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28 Resolutions from 28 Seasoned Photographers

2012 might be underway, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a few New Year’s resolutions to help jump start your photography business...

2012 might be underway, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a few New Year’s resolutions to help jump start your photography business this year. We were curious what goals photographers had in mind for 2012, so we reached out to some of the folks we’ve profiled over the last year including Gavin Gough, Jim Jordan, and Ed Mulholland. Lots of outstanding insights, commitments and lessons can be found in their goals for 2012. And one thing is clear – regardless of their niche, these photographers are determined to get serious about marketing.

Photo by Laura Berman

1. Laura Berman – Agriculture, Landscape

“My number one resolution for 2012 is to grow my business by getting serious about marketing. I’m using PhotoShelter’s great Photo Business Plan Workbook to develop a marketing plan and, most importantly, to help me stick to it. I’m also carving out time to regularly tweet, facebook, google+, and blog, which I’ve been doing in a very hit or miss fashion until now. I’d like to grow my Fine Art sales too and am developing a Graph Paper Press site to help with that. And I’m very intent upon cleaning up my stock catalog, removing similars, improving my keywords and captions, and adding newer photos.”

 2. Beth Wold – Wildlife, Nature

“I’m going to put a lot more effort into my marketing this year. I’m starting the year by making a full marketing plan that will allow me to break it all down into steps that I can work on weekly. I also plan to blog about my efforts to help keep me motivated!”

3. Gavin Gough – Travel

“One of the potential challenges of working as a freelance photographer is being able to recognize those things that bring the greatest rewards. Not only in a financial sense but in terms of job satisfaction and personal fulfilment. So, at the start of 2012, I’m looking back at 2011, 2010 and beyond to identify those things that were the most positive and productive and am choosing to concentrate my time and efforts on those. Essentially, I am eliminating distractions and doing more of the things that I love. It promises to be a great year.”

4. Mike Cavaroc – Nature, Wildlife

“I plan on creating many more opportunities by simply getting out more and adapting the mindset of a tourist no matter where I am. This includes local areas like Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks as well as more distant locations. I also plan on generating some effective marketing strategies to really push my work into the right hands.”

Photo by Jim Jordan

5. Jim Jordan – Advertising, Lifestyle

“In 2012, I am expanding my sales force from just the USA and hiring photography representation in London, Australia, China and Italy. I am also regularly asked about the techniques I use to make my photography business successful, so this year I am launching an online photography school called ‘Jim Jordan’s School of Photography’, to help aspiring photographers learn how to grow and flourish in their photography business.”

6. Nico Morgan – Equestrian

“I will be expanding my use of social media which has been beneficial to me in 2011. In particular I will be expanding my ‘reach’ both by increasing my readership and also my contacts in foreign media. I do need to invest in equipment quite soon but this may have to wait until business confidence rises and the order book fills up again.”

7. Todd Owyoung – Music, Bands, Stock

“My goal for 2012 is to dedicate more time for shooting personal work. As a professional photographer, I think it’s easy to get caught up in only shooting commissioned work or making marketable images. Don’t tell anyone, but even though I’m a rock photographer, everything I know about composition I learned from photographing flowers at sunrise. ”

8. Randy Santos – Commercial, Stock

“Several cogs in the Big Wheel just fell into place for me in 2011 making it my best year ever.  For now I plan to merrily stroll along the same path I set out for myself some time ago: Work hard and always be creative and productive; regularly share and have my work available to be seen (and found) by art buyers; continue to research and understand the marketplace; and realize opportunities while expanding the scope of my market. Above all, my goal is to maintain my love and excessive enthusiasm towards my work.”

Photo by Jimmy Williams

 9. Jimmy Williams – Advertising, Fine Art

“For 2012, my renewed commitment to photography is to step out of the box and generate fresh imagery that leads, not follows; that explores the creative boundaries of the medium while remaining faithful to its roots… And to work smarter, not harder!”

 10. Adam Schallau – Landscape, Nature

“The New Year is already off to a great start. I will be moving to Flagstaff, Arizona very soon. After looking for a job for nearly 1.5 years, my wife has been hired to run a shop in Flagstaff, so I will also relocate my business there and place a stronger emphasis on my Grand Canyon imagery, workshops, and photo tours of the park. As a result of moving closer to the park, I will be able to offer more competitive rates on my workshop and photo tour services, and I will be better equipped to meet my clients needs, especially when a short notice opportunity arises. I will also be expanding into California and Nevada exploring new locations and creating new work. I plan to follow-up with both former and past clients, especially workshop clients, and to rededicate myself to social media.”

11. Solas Weddings – Wedding

“This year James and Megan, of Solas Wedding and Portrait Photography, have made the move back to Australia. We’re excited about the challenge of working in the inspiring and high quality photography market within Australia. The last few years we have invested heavily in the best equipment and have been working on developing our skills. We  look forward to getting to work starting in the New Year in Sydney.”

Photo by Robert Caplin

12. Robert Caplin – Photojournalism, Celebrity

“This year I have many resolutions for my photography business. First, I plan to be more organized by keeping better track of my income and expenses using an accounting program. I also plan to relaunch my personal website with a whole new group of portfolios while also switching from a Flash-based website back to HTML, so folks running iPads and iPhones can view it properly. I also hope to blog more often and share my most recent work on a regular basis so people know what I’m currently up to. Lastly, I plan to look through all the business cards, emails, and contacts I’ve made from years of freelancing and reach out to them, individually, with the intent to see how we might be able to benefit each-other by way of projects, collaborations, networking, and jobs moving forward.”

13. Jerry & Marcy Monkman – Conservation, Nature

“For 2012, we plan to build on our successful 2011 move into motion by using highly targeted e-mail and DVD mailings featuring our conservation documentary work. This will be complemented by regular conservation photography themed blog posts, which of course we’ll promote using all of the various social networking tools. We also plan to introduce a new blog, focused on outdoor photo tips as a way to promote Jerry’s workshops and new book, The AMC Guide to Outdoor Digital Photography.”

14. Paul Cooklin – Fine Art, Black & White

“I feel very optimistic about 2012. I have been cleaning out my portfolio to make way for new works. I plan to spend more time on my own taking pictures and pushing my comfort zones explore street and documentary photography more, spend more time in the darkroom, travel to at least one foreign country (with my family) and a few UK destinations to create new pieces and increase my art portfolio, find gallery representation for my handmade original silver prints and have an exhibition, and find more outlets for my reproduction prints. If by the end of 2012 I’m in possession of a Leica M3 and an assortment of glass I would quite pleased too.”

15. Manasi Kashyap – Portrait, Wedding

“I’ll be traveling to new places in India and covering artists in their home and at work. Most of the people I’ll be covering are over 50 years of age and don’t have much of a presence on the Internet. It would be interesting to see how they react to being on the web.”

Photo by Jody MacDonald

16. Jody MacDonald – Adventure, Documentary

“As a side effect of all the traveling I do, I always have a hard time doing the ‘business side’ of my photography business, so for 2012 I plan on hiring an assistant who can help me manage, market and sell my photos. On the Internet side of things, it sounds like Google + and websites like 500px are good places to network and get your work seen. And last but not least, I want to challenge myself and make mistakes with new techniques and projects that help me improve and grow.”

17. Bram Belloni – Editorial, Portrait

“2011 was, at least by my clients, the year that the demand for print went way down and the demand for digital publications went up. And that includes the demand for multimedia content. At the time, I was already experimenting with moving pictures and invested in extra camera gear, rig, and edit system. So now my goal is to actively actively reach out to potential film clients in 2012 and I’ve already gotten started. The last two months I’ve been working as cameraman and photographer on a documentary project in Morocco. That combination works really well, and the results can be used for a broad range of different media. Photography will still be my main field of work, but film is a interesting addition to that – interesting in terms of exploring new  and strategic ways to tell a story.”

18. Martin Bailey – Wildlife, Editorial

“Because I live in Japan, it makes shipping self-fulfilled prints especially problematic. I have been shipping rolled prints for many years now, which is a nice revenue stream, but in 2012, I’m committed to designing and manufacturing a number of protective boxes to enable me to sell finished canvas gallery wraps and framed prints overseas. I believe this will enable me to reach a wider audience by selling completely finished pieces. People still appreciate a good quality print, so the more people I can reach with my work the better.

“I’m also developing a number of new international photography tours and workshops to help me reach out to the audience that I’ve built through my Photography Podcast that I’ve been releasing each week for over six years now. My Japan Snow Monkey and Hokkaido Winter Wildlife Tours have been selling out for the last three years now, and will hopefully continue to do so, but I’m really looking forward to meeting many of the amazing photographers that I’ve come to know around the world from this year.

“Photographers are a social bunch, and I think the Google + has taken the photography world by storm. I got in early, and have enjoyed watching G+ grow, but I’m committed to spending more time on G+ and further connect with the wonderfully talented group of photographers that have already made G+ their home. I think that 2012 is going to be an incredible year for photography and photographers worldwide.”

Photo by Jeff Diener

19. Jeff Diener – Adventure, Lifestyle

“Having a busy schedule is great but unfortunately, it allows me to avoid doing the hard work of selling myself to new clients on a personal level. Actively pursuing creatives and setting up portfolio meetings has always been one of my least favorite chores but it’s always a great avenue to booking new and challenging work. For the past few months and going into 2012, it’s on the top of my list. I’ve been scheduling meetings during my travels and making myself visible and available to creatives because despite what you think, they don’t always know you’re out there. Those recent meetings have already been paying dividends and I’m hoping to fill 2012 with bigger and better jobs.”

20. Lincoln Barbour – Commercial, Lifestyle

“For 2012, I’m going to start saying ‘No’ a lot more. No to the small jobs that don’t pay well. No to people who want my photos for free because they have ‘no budget’. No to unreasonable expectations without compensation. I’m also going to market my Photoshelter archive more for stock and print sales.”

 21. Stacy Pearsall – Military, Stock

“I hear 2012 is the year the world will end! Just kidding y’all. My photography business resolution this year is to better articulate the value of my photography, so clients may better appreciate the value in me. I do not lack in self-confidence. However, I’ve always been a person of humility – my mom raised me that way. But being humble is sometimes counter-intuitive when you have to promote yourself. I’ve been lucky to have clients and colleagues who’ve done that for me. I aim to be better this year.”

 22. John Dunne – Fine Art

“Monetisation. In a word that’s my plan for 2012. I’ve spent years refining my vision and my craft. And for the last 18 months I’ve been establishing my brand and experimenting with different types of commercial offerings. 2012 is all about refining and building upon last year’s successes. I spent the closing months of 2011 building a structured, detailed and achievable plan for this year to help me begin realizing meaningful revenue from my artwork, and to do so without compromising my artistic vision. This is the next phase of turning my passion; creating images that reflect the beauty of the landscapes of Ireland, into a commercially viable business.”

Photo by Ed Mulholland

23. Ed Mulholland – Sports

“For 2012, I’ll continue expanding my usage of social media to show my latest work to potential new clients. Last year I used both Twitter and Facebook with some success, and near the end of the year began on Google+, which I’ll concentrate a bit more on this year. On the actual photography front, I’m going to continue to grow my usage of remotes at various sports and to think a bit outside the box – whether it be using light, or different angles or lenses. I just picked up the new Canon 8-15mm fisheye which I’ve been very excited about, and am currently running through some testing at NHL, UFC and boxing events. I’m really looking forward to a great year with current and hopefully new clients as well.”

24. 33Photo’s Martin Vargas – Corporate, Industrial

“We’re focusing on new markets for this 2012. We’ll use Agency Access as our advisor and campaign coordinator and we’re getting solid advice from Amanda Sosa – that’s the marketing side of the business. We’re also focusing on creating more images for new or different media, for example, animated GIFs that can be used on web and apps; also timelapses, and stop motion images. We’re offering Photo & Video bundles, so at the end of a project the client has a good collection of images and also b-roll of very similar scenes, having consistency through print, web and video. We’re now offering app, web-app and digital publication services – that’s on the web/design part of the firm. Last, on the administration side, we are fully online: we have our accounting online, project management online, invoicing, proofing – we’ve made a solid commitment into being an almost paperless firm.”

Photo by Matt Brandon

25. Matt Brandon – Humanitarian, Documentary

“I am trying harder this year to increase my social media presence and numbers on both my blog and my Twitter account (@digitaltrekker). For the blog I am using more often a vlog approach with video commentary as well as commenting on other blogs more. For twitter I have started using a simple but effective service call Bufferapp. It spreads out what I share throughout the day and generates new followers as a result.”

 26. Jimmy White – Underwater, Nature & Wildlife

“2012 is that year that I will bring an ongoing marine conservation project from production to fruition, documenting marine life in Tampa Bay with a particular focus on the organisms that are active at night. As a final collection, my goal is to then market this work among several stock and retail outlets. In 2012, I will also continue supporting marine conservation through my work on the board of directors of Sea To Shore Alliance, Inc, and also return to Missoula, Montana and the Rocky Mountain School of Photography as a summer teaching assistant and as a lecturer on legal issues facing photographers.  The experience of Montana in the summer is unsurpassable for anyone who loves the outdoors.”

27. Petr Hlavacek – Landscape, Adventure & Stock

“There are 5 main things I’m looking forward to this year: 1) I’m waiting an arrival of a Nikon D800, which means I’ll be switching to the full frame gear. 2) After last year’s negotiations and arrangements with my publisher, my first photo coffee table book should be published (although this is yet to be confirmed!). 3) I’ll be seriously  looking into e-book and app publishing. 4) I plan to start out with photo tours/workshops. I want to host longer tours with broad landscape coverage, but also some shorter workshops, concentrating on particular region and landscapes; such as glaciers and rainforests, coastal and rivers. 5) I’ll  definitely be concentrating on leaving a bigger footprint on social media scene.

Photo by Hunter Harrison

28. Hunter Harrison – Wedding, Portrait

“2012 will be an operational and sales improvement year for us. I will be focusing on maintaining our first-page position on Google, expanding existing marketing channels, and making a substantial investment in how I serve clients. I want my clients to have the feeling that they were given a gift, and I will be making substantial improvements to help underscore this core brand component. For sales, I just finished our first holiday coupon campaign using the PhotoShelter coupon feature. For 2012, I’m planning to repeat the holiday coupon campaign with improvements, as well as leverage existing PhotoShelter features to increase print and product sales. We are anticipating that 2012 will be a break-out year for us. We’re also painting the office. ”

To read more about these photographers, check out their PhotoShelter Success Stories.

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