My Thoughts

It’s a New Year

I am, by anyone’s definition, a hobbyist photographer. By that I mean that I do what I do because I enjoy it. While I am not opposed to the idea of receiving money for my work, I can’t ever imagine myself as a full-time, professional photographer.

Because my photography falls into the category of “hobby”, I find that it is the thing that I do when all of my other responsibilities are cared for and I find myself with some free time. In other words, photography is – generally speaking – at the bottom of the priority list. I’d like to change that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning on skipping out on work, or family or keeping my house in order. I just want to find a way to bump my photography a little higher up the chain.

That’s why I’m starting the blog. It will – I hope – keep me somewhat accountable and moving forward in the craft. It’s not coincidental that this blog is getting started at the first of a new year. After all, this is when we resolve to do better, and establish new goals, right? So here they are; published for the whole world (or at least those who stumble onto this space) to see and know: My photography goals for 2018.

  • Complete a 52 Week Photography Challenge. I’m using the original list from Dogwood Photography. This, undoubtedly, will be the toughest goal for me to achieve. Like yours, my schedule is busy. I’m going to have to be really proactive to pull this off.
  • Shoot a portrait every month. Family doesn’t count here. My wife is patient. I have more pictures of my grandchildren than any grandfather on the planet (though, somehow, I still don’t have enough!), and my grown kids will even put up with me and my camera. I’ll continue to take pictures of all of them. But I want to push beyond that. I have done a little portrait work with both individuals and families, but I need to do more. Much more. So, if you’re reading this, and you know me, and you want some pictures…
  • Take my camera everywhere. Yeah, I know. This is a no brainer. But too often I am without it. I don’t want to be “that guy”. You know, your Uncle Bob who sits at every family get-together with his camera in his lap, constantly directing people into awkward places to take pictures of you and family members you hardly know. That’s not me. But I see shots that I miss all the time because the camera is somewhere else. I can’t always pull over and grab that shot, but sometimes I can. Or at least I could if I had my camera.
  • Focus on one lens each month. I’d like to take the time to get more familiar with the strengths, weaknesses and particular nuances of each of the lenses in my modest collection. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to limit myself if I need a particular piece of glass for a specific task, but I want to challenge myself to see what I can achieve every month with one specific lens. I’ll start this month with my “nifty 50” – a Nikon 1.8.
  • Upload 10 stock photos every week. I started dabbling in stock sites some time ago and have seen a few sales. Last year I told myself that I was going to develop more in that area. I didn’t, so this year I’m giving myself a specific goal. Honestly, uploading every week seems a little ambitious.
My best-selling stock image so far.
  • Dip my toes into astrophotography. I have zero experience here. But I’d like to try my hand at it.
  • Be ready for a legitimate business plan by 2019. I’ll still be a hobbyist photographer, but I’d like to earn at least a little to help offset some of the cost of my gear.

So that’s it. Now I need to go pick up my camera and get to work!

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