Many people make commitments to take more photographs in the new year, and many people fail. We’ve compiled a few ways to ensure you keep your photographic new year’s resolutions
Did you make a resolution to take more photos this year? And how’s that going?
If that question is already causing you pangs of guilt then you may be suffering from New Year’s Resolutions Apathy Syndrome, a debilitating condition that affects thousands of people every year despite the fact that I just made it up.
We all start January with the best of intentions, and it’s normally around this time of the month that those intentions fall to pieces. But it’s a shame to let your photography go the same way as your promise to go to the gym three times a week. So here are a few ways you can help yourself honour your intentions and take more photos in 2015…
1. Book a photo trip
Image by Takashi Hososhima (Creative Commons)
This doesn’t have to be something expensive – we’re not suggesting a photo week in Nepal. All you have to do is find a location you’d like to photograph, find a time you can go, and actually book yourself a ticket.
A train, a bus, even a night in a hotel if you can swing it – the point is to make a financial commitment so when the allotted weekend rolls around you don’t have an excuse to put it off. Get out and shoot something new!
2. Sign up to a project (publicly)
With that in mind, the 365 project and 52 project are great ways to publicise your photography intentions and have a little fun. There are different versions of these projects floating around the web, but the essential premise is the same – take either a photo a day for 365 days, or a photo a week for 52 weeks.
Many of the challenges offer specific briefs to help spur your creativity, and there are hashtags on Twitter and Instagram where you can show off your work to other people attempting the challenge. Think about it – if you finish either project successfully, or even just make a decent fist of it, you’ve got the raw material for your first photobook!
3. Join a club (online or off)
Search for camera clubs where you live – there’s more than likely to be one. If you’re at college or university there will almost certainly be one. Express an interest and show up to a meeting – you may or may not find it’s for you, but having a group of people to show your photos to on a regular basis will definitely spur you on to create more. Also look online – Flickr groups are a good place to start if you want to find people who share your photographic interests.
4. Make a calendar of competitions, and keep to the deadlines
There is never a shortage of competitions for amateur photographers to enter. Most of the big competitions are open to everyone regardless of experience – Landscape Photographer of the Year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Travel Photographer of the Year are all open to everyone. Some awards keep separate categories for non-pros, such as the Sony World Photography Awards Open Competition.
It’s still the start of the year, so have a look at the competition websites. Write down the deadlines in your calendar so you’ve got plenty of time in advance, and stick to them. Make a plan for your year.
And on the subject of competitions…
5. Get involved with APOY
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our own competition. Amateur Photographer of the Year is our in-house photo competition especially for amateurs, and we’re just in the process of wrapping up the 2014 edition. Every round provides the opportunity to win a prize and accumulate points, and the photographer with the most points at the end of the year wins the grand title.
We have different rounds covering a range of genres, so you’ll have opportunities both to play to your strengths and try something new. Don’t feel intimidated either – you wouldn’t believe how often we see our monthly winners commenting that this is the first time they’ve entered a photo competition. See here for more information on the 2014 competition.
6. Try a day course or workshop
There are plenty of ways to improve your photography and inspire yourself without committing large amounts of time or money. Day courses and workshops are perfect ways to galvanise yourself and pick up a few tips from a pro photographer. Whatever genre you’re interested in, there will be short courses that will make you better at it.
7. Sort out your social media
Another way to make sure lots of people know about your resolution to take more photos is to finally sort out a space for your photography on social media, like you first told yourself you would back in 2013. Set up dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages for your photos and regularly update them with your adventures, especially if you’re doing a project like the 365 or 52. Here are some pointers for bettering your experience on Twitter and Facebook.
8. Don’t give up!
Finally, remember, whatever you rashly promised yourself you can do, you can do it! For instance, our goal was to make it through this entire post without making a pun on the word ‘resolution’. And we didn’t. If we can achieve things, so can you.