As the new year winds down and projects come to a close my thoughts naturally turn to what’s next? Just like Kristina, I tend to review the year before making plans for the new year and new beginnings.

I am a big believer in New Years Resolutions and I make them every year; some times they are successful and sometimes, well…not so much. I love setting goals, they are the ultimate to do list, and they help give my year a frame work to play within.

This year two important things have already happened that have unwittingly determined my goals for the new year. The first is my best of 12 book for 2015. (Although I am not as organized as Mike and my books are not in the post, they are ready for packaging.) While I was editing my book it became very evident to me that I need to brush up on my photography skills. Seeing Mike’s images up close and personal for the last few weeks at the Bryan Ohno Gallery has led me to appreciate all the more what an excellent photographer he is. Mike is my inspiration to improve my skills at this hobby which I love.

I’m lucky that I live in a town large enough to have good resources for continuing my photography education (plus awesome friends who I can lean on for help). I plan on taking at least one class from the local photography school; I am hoping to experience at least one solid critique of my work from an impartial group. I also plan to take a deep dive into If you are not familiar with, I can assure you it’s an amazing resource for anyone motivated enough to take on the task of learning through video instruction. They have produced videos on  variety of photographic topics including photo editing and lighting; two skill sets that I need to get better at. I like their videos because they break down large complex topics into bite sized chunks (2-5 minute) that I can watch as time permits.

There are two large reasons driving this need to get back to basics. One I will talk about sometime next year as the project develops but the other one I am happy to share with you now.

We all have our bucket list of experiences we want to have before we die and I am no different. One of those bucket list items is photographing the aurora borealis. (For those of you who live in cold northern clients you  probably can’t image the magical pull of this atmospheric phenomena to those of us who live south.) Recently I signed up for a photography adventure in Iceland which doesn’t leave until February of 2017 and I want to make sure I am ready to take full advantage of this experience. I will be joining five other intrepid photographers traveling to Iceland with Justin Reznick to photograph the aurora almost every eveing in below freezing temperatures. During the day we will be venturing to Gul Foss as well as to a glacier filled bay and other locations in the southern end of the island. I know I am going to be sleep deprived and experience cold like I have never felt before, but I don’t care, this is going to be amazing experience and I want to be ready!

Last year my photography resolutions were centered on making personal connections with other toy photographers, but this year has a slightly different focus. While I know I will still see my friends (two trips to Portland are already in the works) it seems the technical side of photography is calling to me this year. While I appreciate Kristina’s indecision as she approaches the new year, that doesn’t seem to be my fate; I am going to simply let the imagery take care of itself as I focus on taking the best photos I can. I know from past experience that this simple goal is more than enough to tackle in one year.

~ xxSJC

What are your photographic goals for the new year? 

I wonder if Mike, Boris, Vesa and Mike have any photographic aspirations for the new year? 

Photo Bomb