Goals for photographers should be laid out like first-year college students lay out their clothes for the next day the night before. That is to say, photographers should always have a plan, both to be the best they can be in their next shoot, and to keep improving as a whole.
With the new year approaching quickly, the possibility to reset and set goals is also near. It may be that new year’s resolutions are quickly broken and rarely kept, the new year still offers a great moment to reset, regroup, and refocus.
Kulture Hub reached out to photographers to compile a list of goals to hit in the new year.
Elevate your art
As a commercial photographer, it can be easy to drift away from what drew you to creating in the first place. There isn’t always space for full artistic expression and experimental in for-profit work.
Erick Hercules, (@erickhercules on Instagram) who has a growing platform of photos focused on capturing moments without photoshop, hopes to transition away from commercial work and into the fine art space.
“My goal is to use my power and reach as an artist to tell better stories, create more provoking work that stands for something and truthfully, maximize my storytelling to inspire my audience to appreciate real life a little more, without the use of photoshop.”Erick Hercules
These goals hit a deep artistic value of Hercules’, and it will be exciting to watch the photographer then hone in on his talent and vision in 2021.
Find Brand Deals
Let 2021 be the year you actively pursue paid deals. “My goal for 2021 is to finally start reaching out to brands and companies (…) for paid work,” Patty, @pattysfilms on IG, wrote.
“If I want to make a living out of it, this is where it starts.”@pattysfilms
Depending on your long-term career goals, getting brand deals and collaborating with companies can be an important step in reaching those goals. You can reach out to companies on Instagram and also other social media platforms.
It never hurts to message accounts and ask; the worse they could say is ‘no’ but then at the least you’d know you made an attempt. Photographers’ goals are not predetermined. Everyone’s path is different, and there are many different directions budding photographers can go. But it cannot be overstated how important self-marketing can be.
“A New Year’s resolution of mine is to work with at least three different fashion brands as well as break into the product photography industry,” said Olivia Steuer, @Olivia.steuer on IG. Setting a specific number of collaborations or brand deals can help to make the more tangible and in turn more achievable.
Learn a new skill
“Learning a new approach or process is a great way to breathe new life into your photography,” said Luca de Massis, @lucademassis on IG.
“A new process can be as simple as finally learning how to retouch skin and textures correctly or a little more advanced such as incorporating some luminosity and light masks into your workflow. I want to focus more on films and natural edits giving the final product a more organic look to it.”@lucademassis
Many online learning websites are offering courses for free or at discounted prices. Check out Coursera or Skillshare to find a new skill to spice up your photography.
Network yourself like crazy
COVID has undeniably made networking very tricky. Unfortunately, creatives often rely on the connections they make for finding collaborators and clients. Despite quarantine, social distancing, and COVID-safety, there are still ways to forge new connections and genuine friendships.
In 2021, set yourself the goal to reach out to old friends and potential new collaborators. Find online groups of like-minded creatives, retweet, and comment on content you enjoy. Slide into the DM’s of Instagram accounts you admire. There are ways to connect even when you’re not in-person.
And there are still ways for all photographers to reach their goals in 2021.
Photographers #1 piece of advice: Follow your passion
“My goal is to work on a passion project for the entire year,” said Raheim (@black_soap on IG).
Do you have a photographer’s passion project that you’ve been putting on hold? Maybe you also have a Pinterest board dedicated to a concept that you haven’t been able to find time for. Or notes on your phone filled with ambitious projects.
This year was understandably rough. So photographers: go into 2021 set to achieve all your goals. There’s no better time than New Years to start fresh.