I think that as the year draws to a close, it’s useful to look back and ask yourself: ‘Did my photographic vision grow in 2011?’ This is something that can be instructive as we think back and look ahead as photographers…
If you are a beginning photographer, this is of course an easy question to answer: you’ve been deeply involved in learning the basics of your camera, exposure, lighting, etc. In the early years, you’ll find yourself growing by leaps and bounds as you experiment with all of the aspects that go into being a photographic artist.
Gradually though, this becomes a harder assessment to make. You’ve already learned all of the fundamentals about your gear and how it works. Maybe you’ve gotten serious about doing your own printing or exploring alternative photographic processes. Maybe you’ve gone ‘old school’ and taken up shooting with film cameras. Maybe you’ve become interested in mastering photographic lighting. So at this point in your shooting career, you need to look a bit more closely to assess your progress.
Here are a few simple questions that might help you think about this:
Looking back over this year, have the quality of my images improved?
Is there an area of photography that I focused upon?
Did I set any photo goals for myself? Did I reach them?
Does the simple act of shooting still bring me joy?
This last question might be the most important of all: do you still occasionally get that chill/thrill when out shooting, that magic feeling that got you hooked on photography in the first place? If you can’t answer this one with a resounding ‘Yes!!’, it may be time to really reflect on how you’re spending your time…
You may have other relevant questions that come to mind when making this type of self-assessment. I’ll do another post in a few days that looks back at my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions and how I did, as well as setting some new personal goals for 2012. It might be time to think about this for yourself as well.
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Or subscribe to our Facebook page or our Twitter feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog