30 Photographic Goals for 2010

30 Photographic Goals for 2010

Image by Stéfan

Image by Stéfan

1. Don’t leave your camera

You never know what opportunities will present themselves to you if your camera is always at your side. It may be a bit of extra hassle, but you will develop a greater sense of observation by being aware of your camera constantly.

2. Shoot a Photo a Day

No greater photographic progress can be seen than by a personal photo a day challenge. Watch your development over a period of 1-3 months and be amazed at how far you’ve come.

3. Smile: Photos in your daily life

Most New Years resolutions include spending more time with friends and family. Take a photographer’s spin on this one, and make it a priority to take casual photos of your friends and family on a day-to-day basis. Capturing memories for others is commendable, but capturing memories for yourself is priceless.

4. Prioritize your goals

Do you want to develop your business practices? Learn a new technique? Save for a lens? Allow your tasks and plans to filter through your long-term goals.

5. Read a photography book a month

Many professional photographers have tremendous resources for up and coming photographers. Check out this list to get you started.

6. Join or Start a photo club

Camaraderie between photo buddies and colleagues is a treasure worth investing time in. Gain invaluable advice, and accountability by joining a local photo club. And if you don’t have a photo club in your town – start one!

7. Subscribe to 5 new industry leader blogs

David Jay. Jasmine Star. Mike Cologne. Dane Sanders. Scott Roberts. Becker. Ron Dawson. The list of industry leaders who enjoy giving back to others is endless. Glean from their wisdom and experience as often as you can!

8. Compete!

Submitting your photos to competitions is one of the greatest ways to get your photos off your hard drive and into the sights of important judges and industry leaders. Remember, it’s not about who you know, but who knows you!

9. Plan a formal shoot a week

If you want to learn more about portraiture, schedule a months’ worth of weekly sessions with models, couples, or seniors. Take a few hours to set up a shoot with as many details as possible, and build your techniques and portfolio.

10. Share online

Facebook, Flikr, and other photo sharing sites are obvious ways to share your photos online, but don’t stop there. Set up private albums for friends and family on picasa albums, or other services that will enable ordering and downloads to the people you love.

11. Learn a new slideshow program

Windows Movie Maker and iMovie may be convenient, but they may not offer you all the tools you need to display your photos with wow! Take some time to learn another program for your slideshows to create the most professional look.

12. Create a photo book a month

What do you do with the photos you take every month? Instead of simply storing them on a hard drive, put them into a simple photo book. Use Blurb, MyPublisher, or Snapfish for easy and professional looks. You will be ecstatic when, at the end of 2010, you have 12 books featuring your work!

13. Build your website

Whether it’s a free template or a friend’s design, take the time to present your work on your own piece of the web. It adds to your credibility, and enables you to easily share your work with others.

14. Challenge yourself with flash lighting

Flash is bad – NOT! Flash may be a bit scary and intimidating, but a little bit of discipline and hard work, and you can become a flash pro. Check out some of these articles to join the ranks of the proud flash photographers.

15. Get a photography or business mentor

Sometimes it takes a little bit of assistance to get where you need to be in creative or business endeavors. Send

16. Inquire at a newspaper

Look for connections in unexpected places. Even if you don’t want to go into photojournalism full time, getting some work at a newspaper will give you some good connections, and provide opportunities you may not have had otherwise.

17. Display your work

Many local cafes and coffee shops are interested in supporting local artists. Make some appointments to sit down and inquire if the owner is willing to display your work on the venue’s walls. You may not be able to display them for sales, but you will generate additional interest and possible clientele.

18. Get published

These days, being published does not simply mean by paper medium. There are hundreds of blogs relevant to the kind of photography you want to create. Do some investigating. Make a list of a dozen blogs and submit your work. Then – be persistent!  Be cordial, but follow through.

19. Take monthly photo walks

Do you take photo’s to relax? Sometimes amid the tension of photographing for business, or photographing for development, it’s easy to forget the enjoyment of photography. Return to the joy by scheduling an afternoon or an hour to walk through a new town, trail, or area and find inspiration. Your eyes will be opened in a new way, and you will remember the euphoria of creative discovery.

20. Plan a monthly calendar for next year

What one theme do you love more than anything else? Florals? Landscapes? Smiles? Eyes? Shoes? Find your favorite theme, and plan to shoot one photo a month in that theme, and put them together in a calendar for next year. Friends and family will love the calendar, and it gives you an excuse to display your work on the walls of homes!

21. Follow a regular photo blog-posting schedule

Photo-blogging weekly will develop your skills rapidly. Your readers will force you to be accountable to shooting consistently, and you will be able to see your development by leaps and bounds.

22. Teach a class

You are always one step ahead of someone else. Challenge yourself to host a photography class for a group in your area of influence. A church youth group class on composition. A low income after school program on creativity. A free reach out to professional amateurs on best business practices. You have something to offer, and sharing with others will also help you know your stuff as best you can.

23. Promote your work in an online Gallery

Can’t afford to print and frame dozens of pieces in a photo collection? Don’t have to. Using a hosting provider such as Zenfolio, Shutterfly, or Pictage, you can bring your work into the homes of others with the click of a mouse. Force yourself to use your photos instead of allowing them to sit on a hard drive, never to be used.

24. Give away monthly desktop calendars

There’s no better way to stay in the thoughts and mind of future clients than offering monthly calendar wallpaper for free download. Design something with a photo, and perhaps a special quote or verse. Post on your blog, and forward it on to friends and family. If it’s really cool, they’ll forward it on to others also. Suddenly, strangers will know who you are, and you will be competition on a different level.

25. Reach a hand

Get involved with HelpPortrait, or offer your services to a Boys and Girls club, or other nonprofit. These organizations are infamous for having low budgets for multimedia, and if you can offer your skills for their cause, it will bring your name out, and give you value and worth that you don’t otherwise have.

26. Develop a post processing workflow

Systemizing your work is the best way to a quick development for future work. Even if you are not in the business of photography, deciding on a good workflow for every single shoot will help you save time and energy in post processing.

27. Create a business plan

Want to start a business? Or already have? The best way to get a quick start on competition is to develop a business plan answering questions such as, “where do I want to go?” “What do I want my business to become?” and “who is my ideal client?” Even if you are not sure about starting a photography business, setting a few goals for jobs will help you pay for that new lens.

28. Experiment with new presets

Develop your own editing style by playing with presets. Start here for a good list of presets, and then adapt them to your own style. Your photos will become more cohesive and specific – causing you to have a brand with your images no one else can mimic.

29. Make personal postcards to send friends

Print mail is a rarity these days. Imagine how you would stand out if you sent out monthly postcards to select friends and family? No one can afford an entire Christmas List every month, but you can rotate the list of recipients by month. Your work will get out, you will bless others with your images, and once again, you won’t have images sitting on a hard drive, idle and wasted.

30. Take a workshop

There is no shortage of professional photographers wanting to give back through workshops. You can find workshops of all kinds, levels, and price points. Want to get away for a weekend? Or study at your own pace? You can find a workshop on location or online and continue the transformational journey of your photography in an unforgettable and rewarding way.
 What are you photographic goals for 2010? Share some of them below!

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Christina N Dickson is a visionary artist and philanthropist in Portland Oregon. Her work includes wedding photography www.BrideInspired.com and leadership with www.RevMediaBlog.com.

Some Older Comments

  • Albuquerque Wedding Photographers January 5, 2011 07:15 pm

    Saw this post a little too late for 2010, but will definitely use some of the ideas that I am not already doing for 2011. I love the idea #25 of helping a needy organization. Heard of a program here that takes portraits for needy families here in Albuquerque. I think it's a great thing for them and for the photographer. I will definitely be getting involved in it. Thanks for the ideas.

  • Elena January 5, 2011 01:38 am

    Great article. Very large list. It has given me some great ideas. Thanks!

  • April Kell August 19, 2010 06:30 am

    Great article - I love tip #12. Photo books are a great way to show off your work. FlashBack Pics is a relatively new company that offers FREE software for creating personalized photo products - check them out.

  • Michael Snapes August 18, 2010 01:44 am

    What about personalized products like at ezprints.com.

  • Nando Tampubolon July 16, 2010 08:36 am

    Jesus Christ, where I have been going all these days. I just knew about this article, really. Thanks for sharing, I think I got some inspiration from this article, and about to do that things (some)..

    Thanks again ^^

  • Chetaco June 4, 2010 03:47 am

    This article was a nice discovery. In a way it offered ideas to create a new intimacy with friends and acquaintance. Thanks!

  • Anita April 6, 2010 12:05 am

    Interested in the idea of monthly desktop calendars - is there a website where you can design, using own photos?

  • Aaron March 29, 2010 01:56 am

    These are such a great ideas, I'm going to putting most of them on a list and carry them with me in my bag. Great job!

  • Liviu March 21, 2010 06:06 am

    Mike Cologne's website is down...

  • Darren March 12, 2010 11:25 pm

    Wonderful list. Hopefully, I can accomplish just half of these.

  • Swapnil Karekar February 19, 2010 09:10 pm

    Its a very interesting list of goals in 2010. I already had planned a few things... now have a few more ideas from here. Thank you Christina N Dickson. I am majorly aiming at sports and product photography this year. So lets shoot...

  • Pamela Alarcon February 5, 2010 04:31 pm

    i don't have a camera. and i just can't feed this hobby of mine.....whew.....it's costly....even the cheapest dslr cams.i'd gladly appreciate if i'd be given a cam... T.T

  • bethany January 29, 2010 07:30 am

    can someone help me with #24...i think that's a great idea, but not sure how to set it up. does anyone know??

  • Abdul Sattar Ghumman January 27, 2010 04:46 am

    i found this article quite helpful to improve your skills but some of points repeated in some senses. any how. thx.

  • Adam Cavanagh January 24, 2010 03:13 pm

    Great ideas. I will definitely try some of them out this year :)

  • Stacey Malleck January 24, 2010 01:20 am

    This article got me pumped to be more proactive in promoting myself. Thanks! A ton of great ideas.

  • Paula M January 23, 2010 03:48 pm

    Need help with these? Heritage Makers can help you publish you photo books, personalized calendars, and photo postcards!

    12. Create a photo book a month

    18. Get published

    20. Plan a monthly calendar for next year

    29. Make personal postcards to send friends

    Check out www.ipreservelegacies.com for more information. Questions? Contact me @ 630 910 0411

  • Roxyblu January 23, 2010 09:55 am

    Awesome list! Thank you Christina!!

    Can anyone suggest somewhere to get a sample/template busoness plan for photography business?

  • Courtney January 21, 2010 07:05 am

    Great words of advice! I really like the "Theme of the Month" idea. I take so many photos on a regular basis that they do end up lost on a hard drive somewhere. I don't always have time to go through and select and edit all of them. It's a great idea to commit to working on one theme a month and by the end of the year you'll have a great organized photo gallery that you can promote or use as gifts!

  • James January 20, 2010 07:23 pm

    I loveeee photos <3

  • Wesley January 20, 2010 09:44 am

    Are all these really dedicated to business photography? I see a lot about getting published and the like, which isn't really in my goal list at all. And If I was to read and digest a photography book a month I'd have no time to take photos in.

  • Kassil January 18, 2010 02:53 am

    Working on accomplishing all these goals for 2010. Great ideas!


  • Vivek January 15, 2010 02:47 am

    Definitely very inspiring... I'm a complete newbie to the world of photography, but having purchased a Canon 500D, I figure I should make good use of it. I especially like point 2. I think I'll start from today. Thanks!

  • R.Vijayendra Rao January 14, 2010 08:33 pm

    A very very useful points for photoenthus. Though some of the points and suggestions being followed by me, reading your points here conforms them and my interest acquires a boost. Thank you very much.
    R.Vijayendra Rao

  • Alessandro Casagli January 14, 2010 03:29 am

    hey what happened to tip num 15?? it's really important for me, please fix it!

  • Björn January 13, 2010 07:57 am

    This is a really great article!! Some points are truely new for me. Thanks à lot.

  • David Jay January 13, 2010 07:25 am

    What a great article and awesome website! Thanks for including me. :)

  • Rajesh V January 13, 2010 03:41 am

    Good Job, christina. Well appreicated. Really motivating and helping organise. Some points are repetative. but one way good, since they are import and needs to be stressed.

    Will try to follow your advise

    thanks a lot

  • Ralphie January 12, 2010 03:02 pm

    Thanks, great stuff to help get me off motivated.

  • erin January 11, 2010 08:15 pm

    Thank you. There is nothing like some good old fashioned ideas to give me the inspiration but more importantly the motivation to get out there and take more photos. Living in Ethiopia as an expat is not without its challenges (especially trying to lug a DSLR around and look inconspicuous!) and documenting our time here makes it so much more rewarding. Great job Christina.

  • Gwadonna January 11, 2010 07:52 am

    Very good advices for 2010!
    It's true that most of the time all pictures stay in the hard drive so it is a very good thing to have a photo book a month.
    Right now I'm waiting for the reply for the photoclub I just enrolled in after seeing this article!!! :-) Once a month like the coming saturday I will get a chance to photography some of the beautiful landscapes Japan has to offer! I'm just so excited about it.

  • Augphoto January 11, 2010 05:37 am

    I've been planning a list like this for a while. There are ideas here I haven't thought of, though. The timing was perfect for me, also.
    Greatest article I've read in a while. Thanks.

  • Rina January 11, 2010 03:01 am

    Juat the push i needed! Can't wait to start on some of these! Thanks

  • Kristin F. January 10, 2010 07:05 am

    Any suggestions on slideshow / DVD software? I've been researching some (iDVD, ShowItWeb, etc.), but would love insight from anyone who's used something. Are there any that you love / hate? Thanks!

  • Joanne January 10, 2010 04:55 am

    I am conducting digital photography workshops on lunch cruises in Seattle this year for a fun adventure for both intermediate and advanced photography on Saturdays. Interested may contact murraysj2@msn.com for the four hour digital lunch cruises. I have been teaching educators for ten years and professional photographers for thirty years. Participants receive this website info for continuing education. Keep up the good work.

  • fkchin January 9, 2010 10:58 pm

    That great and i had dream for but i just started my DSLR lesson, i had a doubt and don't know where to begin. Your article has given my an ideal. Thank You Christina.

  • DarrinVD January 9, 2010 06:52 pm

    Thank you for the thoughtful advice here. Your article is a great inspiration. In about 3-5 minutes it has generated new ideas, and a laundry list of goals I need to complete this month to better position myself. Thanks a mill. Really!

  • Mary January 9, 2010 01:12 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas! I'm so inspired for 2010!

  • Superluminal January 9, 2010 09:14 am

    Great list,

    I really want to take a portrait and a landscape workshop this year (somewhere in the UK) over a weekend.

  • Suzanne Clark January 9, 2010 05:23 am

    What a wonderful article! I ended up looking at all the web addresses and was blown away with all the information and stories. I am not doing photography for hire this year so that I could do more things like HelpPortrait, which I had never heard of until today. Your article has confirmed that I am going in the right direction, and now to know that there are others doing the same! THANKS

  • mark January 9, 2010 02:32 am

    I have made a calender of all important events in our family that I and the kids have photographed over the past year for the last 5 years. Snapfish and Kodakgallery put together nice monthly collages or a single pic for each month to remember what happened a year ago that month. Everybody looks forward to getting one at Christmas and I love looking at it daily to remember what I have to be thankful for! It does help to take lots of pics to choose from and get the kids to send theirs on those sites or by e-mail!

  • Mia Rose January 8, 2010 11:31 pm

    I cannot imagine any better advice than keeping your camera with you at all times. I'm excited to work on the rest of these goals for the rest of this year. Thank you very much.

    Warm wishes,
    Mia Rose

  • Arjun Suri January 8, 2010 06:22 pm

    Just the initiative I was looking for! Thank You Christina:)

  • BebopDesigner January 8, 2010 02:36 pm

    What a brilliant, inspiring and exciting post! Thank you very much for sharing.... this is the perfect fuel for the perfect start.


  • albert January 8, 2010 01:01 pm

    The list was too great that i cannot even select which i can be involve with because of my time frame schedule in my work. Maybe someone can advice me about this matter. Thanks

  • rans January 8, 2010 12:29 pm

    great list.
    i am to start a new career soon: freelance photography.
    thanks for sharing this.
    i'll keep these in mind
    many things to inspire me, too.

  • Annemarie January 8, 2010 09:53 am

    I have tried the take your camera everywhere, but it's not happening with my pentax since I can't just slip it in my purse. Therefore I now have a purse camera. It's just a simple point and shoot, but it chanllenges me to get everything out of the camera possible. And plan trips with my trusted pentax.

  • Karen January 8, 2010 08:08 am

    GREAT LIST!!! FYI - Mike Colon's website is www.mikecolon.com

  • Nicola January 8, 2010 07:04 am

    For a 365 project try Shuttercal at www.shuttercal.com

    I've just started one this year and am really enjoying it. A great way to keep a diary if you're a visual person!!

  • Carlyle January 8, 2010 06:09 am

    Great article and plenty of tips to keep me on my photographic toes. Thanks !

  • Margaret January 8, 2010 05:06 am

    Thanks for a great list... you've provided some great suggestions that perfectly complement the list of goals I had already set for myself this year!
    And thanks to for all those commenters who provided the missing links and even more great suggestions!

  • marlie January 8, 2010 04:55 am


  • Jason Traynor January 8, 2010 04:52 am

    Marlie - Here's the link for the Lightroom Presets, copy and paste the following:


  • dorji January 8, 2010 04:47 am

    Thanks for the great list of Photographic goals.......

  • Lina January 8, 2010 04:27 am

    Thanks for the great list, Christina! I think I'll keep the post card idea in mind - my grandma would be thrilled :)

  • Debbie Barrett January 8, 2010 04:00 am

    Thanks for the great list...it will help me focus on finding the time to accomplish some of these goals this year.

  • eef January 8, 2010 03:49 am

    Thanks for sharing!!! :-D

  • bex January 8, 2010 03:41 am

    I'd love info on #28 as well.... Anyone??

  • marlie January 8, 2010 01:22 am

    I'd still like more information on #28. I've tried doing a search on this site, and didn't come up with anything. Thanks.

  • Nick January 7, 2010 07:28 pm

    Thank you for the list - some excellent suggestions. One of these that I have had in mind is the monthly desktop calendar - do you have suggestions as to where to source a template for the monthly dates?
    Thanks again

  • Iza January 7, 2010 12:52 pm

    The one blog I would to the "need to follow" list is Scott Kelby blog - it always contains the photography industry news (not only Photoshop) and on Wednesday you can read the guest blogs, which is a parade of Who is Who in the field.

  • Cheryl January 7, 2010 05:13 am

    Great list. I'm going to give the photo book consideration. For some reason, I thought they were more expensive.

  • LeolaK January 7, 2010 04:59 am

    This list is great and comes at great time! I already check out Jasmine Star's blog daily (and I'm not a wedding photographer - maybe someday) but she's great inspriration period. I've been working on the sldieshow thing recently actually, and while I've found that iMovie will help with my current need, I'd love to find even better solutions and recommendations for slideshows.

    Certainly going to try and accomplish a good number of these goals - I need to light a fire under my "camera". =) Thanks.

  • Cai Graham January 7, 2010 12:48 am

    Oh My Stars !!!
    Of all the recent blog posts that I read ( and believe me I have trawled through a load ) THIS thread couldn't have summarized my thoughts any better.

    I have bookmarked and printed and forwarded this post all over the place ...

    Thank you ....

    Now I just have to put it all into action !

    Cai x

  • r4 card January 6, 2010 10:14 pm

    These tips seems and indicates you are the master in photography, even my brother is interested in the same field, when i read this post it reminded me of him as he also believes in the same funda and rules as you have explained, will ask him about this post, he would me more than happy to know about this.

  • pikto January 6, 2010 07:46 pm

    Great! I´ll give it a print and add check buttons to the list :)

  • Maria Marsala January 6, 2010 04:13 pm

    And the numbers that go with each goal are where?

  • oliverignacio January 6, 2010 02:57 pm

    I hope the links on this post will be fixed.
    Nice read.

  • Chelsea(CLR Photography) January 6, 2010 01:33 pm

    i've done 4 or 5 of those things

  • Valerie January 6, 2010 01:22 pm

    These are all excellent even some new things I haven't thought of doing. Will be printing this one out

  • photomatt7 January 6, 2010 12:15 pm

    Really like the idea of the photo walks (something I love to do but don't afford myself the privilege often enough), as well as the theme calendar. And definitely have to maintain my blog. Check it out at http://photomatt7.wordpress.com . Really trying to get a decent following. Thanks, and happy new year!

  • Zach January 6, 2010 11:32 am

    On that note, it looks like the links for Mike Colon and Scott Roberts are bad too...

  • Zach January 6, 2010 11:26 am

    Regarding item #7, I think your link is to the wrong Jasmine Star blog. Would the correct link be www.jasminestarblog.com?

  • rick January 6, 2010 10:57 am

    Awesome list! Would love it know if anyone actually completes each goal...That would be incredible..

  • johnp January 6, 2010 09:57 am

    Thanks, great list for inspirations. My personal goal, after being given a huge photo album for xmas, is to try to fill it with fine art photos rather than the usual travel pics I put in albums. Trying to acheive that will keep me going all 2010 at least!

  • Prosvit-PHOTO January 6, 2010 09:07 am

    Great list! Have found a lot of useful for my own selfdev. Thank you!

  • marlie January 6, 2010 07:10 am

    I'd be interested in the missing link from # 28 regarding the use of presets. Thanks!

  • Greg Taylor January 6, 2010 06:56 am

    Great list of goals as some coincide with my photography goals. My ultimate goal is to become an industry leader in concert photography.

  • Sara Sheehy Photography January 6, 2010 03:44 am

    All those industry leaders are wedding photographers! Need something else...

  • Robin January 6, 2010 03:37 am

    Great suggestions. My big one this year is to learn about portrait photography which is why I am throwing a portrait party at the end of January.

  • Gustavo Pugliesi Sachs January 6, 2010 03:04 am

    great topic.... some of the topics I've had already established for myself after the holidays with a brand new d90.... so far, I've been able to follow the established goals.... let's see when I start a 365-day project after buying some props....
    anyway, thanks for posting the helpful tips....

  • Jenn January 6, 2010 03:03 am

    All great ideas, but I think another good goal is to venture out of your comfort zone & try a new genre of photography. I'm venturing into architecture / statues this year, maybe even people.

  • Clay Teague January 6, 2010 02:57 am

    The link to Jasmine Star in Item #7 is for a musical Jasmine Star, not the photographer. Here is the correct link:


  • Mary Anne January 6, 2010 02:17 am

    I really like the idea of creating a photo book a month. I have so many pictures that sit on my hard drives, it will be great to put them into print and have the to look back on to (I hope!) see my progress through 2010 and beyond.

  • Yvonne January 6, 2010 02:15 am

    Great ideas, I will give many a whirl. Happy 2010

  • Tyler Wainright January 6, 2010 01:46 am

    Great list! Not sure I can do ALL of these but this definitely gives me something to work towards.

  • MeiTeng January 6, 2010 01:33 am

    I would like to explore flash lighting and discover creative photography techniques. I started off on light painting last Saturday. Discovered a world of fun and will be trying it again later.

  • Dawn January 6, 2010 01:26 am

    Great hints! A few things I hadn't thought of doing and might just try. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kristopher Michael January 6, 2010 01:19 am

    Even being an article with no outbound links, I found this to be inspiring to say the least. Aside from the 365 project, monthly books are something I never would have guessed doing to look back on at the end of the year! So simple, yet so fun!

  • Mahesh Garg January 6, 2010 01:06 am

    It was really good to read all the points. I just want to thank Christina for such a nice article. Even I will like to thank DPS for such nice blogs daily which enhances my knowledge to the photography world. I will certainly like to read more...I think more I read here more I want to...see next...

  • dipfico January 6, 2010 12:55 am

    I had a similar list in mind. But this will be a great reminder. Gonna read it every month :-)

  • Linus Bohman January 6, 2010 12:42 am

    That's a great list of challenges! I personally wished more people realized that it wasn't that hard to start their own photography website and that they could benefit greatly by doing so, but that's why I'm starting a website on that precise subject of my own ;)

  • Danferno January 6, 2010 12:33 am

    http://help-portrait.com/ is the correct link to help portrait.

  • pablo January 6, 2010 12:28 am

    Some of the goals are really out there for me, but there are very interesting items on the list. I like specially the items about photowalkings and printing photos regularly.

  • Jesse Kaufman January 6, 2010 12:21 am

    Not sure, but I'm guessing there were some links missing in this article? There are a few places where it says something like "check out these ... ", but it doesn't link anywhere and there's no further indication of where to find what you're talking about ... otherwise, good challenges! :)