Like all of us, I'm always looking to grow and improve. Last year, I critiqued my performance and prepared a (surprisingly long) list of the things at which I aspired to be better. I feel like I accomplished much of it and found there to be something theraputic about commiting stuff like this not only to writing but doing so quite publically. And possibly these thoughts may even help others . . .
So my 2011 wedding photography resolutions:
- Take the time to actually SEE the image in the view finder. There are certain shots that I always look to do during the day because they look great. There have been times, though, when that same shot just didn't look right. Maybe it doesn't flatter the bride's features; maybe the light didn't fall correctly on the subject; maybe I used the wrong focal length; maybe a telephone pole was sprouting from someone's head; etc. Sometimes, it's literally as simple as failing to see that a bride's veil isn't straight or her hair is in her eyes. These things should've been visible (and correctable) right away based on what I was seeing through the view finder but I was trying to move too quickly and didn't take the time to REALLY see.
- Take the time I need to do my best work and don't feel rushed. When schedules slide (as they always do), it's the portrait time - MY time - that gets squeezed. I always put pressure on myself to still somehow get everything I'd normally do in that smaller window of time. When there isn't enough time to do everything, I need to be more comfortable with the idea of doing less and keep it higher quality.
- Take the time to be creative. Sometimes, with the time pressure of the day, I get formulaic. It's still very good work, but it takes time for me to see things in a unique way and I don't always allow myself or feel like I have the time to do it.
- Work with my clients to ensure they schedule enough time for me to do my best work. All three of the previous bullets are all about having and/or taking the time to do my very best and most creative work. While I need to slow down in the interest of higher quality even if that means doing less, what I really need to do is push my clients harder on allowing sufficient time during their planning process. I already do quite a bit of this, but I need to message it harder.
And it's a new year.
For the benefit of others, feel free to add your own goals.