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Setting Photography Goals

March 3, 2012

If you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll have no idea of how to get there.  Whether you’re totally new at photography or a seasoned pro, it’s a great idea to set a few photography goals for yourself.  If you’re just starting out in your photography journey, I would suggest getting a notebook to write down little tips and tricks that you’re learning, pose ideas, etc.  On the first page of your notebook jot down a few goals that you want to work on in the coming year.

Thing to keep in mind when goal setting:

Make sure that your goals are measurable.  For example, saying that you want to be a better photographer isn’t a good goal.  A better goal would be saying that you want to learn how to use your camera settings and shoot in manual. 

Goals also need to be ambitious yet realistic.  Don’t make a goal for something that you’re already doing or pretty much have the hang of.  Challenge yourself to learn something new, it shouldn’t all be easy.  That being said, make sure that your goals are attainable.  If you just got your DSLR a great goal would be using Aperture Priority mode, once you understand your priority modes then go for manual.

There are different kinds of photography goals:

Knowledge: This can be about your camera, composition, tips and tricks, etc.  Another big area of knowledge/ learning in digital photography is post processing.  An understanding of Photoshop, Lightroom, etc are important in the quality of your final image.

Technique:  This is all about applying your knowledge.  Are you sure about what you “know” or are you always looking things up.  Are you easily able to troubleshoot a photography problem or are you hoping to just get lucky in the situation.  The more you practice the more your technique will develop.  This just takes time, don’t feel discouraged.

Quality/ Quantity: Are your images sharp and pleasing to look at or are there obvious flaws.  Do people seem to like them?  Do they make you feel good when you look at them? Are the images artistic and demonstrate a good understanding of composition, lighting, etc?  You have to take a lot of photos to become better.  Practice, practice, practice.

Use of Images:  What are you doing with your photos?  Some of my goals are to print at least two 5×7’s each month as well as create/ print at least four photo books in 2012.  You may have a goal of putting up some of your photos in your home, etc. 

Throughout the year remember to check back regularly to be reminded of what your goals are.  It’s a good idea to see if you’re on track or if you’ve got some work to do.  If after a few months your goals seem totally unreasonable, go back and make some revisions.  Set yourself up for success!  I find that goal setting keeps me going in the right direction, keeps me accountable and helps me accomplish way more than I could if I didn’t goal set.

Written by Shari (MWAC Host)

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