Friday, December 11, 2009

The Photographer's New Year's Resolutions for 2010

Every year we come up with these lists that we swear we are going to live by. As symbolic and exemplary of a life of procrastination as they are, they make up an important part of our end-of-the-year reflections and, if taken seriously, they can set the vision for the future.

So, why not make a list specific to your passion and favorite discipline?
Here are my ten. Let's circle back a year from now....

1.- Shoot, and shoot plenty. Even if you don't agree with those that say that even a monkey will be able to take a good photograph if we wait long enough, setting up, shooting and processing your photographs can only make you better.

2.- Publish. There is no point in shooting if you don't show your work to somebody, or even better, to a wider audience. Find your sweetspot and go for it regularly.

3.- Reign the web. Some say that if you cannot be found by Google, you are nobody. Start a blog or just have your own Flickr account where you publish your "picture of the week". Even advertising agencies are now sometimes harvesting Flickr instead of stock agencies. Get a Google Ad-Words account and dip your toes on pay-per-click, use the "Prepaid" version, having an open-ended campaign attached to a post-paid credit card is a formula to go broke if you don't know what you are doing.

4.- Be social. If you want to develop your business as a photographer, you have to be associated with good imagery in the mind of everybody who you know. Go to networking events -all kinds of them- and have a Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter strategy.

5.- Loose your obsession with equipment. Equipment is a means to an end, but you know that what counts is who's behind it. Develop your technique and your eye, instead of your equipment cabinet.

6.- Let go of comfort. Uneasy situations, bad weather, unlikely locations...they all make for potentially great photographs. Go for them, make a point of leaving the house/office when it is raining outside. Get up before dawn.

7.- Be disciplined. Backup your files, get a RAID array. Process them in a timely manner. Set your camera back to your defaults before stashing it in the bag. Keep your lenses clean, your batteries fresh and your cards empty. Just like you brush your teeth and you DO run those 5 miles everyday...

8.- Get better at producing, documenting and delivering. This is probably the greatest difference between a professional and an amateur. Check out pre-production software. Celtx ( is an open-source alternative created for the film industry, but fits pretty well.

9.- Don't talk down other photographers. There are too many talented photographers doing nothing as well as a few mediocre working their way into the craft. Look for the positive and learn on what has worked for every individual. Make note also on what NOT to do. Offer your input in a humble way.

10.- Put your work in perspective. It is not arrogance. There is much more to crafting a great image than pressing the shutter. Countless hours go into conceiving, pre-producing, taking and then post-produce an image. That work is worth it and it cannot be done by other than a professional. I can cook, and I still go every once in a while to a restaurant that charges $20 an entree, and it never crosses my mind to say "I could do that too".

Huba Rostonics is a Florida-based Photographer. He is constantly looking for new things to put a frame around. You can check his work at, you can also follow Huba on twitter @