It is always good to set new goals for the new year and I am not talking about the goals we all make and fell to keep them like losing weight, working out, and saving money. I am talking about creative goals. It is always a good practice for a photographer to set goals that can be challenging but also fun. Most photographers want to get better at their craft but many don't take the time to set specific goals to become a better creator. That is why it is a good practice to set down, physically write down specific goals that I will achieve for 2019.
Goals must be specific but also practical. For example, I would love to travel to some very cool location and spending a week or so photographing and get great video of cool landscapes but I know is not going to happen. I can't go to places like Iceland, Europe, Alaska, or Hawaii. First of all, I don't like traveling that much and don't want to spend money I don't really have for travel just to say I went there. I would much rather take the money I would spend on travel on new gear and more stateside travel in the United States. There are some great locations to visit overseas, but I also know there are also some amazing places to visit in the great U.S.A. So, I plan to stay state-side. That is what I call a practical goal.
Setting goals are great but I feel some people set too many goals and most of them are unrealistic and most goals are never achieved. The main reason is the people don't stay focused on their goals. People make yearly goals that sound really cool but they forget about them after a month or so. I find breaking down the goals into monthly, weekly, and even daily tasks are more effective.
I have four goals for 2019. My 4 main goals for 2019 are pretty simple and obtainable, even for me.
My first goal is to shoot more video and improve and build up my Youtube channel. I do shoot some video but I want to concentrate on telling more of a story when it comes to shooting more photos and video. Shooting images and videos is pretty simple for me, but I want to get into more of a storytelling aspect of videography. I do not plan on creating content like many photographers and videographers do on Youtube like how-to videos and my least favorite; telling what I carry in my bag. I want my videos to be more of what I did and take the viewer along with me on my trips and assignments. I want my future videos to more personable. I also want to be out from behind the camera no matter how uncomfortable that might be. I am sure it will be a lot of extra work to create more video content, but it will also be much more fun, will get me out of my comfort zone and make me a better photographer and videographer. Not sure how great the stories will be but they will be my stories.
My second 2019 goal is to practice a lot with my new drone. I did sell my DJI Phantom Pro 3 and plan to buy a new one around March 2019, if not sooner. As with any new gear, it is very important to know the capabilities and limits of your equipment. Drones are expensive and the last thing I want to do is crash and destroy an $1100 drone because I did not take the time to practice with it and fly it properly. I plan to spend at least a week practicing with the new drone before I try anything that I may be uncomfortable with like flying over populated areas, water, or flying it too far beyond its limits. I see a lot of drone pilots flying their drones too far and wonder why they lost signal or crashed it. I don't want to be one of those guys. I want to fully understand what all the new drone can do and how I can incorporate the features and capabilities of the new drone into making my photography and videos better. That will take some time but it will also be a lot of fun. I am not sure which drone I will get but I am leaning toward a DJI Mavic Pro.
One of the biggest goals I have next year is learning to use the video editing software, Final Cut Pro. Currently, I use a cheap free version of iMovie. It works fine for me but it is not what I need to produce better high-quality videos. I plan to spend a lot of time learning Final Cut Pro and I know it will take some time to get used to the new software. I will most likely spend a lot of time learning by looking at Youtube videos and tutorials. My main resource for learning the software will most likely come from having my very talented son show me how to use it. He produces a lot of video content and I like his work. I am a visual learner and learn new software pretty quickly. So, it should not be too difficult for me. I am actually looking forward to learning the new software. I am not sure when I will get the software. Final Cut Pro is a bit pricey. It will cost me a one-time cost of about $300 for the software but I feel the price is worth it if I want to be a better videographer next year. Most of the videographers I follow use Final Cut Pro.
My fourth goal is to create a new service for my customers and clients. I will call it "Quick Pics". The service is pretty simple. I will offer a service where my customers, clients, family, and friends can get quick photos such as a family portrait, couples portrait, individual headshots, pet photos, product photos, etc... Basically, the service will focus on quick photos that will require no real setup and will not cost my customers hundreds of dollars compared to a full photoshoot. I do see a need to provide a service where someone can get a "quick pic" and save themselves a lot of money. I will offer a digital image that is professional edited and ready for print. That way my customer can print as many images as they need and images can be shared. I think it will be a great service. So, in 2019 if anyone needs a quick pic, just ask.
It is important to set goals for myself so I can continue to grow as a creator. Being a creator sometimes means I have to spend money to get the appropriate gear and software needed to create great images, video, and to tell a story. My goals will be an on-going process that I know will require flexibility and focus. I have already started that process for the year 2019. Let's see what happens.
Until next time!