Happy New Year sign on a set of double yellow lines

What are your photography goals for 2017

the question I have been asking Academy Members and it is a question I will be asking the photographers on the MV Marco Polo on New Year’s Day.

Smart goals

Anyone who has worked in business will have come across the idea of S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related). If you know that methodology and want to apply that’s great. I’m going to take you through my own bullet points for photography goals and as you will see there is a great deal of overlap.

Realistic and achievable

The biggest reason people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions is that they set the bar too high and that just leads to failure. Don’t decide to create an image every day and post it online if you are already rushed off your feet. You are going to set yourself up for failure.

Specific and measurable

A goal of “be a better photographer” or “go out more with the camera” is not a specific goal, and it is difficult to know if you have achieved it. “Submit a panel of images for an RPS distinction by the end of the year” is specific. “Go out twice a month with the primary aim to do some photography” is specific.


This is the flipside of being realistic. Your goal should push your limits a bit, and take you out of your comfort zone a little. If you are already taking photographs every week, a goal of taking a photograph each month is not going to stretch you. To develop as photographers we need to push ourselves a little.


If someone knows you have set a specific goal, it is much harder to give up. So tell someone. Tell someone who can encourage you and help you when you think about giving up.

For Academy Members (and the Marco Polo Photographers) I am going into the whole topic of setting goals in much more detail and helping them to set goals and to achieve them in 2017.

If you haven’t yet joined The Academy, you can do so here.

Remember it costs just £6 per month or £60 for the year.