Do You Have a Photography New Years Resolution?

Joshua Tree / Photo by Steve Berardi

Joshua Tree / Photo by Steve Berardi

So, today is the first day of 2013. Happy New Year!! It’s a great day to reflect on the previous year, and to build hopes and dreams for this great new year we have ahead of us.

Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself to learn something new, or reach a major milestone in your pursuit of a bigger goal. They don’t necessarily have to be anything super big, like quitting your day job and making a living as a professional photographer. They could be as simple as getting one of your photos published in a local newspaper.

Ideas for photography goals

If you’re not sure what kind of goal to set for the new year, but you’re still motivated to improve your photography, then here are a few common ideas you might find helpful:

  • Overcome one of your weaknesses. We all have unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, maybe you have a really natural ability to compose powerful photographs, but at the same time maybe you could improve your technical understanding of the camera. Pick a weakness, and conquer it this year!
  • Get your photos published in a magazine or newspaper. This might seem like a big goal, but you can start small by focusing on a local newspaper or magazine. Publications are always looking for good photos, and it’s extremely rewarding to see your photo in print somewhere. It’s a nice acknowledgement that you’re improving as a photographer :)
  • Start a “photo per day” project. One of the most simple photography projects is to just make a commitment to taking a photo EVERY DAY for a set amount of time. It could last anywhere from a month to even a year. I’ve never done one of these projects myself, but have always admired people who can stay committed to a project like that (and it’s fascinating to see their vision develop over the course of that month or year they did the project for).

Share your goals with us!

One of the best ways to motivate yourself to accomplish your goals is to make them public. So, if you have any big ideas for the New Year ahead, please feel free to share them with us by leaving a comment below! If there’s something you’d really love to learn more about in photography, let me know, cause it’ll help me decide what to write about in 2013 :)

My goals for the year

I’ll go first ;)

  • Focus intensely on learning more about image composition. I feel like composition is my biggest weakness as a photographer right now. I feel confident about my technical knowledge of the camera, but I think there’s a lot I need to learn about composing images (especially landscapes). As part of my plan to accomplish this goal, I’m looking forward to reading more great books from Craft and Vision.
  • Release two new ebooks on photography. The first one is going to be a basic introduction to nature photography and I’ll be releasing it by the end of February. The second book I’ll keep a secret for now!
  • Launch a new online service for learning photography. I’ll keep the details a secret for now, but I’m looking forward to launching a major new product this year. It’s coming in April!

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steveb2About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.


  1. Great post and some excellent ideas for resolutions, Steve. Like you, one of my goals for 2013 is to publish another e-book. This one has been on the agenda for far too long and it’s time I commit to it. My major goal for the year is to spend more time actually making photographs. Opening my gallery last year sucked almost every free moment I had and I wasn’t able to get out too often. This year, it’s priority number one!
    Your new online service sounds intriguing! I look forward to learning more about it. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to contribute.
    All my best to you and yours for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

  2. My goal is to better understand my camera. Sometimes it seems smarter than I am and it has so many layers of possibility and complexity. Many thanks for your great newsletter– great information as well as inspiration.


  3. Thanks Steve for the past years of many enlightning posts.
    My resolution is to get a website up & profitable, my lack of doing this is the is too many varibles from one advertizer to the next. All their offers of “you only need $4.99 to get started, get really confusing for my 70+ brain.
    Any future posts from you on the “Website” decisions?
    By the way, another definition of Photonaturalist, “One with a film camera behind a fixed lens, walking about”.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love my Canon DSLR & Tamron 18-270, but one taxes the mind, the other saves the body at my age.
    Keep it up and have a great year.

  4. I followed your advice before I even read it – lol – by posting on my blog which in turned posted to my facebook and twitter accounts – my ‘goals’ for the new year. Check it out at ! And thanks for all the tips and insights – i remain a faithful follower.
    Stan Burnett
    Burnett Freelance Imagery

  5. I am planning to do another 52 project this year where I post one photo per week to a group on Flickr. I did one a couple of years ago. It was a lot of fun and really helped me learn a lot about my camera which was pretty new at the time.
    Another goal is to improve my people photography. I usually take pictures of landscapes and flowers, but have realized that I would also like to have more pictures of the people that I love. I tend to feel akward taking pictures of people so this will be quite a challenge for me.

  6. Bret – Thanks, hope you have a great new year too! And, thanks for continuing to be such a huge inpsiration. I really admire your work. I hope the gallery does well in 2013, and good luck with your book :)

    Kerry – Yeah, cameras can definitely be complex and mysterious sometimes. Hopefully some of the stuff we post at PN this year will help clarify some of those mysteries :)

    William – Thanks so much for your continuing support! That’s a great goal of getting a website up and running. Luckily, we live in a time where there’s great tools for doing that (like WordPress or SmugMug). I’ve been meaning to write a post on building websites for awhile, so I’ll move it up on the priority list :)

    Stan – Great list of goals! I really wanna improve my workflow too, since sometimes I feel like I spend too much time organizing my photos

    Jenessa – Your 52 project sounds cool! And, I admire your commitment! I’ve tried starting projects like that, but always end up missing a day or week :(

  7. Hi Steve,

    My goal is take at least one picture a day and also to get my pictures from last year organized and do a book of them. I went through my pictures last week and I could see the improvement by using my camera on a regular basis. And I had a great time being outside and seeing things in a creative light!

    I am hoping to post more on my flickr page on a regular basis.

  8. My goal is to learn the advanced features of the photo software I have. I only use it for basic editing.

  9. Happy New Year Mate, my goal this year is to use the manual function of my camera for 12 months.

  10. A very happy new year Steve! I bought an dSLR and I’m looking forward to explore my camera this year – that’s my resolution!

  11. Karen Bonsell says:

    Hi Steve! I’m relatively new to your newsletter & am enjoying it very much! I feel the same as Jenessa regarding people photography. I have tons of pics of birds & scenery but a very limited amount of the people I am with! I have come to the realization that I am also somewhat uncomfortable taking people pics. Also, when it comes to inside pics of people or anything I can never get it quite right, so I think I also need to spend some time getting to know my camera (I bought it about a year ago). I also want to do more blog posts on the blog that I contribute to! Take care and have a great year!

  12. Hi ,Steve!Happy New Year!
    I am plaining to enrich my blog “” with new photos.

  13. Happy New Year to all. My aim for this year is to get a prime lens and do low light photos.

  14. Hi Steve happy new year
    Like the article New year resolution
    For me
    1, Improve my off camera flash and useing the triangle ISO-Aperture-Time.

    2, Be more creative with my lanscape and doing a better job of composing.

  15. Happy new year to all!

    My goal is simple: take my pictures from my computer and publish them somehow… blog, stock, articles, sales, expositions… No matter how…

    I think that I am spending too much time just perfecting the techniques (like a collector) and not seeing the rewards of the results.

    Most probably, the ultimate goal would be: “Let me not be shy!”.



  16. Thanks everyone for sharing your great goals for the year! I’ll try to help by writing about some of these goals that I have experience with :) Good luck!

  17. Happy New Year! I’m planning on making my first print sales this year. My goal is to reach $100 profit.

  18. Thanks Steve for responding to my post, it means a lot. I’ll look forward to your post on Website building.
    Hopefully I”ll have something up soon.

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