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Monday, January 3, 2011

Goals for 2011

Sunset 1-13-10

With the arrival of the new year, I thought I'd lay out some goals for myself for 2011:

First of all, no 52 weeks or 365 projects. The 52 weeks thing went pretty well for me last year, but there were times when I was in a bit of a rut with my photography, and forcing myself to come up with an image every week had more of a negative effect on my creativity than I thought it would. Rather than set a quantity of photos to take this year, my goal is to improve the quality of my photography. I hope to do this by putting more planning and forethought into my images, looking ahead a few months at a time to decide when and where I want to go shoot. I didn't capture nearly as many fall photos as I had wanted this year, and a big part of that was the lack of planning on my part - the leaves changed, and I went "OMG I have to shoot!" but didn't know where to start.

I would like to start (and hopefully finish) a documentary project that I've been kicking around for about a year now. I plan on going to the local laundromat and photographing/interviewing people there, and hopefully compiling it into a book of some sort. I expect that I'll get some interesting stories and conversations out of it, and hopefully some good photos to go with it. This also falls into the "get over your fear of photographing strangers" category, I'm hoping that the boredom of waiting for laundry will make people more amenable to me.

I plan on shooting my laundromat project on film, which is another goal for the year. I've been slowly collecting the necessary equipment to develop my own black and white (thanks in large part to my dad giving me his entire darkroom setup), so I plan on doing that somewhat regularly this year. I'm also liberating a 4x5 view camera from my dad's closet, so I'll be learning how to use that. I plan on blogging about the 4x5, and I'll probably do a few posts on shooting and developing your own black and white.

My biggest project this year will be National Photo Essay Month (aka NaPhoEMo) during November. A play on NaNoWriMo, the idea is to do the photographic equivalent of 50,000 words of a novel. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, that translates into a 50 image photo essay. 50 images is a *lot* for a photo essay, so the scope will have to be large enough to avoid redundancy and filler. I may set myself up for success by cutting that number in half (25 photos), at least for the first year. I'll be blogging more about that and trying to drum up a group of people for the project as it gets closer, so start thinking about a photo project that you've been interested in.

What are your goals for 2011? Do you have any projects in mind? Where do you want your photography to go this year?


[title of blog] on flickr


  1. I LOOOOVE your ideas. I hope you'll blog about the laundromat story (I mean the process) and I can't wait to see your Nov essay (even though I know it's 80% of the year away, lol). Sounds like a good year of even better photography ahead!

  2. You've got some great plans, here's to great light (and nice laundromat people) in 2011!

  3. Thanks guys. Seems like a lot once I got it all down, hopefully I'll have the follow-through to tackle it all

  4. Hi Simon
    Just thought I would pop in to say thanks for running this group thru the year and for all the words of encouragement and advice. Hope that your ideas come to fruition for next year (well this year) and I will be looking forward to seeing your shots on flickr and on here
    Cheers and good shooting!
    Ps when I finish my 52 I think I will be joining one of these groups ( but putting my spin on it!

  5. Sounds like a good plan, Irv. Thanks for your participation in the group, I enjoyed seeing your photos this year. Good luck finishing your 52 and starting your 100 strangers :)