New Year's Resolutions That Photographers Should Make Going Into 2024

New Year's Resolutions That Photographers Should Make Going Into 2024

As we bid farewell to another year and welcome the possibilities of a new chapter, photographers around the world are gearing up for fresh challenges and adventures. In this article, we'll explore six New Year's resolutions tailored for photographers seeking to elevate their practice in 2023.

2023 is now drawing to a close, and what a year it has been, with multiple major camera releases over the year, from the Nikon Zf to the Fuji GFX100 II. We have seen major advancements in AI technology, which is now widely available to photographers as another tool in our repertoire. There has certainly been a lot to inspire image creation, but perhaps when summarizing 2023, you had hoped for more out of your personal or professional journey.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic hobbyist shooter, the dawn of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on your photography journey to build on existing growth or get back in the saddle after some disappointment.

The calendar year is a convenient way to measure time, and January 1st marks the beginning of a new cycle. This makes it a convenient and logical time for people to set goals and resolutions. New Year’s resolutions have become a tradition in many cultures around the world. People often view the ending of one year and the beginning of another as an opportunity to reflect on, then leave behind the challenges and shortcomings of the previous year and begin a new chapter with a positive mindset.

Six New Year's Resolutions For Photographers 

By adopting one of these six resolutions, you might just inspire growth, creativity, and purpose in your photographic projects.

Master a New Technique

As a photographer, it's easy to fall into the comfort zone of familiar styles and techniques. If you find yourself in this position, you might have neglected to push yourself for a while. This year, challenge yourself to master a new photography technique. Whether it's experimenting with long exposure, delving into macro photography, or mastering the intricacies of portrait lighting, adopting a new skill will not only invigorate your creativity, but also add depth to your portfolio.

Continue Your Learning

As photographers, there is never a point when we know everything because technological advancements and creative trends continue to shape the industry. To continue growing as a photographer, commit to a process of continuous learning. This could involve enrolling in workshops, studying the greats, or committing to learn a new lighting technique. Investing time and resources in your professional development not only keeps your skills sharp, but also creates opportunities for growth. Embrace the learning process and watch how incorporating a new technique can breathe fresh life into your work.

Take a Self-Portrait

Step out from behind the camera and become both the artist and the subject. Join the likes of Warhol, Woodman, and Mapplethorpe by creating a self-portrait or series of self-portraits. Exploring self-portraiture can be a game-changer and turning the camera on yourself can serve as a valuable learning tool of which all photographers should take advantage. As you analyze and critique your own work, you gain insights into posing, lighting, and composition from the other side of the camera that can be applied when photographing others. Whether you're a landscape photographer, portrait artist, or documentarian, capturing your own image allows you to explore something new, or mark a moment where you have committed to expand your practice. And anyway, that headshot you are currently using really needs an update.

Network and Collaborate

Photography is not just about capturing images; it's about sharing experiences and stories with a community that understands your chosen path. All too often, photographers, including myself, rely on online platforms to stay connected and forget about the huge benefits of interpersonal connections in the industry. This year, resolve to build or strengthen your connection with fellow photographers. Attend exhibition openings, connect with old college buddies, or contact a photographer you admire and ask to meet for a coffee. Perhaps someone has contacted you in the past looking to collaborate, now is the right time to reach back out to them and move this idea forward.

Photography for a Purpose

If you feel like you have lost your way with photography, turn the camera on something which you care about. Photography has the power to evoke emotions, raise awareness, and spark positive change. This year, resolve to use your photography skills for a greater purpose by contributing to a cause close to your heart. It could be environmental conservation, social justice, or a local community initiative. This resolution not only adds depth and purpose to your photography but also allows you to make a meaningful impact in the world. By doing this, you could find a renewed sense of purpose and remember why you started shooting images in the first place.

Tick That Image Off Your To-Do List

You know that image idea that you have had in your mind for a long time but were too nervous or lacked the skills to create? Now is the time to change that idea into an image. Perhaps you don’t think you have the skills to pull it off, but by following all of the other resolutions above this one, you really can't go wrong.

While setting resolutions in January is a common practice, remember that you can set goals and make positive changes at any time of the year. The key to successful resolutions lies in setting realistic and achievable goals and making consistent efforts to reach them. If January 1st, 2024 isn’t the right date for you, pick an alternative date in the near future and follow the suggestions above. Take a moment to reflect on all of your achievements so far and recognize how far you have come. With that knowledge, you can visualize further growth and skill development, which will help you to navigate all of the changes still to come in the industry.

Happy New Year to you all when the time comes. I wish you all a prosperous year ahead.

Kim Simpson's picture

Kim Simpson is a photographer based in the West of Scotland. Her photographic practice is an exploration of the human experience, with a particular emphasis on themes of identity and belonging.

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If I could interject another great goal for every photographer to consider that would help all other photographers and oneself: Don’t give a single image away for free in 2024. If somebody really doesn’t have any budget for your image that they want, trade them something for it: ad space in the magazine that wants to use the image or an actual warm introduction to another potential client that the marketing professional who wants to use your image knows personally.
There are more images (supply) in circulation than ever before, but there’s also a bigger need (demand) for quality images than ever before, so let’s work together to raise the tide instead of undercutting each other and the very market in which you’re trying to earn a living.

I completely agree and wrote an article recently about not working for free.

Continue learning is so important. When you are self employed, and have a busy family life on top of that, personal professional development is often the thing that falls by the wayside.

You are right, networking is important too. I have found that doing things to help others is by far the best way to network. Many fail to see that and just take and don't give and they end up as failures as a result.

Thanks Ivor. Yes it can be hard to find the time for continuous learning but its important to stay on top of it, plus this can help to expand your practice.