For me, 2014 was a fantastic photography year. It might not have developed in exactly the way I thought it would but it was a great year nonetheless. Just like in 2013 I set up three main goals for my photography in the beginning of the year. These goals, or resolutions as I also call them, are described in the blog post Photography Resolutions for 2014 and as 2014 now has ended the time has come to revisit these resolutions and see whether or not I managed to fulfill them.
Resolution #1: Do at least one TFP shoot with a model I don’t know
My plan was to focus on model photography in 2014 but that didn’t really happen. I did a couple of portrait shoots with some of my friends that I’m really happy with but I did not manage to plan and complete a model shoot with a model that I didn’t know beforehand. I came close a couple of times but there were always some pieces of the puzzle that didn’t fall into place. I will definitely try to make this happen in 2015 because model photography is very much a genre I would like to get into but, unfortunately, I failed to fulfill my first photography resolution of 2014.
Resolution #2: Get objective assessments of my photography
The idea behind getting objective assessments of my photography is of course to get an idea of what level my images are at and what areas I need to improve. So, did I do it? Well, both yes and no…
I did not sit down with a seasoned professional to have a thorough review of my portfolio. This is the best and most direct way of getting objective feedback but it’s also quite difficult to get such an opportunity. However, a couple of other things I did during 2014 are, at least in part, related to this resolution. The first thing that comes to mind was that I was picked up by Decibell Media to shoot concerts for them. This is one indication that my images aren’t all bad because if they were, the guys at Decibell Media never would have asked me to join them. During the year I also got a lot of positive feedback from my photography peers as well as the people that I photographed. My images were appreciated, used, and stolen which serves as some kind of indication of their quality. But it’s not really objective is it?
I also got positive feedback on my photography exhibition at Majorna’s library. People, who I have absolutely no idea who they were, got in touch with me via email and told me how much they appreciated my images. Looking at the feedback I got during the year this is definitely what made me smile the most. To realize that someone takes precious time out of his or her day in order to contact me, a complete stranger, and tell me that they like my images is a fantastic feeling that is difficult to describe. However, it’s not really feedback that helps my photography evolve. I therefore leave it up to you to decide whether or not I fufilled this resolution. So, what do you say?
Resolution #3: Get my first photography based income
Money is a strange thing. I often find that, for me, focusing on money has a negative influence on my creativity. Therefore I try not to as hard as I can. However, sometimes I fail and come up with stupid photography resolutions like this one that I regretted almost immediately after I published it. The result is of course that I failed miserably. The good thing is that I’m not convinced that it’s a bad thing.
I’m in the fortunate position of not having to rely on photography as my main or only source of income. I do it because I love it, not because I have to and I think that removes a lot of pressure from my photography. I can focus on shooting the things I’m passionate about and that, hopefully, results in better images. With that said, it’s always difficult to hide from the fact that it’s a huge confidence boost if someone is willing to pay money for my images. Also, I think it’s wrong to do work for free that other photographers would charge for just because I enjoy it. But I will never again have money as the primary objective when I shoot. That just ruins what photography is for me.
Summary of 2014
Two and a half failures out of three. How can that be a great photography year? What did I do if I didn’t shoot any models and I didn’t make any money during 2014? I shot concerts. Instead of focusing on model photography as I planned my concert photography took huge leaps forward during 2014. I shot a total of 58 concerts, which is almost three times more than my previous record year, and I shot at locations that I’ve never accessed before. It made me realize that I really love to shoot concerts and that concert photography is my main photography genre. Now I even consider myself to be a concert photographer!
Looking at my website statistics, the number of unique visitors almost doubled compared to 2013. I also started to get a little more social media traction but that is something that need to work on even more during 2015. I have big plans for 2015, a major website overhaul being one of them, and I really hope that you will continue to follow my photography adventures, either here on my website or on social media, because I have a feeling that it’s going to be a great year. In fact, I think it’s going to be even better than 2014!