How’s the new year treating you so far?
This year, I’m thinking beyond career goals because while those are great, it’s important to nurture personal interests as well.
A personal goal of mine is to get better at photography. I have no interest in doing it professionally but for as many photos as I share both here and on Instagram, I want to make my content the best it can be.
My dirty little secret is that even though I’ve been carrying a camera with me on a near-daily basis for the last 20+ years (I was always the person in school who took photos of all my friends and got doubles printed at the 1 hour developer to hand out), my process was very point-and-shoot. Capturing moments was more important than mastering the specific settings — and my camera was always set to auto.
Finally, on Saturday I blocked out an entire day to shoot new photos for Branch. I’ve never taken a full day off before to take photos — everything was always rushed. We had an ice storm and the sun was setting quickly. I had a few more flat lays to shoot but the lighting was overcast and shadowy. In desperation, I turned the camera settings to manual, adjusted the ISO and in that minute of fiddling, my photos got infinitely better.
The settings weren’t even that difficult to master — I’d just never given myself the time to explore them.
It’s a bit embarrassing to realize it took so little to make such a big improvement.
My suggestion for you is to think about what you want to master this year….and then actually give yourself the time to do it. No rushing. No set outcomes. Just pure exploration.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: not everything you do needs to have an outcome tied to business growth / money growth / more followers. Creativity, whether it’s nurturing your photography, art, design or writing can be done solely to fuel your soul, no audience necessary.
I’ve found that when you let up and remove the pressure, the outcome is so much better.
What’s your creative goal for 2017?