It’s great to have goals in life and your photography is no different. These goals should be personal to you and where you are as a photographer. Maybe your goal is to learn a new style of photography or to shoot your first wedding as the primary photographer. Each goal will be unique to where you are in your pursuit of the craft but how do you go about attaining your goal? Of course there’s hard work but it helps to make a list of the steps you need to take to get there. For example, if your goal is to shoot your first wedding as a primary photographer you should:
- Shoot several weddings as a second shooter
- Build your portfolio using these weddings
- Tailor your website or blog to clearly show you as a wedding photographer
- Get your name out there (word of mouth is key)
From there you may need to break down those steps even further so that you can achieve each “mini goal” individually as you work toward your larger goal.
Scary? Yes but working toward a goal, no matter how large or small, helps us learn and grow as people, business owners and photographers. We learn something new with each success. If you don’t reach your goal, look at why. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it may mean you need to break down your list further, change how you approach the goal, gain a new skill, etc.
Let me share with you, one of my goals, my journey to achieving it and where I will go from here. Like many artists I made a goal for myself to be published. I didn’t know where to start or have a specific publication in mind but I set this goal for one main reason, the thought of putting myself out there for strangers to see is terrifying. I began by making a list of online wedding blogs, signing up for them and reviewing their work, criteria for publication and thinking about how I could even submit something for consideration.
A funny thing then happened, I was contacted by an online magazine, out of no where. One of the contributors came across my page and outreached to say they liked my work and would love to collaborate. I jumped at the chance. After all, how often does something like this come to you? I filled out their interview questions and poured over hundreds of photos that I have taken over the past year. I wrote and re-wrote my answers, how I wanted to be portrayed, what photos were the best representation of my work, and what was I doing to succeed. It took me about a month to prepare this and in the end I just had to submit my files. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared to press a button. By sending this I was putting myself out there for strangers to see. I’d read this magazine and in my opinion I was no where near the talent that was being portrayed but I did it. I put myself out there and this past February my interview was published by Bokeh Online.
So I met my goal, where do I go from here? That’s the challenge. Now that I have been published once, my goal remains the same. Get published again. Only this time, my goal is more specific, be published by a wedding blog. I have new goals, I need a new list, and need to take the steps necessary to get there. It doesn’t get easier after you reach your goal however it does get better. Now I am more confident about how I speak and who I am. That confidence will help me put myself out there again in the future and that makes achieving my goal all the more fulfilling. Below is an excerpt from my very first publication: