It is the time of year that many think of new years resolutions, personal and business goals for the coming year. I thought I should collect my thoughts and apply that process to my photography so here are my thoughts for 2012.
I am going to focus more on what I want to photograph in this article rather than the business aspects of photography, but I thought I would share a link to a 2012 Photography Business Plan Workbook which is available from Photoshelter that looks like an excellent resource. The photography web service they provide also looks interesting.
Reflecting on this year, 2011 has been my most rewarding year to date from a photography perspective. I have enjoyed taking photos of family and travels, interesting automobiles and macro shots of nature for years and I will always treasure those photos, but I switched my main focus to portrait photography and I have found it most rewarding. The most gratifying aspect of portrait photography has been meeting the folks I photographed and being able to provide them with portraits and other photos with which they are pleased.
So how does one make a shift from photographing exotic and antique cars, nature and travels, to photographing people? In my case the two biggest factors have been the Flickr Portraits of 100 Strangers projects and a few friends who agreed to be my subjects, for which I am very thankful. The 100 Strangers project forces one to leave their comfort zone and solicit portraits from folks you don’t know. Photographing friends provides an opportunity to get to know friends better. As the Portraits of 100 Strangers project requires one to post the portraits on Flickr for critique by other project members and requires you to critique other photographers work, it is an excellent learning experience. Added to the learning is the benefit of getting to know photographers on line from all parts of the world.
You never know where meeting new folks will lead and in my case one of the strangers I photographed was Stefan Chirila a Kitchener photographer who runs a Photographing Consciously workshop. Attending his workshop was an excellent learning experience, provided an opportunity to meet more local photographers and it has led to numerous other excellent learning opportunities. Attending my daughter’s first gallery exhibit was also a rewarding and motivating experience because it causes one to think about new approaches and techniques that should be investigated.
So what will I change in 2012? I think the main change will be to be more focused on portrait photography, perfecting techniques, trying new techniques and looking for more opportunities to practice what I have learned. I look forward to meeting new folks and and working with friends I have already photographed to make a photographic record of good times throughout 2012. I am thankful for a few folks who have already identified they want portraits in the new year.
The photo below provides some highlights of 2011.