Bonfire Blast 2009

What are your photography goals and aims for 2015?  Let me tell you about mine and then I’ll ask you the question again.  Photography is my business and it is always good to periodically take stock of where you are and set targets.  At the start of each year I try to look back at the past 12 months and then look forward to year ahead.

Looking back

12 months ago I decided that 2014 for me should be a year of consolidation.  I didn’t want to start anything new but I did want to get to grips with what I was already doing.  It was a year to take control of the business.  I should be running the business rather than the business running me.

In the first half of 2014 I put in place procedures for managing my extensive catalogue of images.  I’ve just checked and Lightroom tells me I have 193,796 images in my catalogue! And that number of images needs managing.  Part of that was tweaks to my workflow, part of it was about my backup procedures.  The latter proving invaluable when 2 disks failed later in the year.  Most notably an HDD holding 10 years worth of images.

Working with 3Sheep

They say confession is good for the soul.  So let me confess. I think I lost my way with the training and events in the middle of the year.  I wasn’t planing very far ahead and perhaps had unrealistic expectations regarding my advertising strategies and the number of bookings I would receive for events – particularly those over the summer months.  However in the autumn my entire marketing strategy was reviewed by 3Sheep Ltd, a local company specialising assisting businesses with their digital marketing and use of social media.  The review was a little painful at times but the end result has been a more consistent approach to my use of social media and digital marketing, a relaunch of my YouTube channel, and a more forward thinking approach to planing events and workshops.  Has this worked?  Yes, definitely.  Since my sessions with 3Sheep Ltd, I have seen a rise in the number of new photographers coming to the studio, many of whom are coming back on a regular basis.  Over the last two – three months instead of cancelling events due to a lack of bookings I am seeing events selling out on a regular basis, and in one case I’ve had to rerun an event just to cope with the demand.

So as we approach the end of 2014 I feel my business is probably stronger now than it has ever been.  So what of 2015?

2015 – A Year for Growth

Where 2014 was a year of consolidation, I want 2015 to be a year of growth and expansion.  I’m not just talking about measuring growth by an increase income… though I hope that will happen too!  I want to grow and improve as a photographer and trainer.  But even more importantly I want to see the photographers I am in contact with, either through events at the studio or on-line grow and improve their skills too.

So to achieve this I’m setting myself some goals for 2015

  • Increase the number of subscribers to my photography newsletter from 367 to at least 500.
  • Publish on-line at least one photo each day – where possible with some information about how or why it was created.
  • Publish on average at least 3 videos each month to YouTube
  • Launch my paid for video based training courses via Udemy
  • Increase average bookings for events in 2015 to 80%
  • To be invited to talk on photography at six or more different groups/club/organisations.

What are your goals?

So… I told you I would ask again…. What are YOUR photography goals and aims for 2015?

Ok, so unless photography is your business your goals will look very different to mine.  One thing they should have in common with mine however is that they should be measurable.  Improve as a photographer is not a measurable goal – improvement is subjective and can’t be measured.  This time next year you should be able to look back at your goals and know whether you achieved them or not.

Exactly what they are will of course depend on what you want to achieve in 2015, but let me make a few suggestions just to get you thinking :

  • 365 photo per day challenge  – This is tough challenge. Take a new photo every day and publish it on line.  This will is the photographer’s equivalent to daily exercise.  It will help build up your photography skills – especially on those days when you are struggling for a subject.
  • 52 weekly photo challenge – same as above but only once a week – far less daunting!
  • Do a photo project – set yourself a theme and aim to photograph round that theme through out the year, and then present the results on-line, or in a photo book.
  • Obtain a recognised distinction – For example Licentateship or Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society.
  • Do X paid shoots – set yourself a target for doing a particular number of paid shoots, and then focus your attention on getting those bookings.
  • Do X number of one-to-one model shoots – Set your goal (and your budget) and have fun.
  • Attend a workshop on [Subject] – Commit to learn a new photography technique in 2015
  • Book for every event at Ian’s Studio

Ok so I’m not serious about the last one, but you get the idea – set yourself a photography goal for 2015.  If you do please let me know and we can encourage each other through the year.  No only that but I will give a £15 credit (to be used against studio hire or events/workshops at the studio) the person who has set themselves the most interesting goal for the year.