5 Tasks to Complete Before Starting Your Year

2020 is underway, and there are a few tasks you should look at doing before you really get into the year. These jobs will save you time and give you a great starting point for the year.

In this vlog, I go through five of the things I do at the start of each year or anytime I have a holiday and need to get back to it. January is always a great time to get those pesky tasks out of the way. I also got a new coffee machine for Christmas (hence the intro).

I have never been a fan of the "new year, new me" mentality, nor the "my morning routine" mentality, but I must admit that a hard stop and start can be great for all creatives, if not to refresh mentally and physically, at least to start sorting out the logistics of your work and life. The best task that I completed this January was setting up an hourly working schedule; this may sound obvious to many, but it's something I was always too busy to do. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to do a recap video on these to see if I was able to stick to some and if the prep work paid off, especially to see if my desk remains visible and doesn't vanish under a sea of paper, cables, and memory cards.

How do you like to start your year of photography?

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Trafford Steele's picture

Why don't you polish your boots if you claim you are fussy about keeping your gear in first class condition. Also your scruffy beard does not help you present a professional attitude

Scott Choucino's picture

Sorry Dad. Spit polish and buzz cut by Monday haha

I think your beard is OK dude

Trafford Steele's picture

You can be as sarcastic as you like Scott, so can all the other commentators, but my point is, if you want to be seen as a professional, particularly a professional food photographer, clean and hygenic etc., wouldn't you also clean your boots and trim your beard, so that you as well as your gear presents in the smartest way possible. What I saw in your video was a photographer saying one thing and doing another.. Your stowed your boot into each of your gear bags to skid them across the floor, which in turn revealed a pair of boots that have never seen a drop of polish. Do you change your underpants ? Same principal. If you treated my gear like you did, and presented yourself in my Studio looking like you did, you would not last long. I need professionals to look professional all the time, every day. We look professional, we conduct ourselves like professionals and we get the professional jobs.

THINK ABOUT IT - ALL OF YOU. And you just might see that I am right and you are doing better. After all it is a state of mind. Also Scott needs to make money, so go the whole way in being a professional. Being popular rather than right never made anyone anything

Edward Blake's picture

I'm not popular; indeed, I'm a bit of an asshole; and I'm telling you that you have pushed it too far.

Do you think food photographers stand over peoeple's meals, asshole?

Also your "studio". LOL

Benoit Pigeon's picture

You got this wrong from the start. Scott put bits of humor in his video to bring up some interest in a topic that's not that easy to illustrate. Don't panic, establish a clientele and when it's slow, do that maintenance and update that's needed. Slow time is healthy especially when you know it's coming in a cycles. Just don't panic.
Remember, people come for your work and to make theirs easier, especially if their boss is a pain. They don't come for you. I've told many clients, come in jeans, shorts, even flip flop or what ever you feel, just be comfortable because in the end, we have only one goal and it is to achieve what you need to have done. You are not at an office but a place where improvisation rules. Believe me you don't want that tie and suit when you do food, it's awkward you'll stain it and it will bring stress on everyone. Food shoots can take hours to prepare shop for... and you have often very little time to shoot it. One things goes wrong, no one looking like a big shot will bring anything to help in that situation. You want relaxed people who all know how it's played and clearly understand it's not office work, yet it is still work. At my place, you can bring your dog if you want to, but I don't do much food anymore.

Scott Choucino's picture

Sorry, I assumed you were being sarcastic haha.

In my line of work jeans, t shirt, un polished boots are fine, although they do get polished weekly, it's just working in a huge warehouse on my hands and knees most days isn't kind to them.

I am shooting ad campaigns for creative agencies. I look the same as pretty much everyone else who shoots at my level. Wearing a shirt and jacket like I use to doesn't really come across very well at the level I am currently at, prior to this it worked, and maybe again in the future it will be a uniform I adopt, but it seems too try hard and that perhaps you need to impress with your looks rather than your work, or makes you look out of your depth rather than comfortable.

I am UK based though so this may be different in the States.

Trafford Steele's picture

No I was being very serious, I disagree with you but that's life. I watch all your videos and this one just did not portray you as the professional, you want to be. The unintelligent riff-raff who would have you berate me, don't pay your bills - you do.

Lee Christiansen's picture

The second any of us start taking pictures with our boots, you let me know...

Trafford, are you always so grumpy or is it just your bright new start to the year?

Jon The Baptist's picture

Jesus Trafford, way to be a real dick about it.

The beard is GREAT, and you vacuum out your bags and clean your cameras after jobs because nobody likes using gross gear.

Trafford Steele's picture

So Answer your own comment. If he is so particular why doesn't he clean his boots and trim his beard. He purports to be a food photographer, so why not be clean cut and professional in looks too. A self righteous name for a self righteous person - I bet that does you some good and makes your ipresentation better. Grow up. I am 74 and I have been around the Block a couple of times and I have learnt quite a bit. But nothing from people who makes comments like you - read my reply to Scott you may learn something !

Trafford Steele's picture

What's a Boomer, its not a term of endearment I suppose. People of low intelligence use swear words as they do not have enough brains to look up a Dictionary, or make a sensible contribution to the conversation. I am sure Scott would agree if you put yourself in the public forum you are sure to attract some wankers [I am now lowering myself to your childish level]

Edward Blake's picture

You couldn't be more of a cliche if you tried.

Trafford Steele's picture

Sorry I do not understand your comment - are you trying to be rude, Just like Nick Turner above. Perhaps you are both Boomers

Edward Blake's picture

I wouldn't expect that you do; you worthless anachronism.

Trafford Steele's picture

Eddie boy - temper temper - you shouldn't use long words you don't know the meaning of my olde Boomer !

Edward Blake's picture

I don't think the word "Boomer" means what you think it means. Also, it is vaguely amusing that you believe I lost my temper; I am simply prepared to say what others are thinking.

Trafford Steele's picture

So tell me what Boomer means - It has to be derogatory. I also said what I was thinking and you got up me about it. How does that work. You just didn't read my comments correctly - typical of the uneducated !

Edward Blake's picture


baby boomer



noun: baby boomer; plural noun: baby boomers; noun: babyboomer; plural noun: babyboomers

a person born in the years following the Second World War, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate.


1. "Boomer" is a demographic classification.

2. 'OK Boomer' is pejorative.

3. I'm gen X.

4. I have more tertiary education and professional qualifications than I care to admit.

5. You really are quite dull.

Trafford Steele's picture

And you are a Boomer, Bragger...…. And an Ass too , you do nothing child. Thank you

Edward Blake's picture

The only question at this point is whether you really are that stupid.

Trafford Steele's picture

Teddy boy, you are too kind to an old man, god bless you son. You should take up another hobby like sword fighting

Ansel Spear's picture

What a wonderfully inspirational, thought-provoking article. Thank you.

John Pyle's picture

No matter what you post on this page there is always and ass clown leaving something negative in the comments section.

Tony Clark's picture

It seems to be the nature of the profession doesn’t it? My daily driver and hobby is a BMW and I get the same feeling when I go to the BMW forums except it’s the newbies over there that are so critical. Scott, I enjoy your videos and we seem to be living similar lives. Keep up the great work.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Clean up, reconnects, taxes, filing... I really slow down mid to end of January until later in February when the year is already started, so I often don't get to follow my plan. I'm definitely not as critical regarding how I keep my bag and cases, in fact I have bought a new case about 6 month ago that I haven't used yet. Changes at the studio are definitely something coming this year next month.