Happy New Year! 20 Ways to Reignite your Passion for Photography

I love a Brand-Spanking New Year! Every year, I get grateful for what was and get excited for what is to come!  I do a Tony Robbins exercise called The Power of Momentum, and I can’t recommend his books, seminars, and coaching highly enough – to rediscover your core self, to push past your comfort zone and to live life to it’s fullest!  I’ve taken my favorite bits from the Tony Robbins technology, mixed in some ideas from the fun photography resource Photojojo, and added my heart and soul to come up with this list:

20 Ways to Reignite your Passion for Photography

Get Excited
1. What did you love about photography in 2009?
What were the magical and extraordinary moments?  What did you accomplish?  What are some of the things you would want to duplicate in 2010?
2.  What was challenging about photography in 2009?
What did you learn by going through these experiences, and why were they incredibly valuable?  What would you need to do/be/have/change in order to overcome these challenges?
3. Separate the wheat from the chaff
. Let’s get all your best A+ photos together all in one place.  Only select the best of the best – the ones that make you feel good, the ones that remind you of a wonderful time, the ones that you’re technically proud of.  Put these all in one folder called “2009 5-Star Photos” so you know where to go when you need them 🙂

Show Off
You’ve got a ton of amazing photos now in that 5-Star folder. Get them off your computer and show them off properly!
4. Put more photos up
. Surround yourself with inspiration!  Frame and hang your favorite images, photos from your favorite photographers, pics of your family and friends. Build yourself an inspiration board or a gallery wall.
5. Make a book
. I love books! and making books online is now crazy easy because of DIY publishers like Blurb, Lulu, and MyPublisher. Make a book of your favorite subject, for yourself and to share as gifts.
6. Enter some contests
. It’s great to know your mom loves your pics, and now let’s step it up and share it with your fellow pro’s!  Check Photocompete to see what contests are running at any given time.

Shake it Up
7. Use a new technique
. Experiment with something you’ve never done and always wanted to try, whether it’s pinhole photography or shooting lomography. Or try some new effects like cross-processing or tilt-shift.
8. Shake up your process
. Shoot in new locations, shoot different subject matter, shoot from a different angle, shoot faster (or slower), shoot with the heart more (or from the head), or from the hip (without peeking at the viewfinder).
9. Get new GEAR
! Yay! Nothing like a new toy! Rent that fancy new lens you’ve had your eye on, or borrow a friend’s camera and try it out. If you’ve been shooting only in digital, play with film for a while (and vice versa).

Spread The Love
Use your talent to do some good 🙂
10. Volunteer your talents
. I think a great photo of a child being joyous is the best gift to build their self-esteem.  Photograph kids and families that are less fortunate.  Volunteer to document an event for a local charity.  Donate to Operation Smile.  Go on a mission – photos significantly help fundraising efforts for charities such as Hearts with Hope.
11. Teach somebody what you know
. Pass on your knowledge, experience and skill. Go speak at a local school, teach a friend’s kid how to use a camera, or help out a total newbie.
12. Donate your old gear
. If you’re not using it anymore, give your old camera to somebody who needs it, like kids, conservationists or your favorite charity.

Challenge Yourself
If you want to get better at photography, you have to keep practicing and pushing yourself. Just like everything else in life.
13. Go on assignment
. Assign yourself photography tasks to complete and make them fun! Such as: take an afternoon and shoot the meaningful details in your home, hire a model and do some fine art nudes, shoot a series of self-portraits, start with a title like “Dirty” and do a photo-essay, take your favorite piece of music and create 10 shots that tell the story of that song, go on a photo-safari and see where it takes you!  
14. Do something difficult
. Practice photographing subjects that don’t come easily to you, like still life’s, street scenes, or people you don’t know.  It gets easier 🙂
15. Read your manual
.  If you’re an emotional shooter like me (and not technically oriented) – review and perfect a small section of your camera manual every week until you know your gear inside and out.

Begin! a Project
The shiny new year just begs for beginnings. Start something up, be it year-long, month-long, or just for a day.
16. Start a blog or Flickr page
.  There’s so much joy in sharing with others.  It’s wonderful to create or join a community to share your love of photography and how you see the world… Your photography is a gift – don’t keep it to yourself 🙂 Check out WordPress and Flickr.
17. Begin your business!
You know you want to.  And you can do it.  Believe in yourself and just begin.  It’s time to start charging for your work – do some research, talk to as many pro’s as you can, set up a price list and have fun with it!  Don’t wait for the planets to be aligned – start now – you will always continue to change and evolve so don’t wait to be “ready.”
18. Set up an Etsy Shop.
It’s so fulfilling to set up shop and sell your work, and it’s simple and easy with Etsy.  Sell simple prints or something unique, like Polaroid-transfers, encaustic paintings, or storyboards.
19. Create a new tradition
. Do something new this year, like taking the same portrait once a year, or shooting a photo-a-day, or having your picture taken for once 🙂
20. Bring your camera everywhere you go. Even if it’s just a toy camera, make sure you’ve got it at all times. You never know when the perfect shot will present itself.

Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you a life lived with Passion!