Every year when the new calendar comes out of it's wrapper and is readied for our walls many photographers feel the sudden urge to inject a new breath of life into my personal work. We'll make plans and set things in motion. But just like those who promise to treat their bodies better by laying off the cake and hitting the treadmill a little more, most of us will somehow let ourselves down.
I don't know why we do it, but we do. We even know it will happen, but that won't let it stop us… and I'm no different in that respect.
This time round I made my plans last summer. As I saw the light drifting away from me whilst sat at a computer looking at website code and editing images for jobs – that I wouldn't have thought were what I'd be doing when I told my parents I wanted to be a photographer - I realised I wanted to change something.
So here's a list of things I promised myself, a list I'm putting out into the real world so if someone reads it, they'll be able to ask me whether I upheld them or not.
Dedicate more time to creating the work I want to create
Last year I just didn't make nearly as much personal work as I'd originally intended, so as the year went on I delved deeper into other work promising myself that next year (as in this year) would be different.
I currently have three main projects ongoing. Sunday Morning Sales and two previous unseen projects title The Walkers (which the image above is from) and Sheffield (which the image below is from). My aim is to complete two of these over the next 12 months and move on to new areas.
I'll be using the blog and my scrapbook a little more frequently to help document developments.
Be more open to failure
Over the past few years I've had several decent enough ideas for small projects and bodies of work that I've talked myself out of before I'd ever really taken a photograph. This year I intend to look back over some of these ideas and begin to develop them into something tangiable as I suppose it's better to have tried and fail than to have never tried at all.
The above image was from a series I was contemplaiting on Milton Keynes. Right now I can't recall why I stopped working on it, especially when I look back to some of the images. Maybe it's just that as time passed I understood more about where I should have been going with it? Regardless I learned something from this work which I can not learn from a piece I gave up on before I even began.
Create more physical objects
After quitting flickr a year ago or so I started to reconsider my photography. I've discussed it at length elsewhere before, but what I came to realise was that I didn't get into photography to turn a bunch of 0's into 1's and transmit them over the internet.
So to combat this, this year I intend to self publish more bodies of work and release a small amount of extremely limited edition prints for sale. I've even repaired my printers ready.
Share more work and look to create ways through which to share it
I'm a firl believer in the idea that photographic work is created to be shared. A couple of years back I started an artist residency exploring Sheffield's Photographic scene. I held talks, installed exhibitions and worked with some fantastic people.
This year I intend to look at ways I can work in this area again, maybe on a smaller scale or maybe just to set up a new group where people can share and discuss work in the real world.
So here's to what should be an interesting year and the last of my 20's.