25 New Year's Resolutions for Creatives - Have a More Powerful 2017

Resolution text on typewriter

Every New Year, folks make resolutions.  A lot of them never get started, some get accomplished, and by the 3rd of January, life has often gotten in the way of others.  To save you time, gentle reader, I have provided a lengthy list of resolutions for creatives to make your own list building quicker.  Heck, you might even do some of them! 

They're numbered in no specific order, merely to make copying the ones you choose to undertake easier.  

  1. I shall not undertake any project, task, community action, posting circle or theme thing on social media unless doing so betters me in some way that I value.
  2. I shall abandon blind brand loyalty and accept the reality that all the gear options are tools to be used by me to the best of my ability.  When someoneasks me what I shoot, I shall tell them "a camera"
  3. I shall replace the OEM camera strap with something that is comfortable and suits my personal use cases and that does not identify me either as owning expensive gear or tell the world that I am a billboard providing free advertising.  Or that I am so insecure, I want people to be impressed by the name on my camera strap.
  4. I shall learn how to use my light meter fully and completely.   Once I do this, I shall actually use my light meter properly and stop hoping.
  5. I shall learn to read a histogram and be able to explain what I learn when reading it.  I shall accept that there is no such thing as a "correct" histogram because the histogram is a graphical representation of what is really present in the image or clip
  6. I shall stop blaming my gear, the weather, the spirits or gerbils when my work is not good.  I shall look in the mirror and coach myself to learn, to practice and to get better. 
  7. I shall learn to use off camera flash and I shall carry a flash with me whenever I go out shooting.   When I have achieved this, I shall work hard not to laugh out loud when someone calls themselves a "natural light photographer".
  8. I shall judge my work by my reaction to it only.  If others like it, that's swell but unimportant and if they don't, that's too bad but unimportant.  I accept that this makes the Google Plus Circle Count a stack of egotistical bullshit.
  9. I shall accept that all skies in black and white images do not need to be jet black for that look has been done to death.
  10. I shall learn to expose to the right. 
  11. I shall learn to fill the frame in camera and not need to crop most of the image away in post.  If I choose to not learn to fill the frame, I promise never to complain about softness, sharpness, contrast, exposure or anything else because I have consciously decided to be sloppy.
  12. I shall accept that post processing does not make an adequate image great.  It makes an adequate image post processed. 
  13. I shall follow the words of the great Danny Partridge, paraphrased thusly.  If it sounds like bullshit and it smells like bullshit, it is probably bullshit.  I shall use this knowledge aggressively when perusing the Internet, while looking at manufacturer websites and when in camera stores.
  14. I shall accept that Likes, Plus 1s and all that kind of stuff from people that I do not know and whose work that I do not respect are utterly worthless in the greater scheme of things.  Instead of spending time reading this bunk, I shall go shooting or work on improving my skills in other areas.
  15. On the day that I can look at my work from a year ago and say that I have reached my pinnacle of ability, I shall put the camera down and to take up underwater basket weaving because I will have lost my mind.  Every work of imaging that I do in the future shall consist solely of blurred selfies taken with a cellphone while high on opiates.  A creative who does not grow is dead.
  16. When someone tells me that they can make really great photographs with their cellphone, I shall not bash their heads in, even though nature abhors a vacuum.   I shall nod and walk away hoping that they do not breed.
  17. I shall show respect to others and refrain from the popular "theft" model of street photography.  If I see someone interesting, I will say hello and ask to make an image of them, and thank the person for the privilege.  At the same time, I shall accept that being in public provides no guarantee of privacy and hope that others understand this as well so if I photograph a crowd some collection of religious kooks don't try to kill me.
  18. I shall actively resist being stuck in one place when using a zoom lens or a tripod.  I shall remind myself that different perspectives make for different images.
  19. I shall work to remember that all subjects may not look their best from my personal eye level.
  20. I shall learn to love tilt and swivel LCDs and not assume they exist solely for the malignant narcissism that is the selfie.  As I do this, my knees, hips, shoulders and eyesight will love them too.
  21. When I hear that the new version of whatever is "too good to be true", I shall trust my judgement, because it likely is.  I shall not discount the new whatever out of hand, but I shall make my own decisions and not follow a crowd or a committee.
  22. I shall accept that new gear will not make me better.  It may allow me to work more effectively or efficiently, but real creativity happens in the brain, not the box.
  23. I accept that applying a bunch of presets, filters, textures and effects will not make a crappy image or film better.   This acceptance may fly in the face of anyone who thinks that Instagram looks are either interesting or creative for they are idiots. 
  24. I shall challenge myself to shoot subjects outside of my comfort zone.  I accept that I may not care for the type of work, but also accept that stretching myself is a good way to grow.
  25. I commit to pass on one thing that I have learned to another creative in order to help that person get past a roadblock.