2017 was not my most creative year. Lots of work changes, and a lot of “meh” on my part. I just wasn’t very motivated or inspired. I’m hoping to get out of that slump in 2018. Some new equipment, some new perspective (see “Saying Goodbye…”), a dedication to creating my own style and brand. And some monthly challenges to keep shit fresh. I don’t have every month mapped out yet (I’m flexible if I’m anything), but I do have a list of challenges to get me out of my comfort zone:

Jan: Portrait orientation
Do you notice that the majority of the pictures you see are landscape format? I’m sure there’s some psychological, brainy reason why we prefer to shoot landscape. I’d say about 95% of my photos are horizontal. That ends (hopefully) in January. My first photo challenge to myself is to shoot more in portrait mode.

Feb: Flash
Ugh. Flash. I hate flash. I have a great strobe. I also have an umbrella, a shoot-thru, and some fun little gadgets from Magmod: the Magrid and the Magsphere. Do I know what I’m doing with all these tools? Hell no. Maybe I should change months and have February be the “all manual all the time” challenge. Maybe that should come before flash.

March: All manual all the time
So I decided to keep struggling with flash in February. Let’s see if that helps me with March’s challenge. I shoot aperture priority. All day. Every day. Which is one of the reasons I need this challenge. March is good month for this. No birthdays; no special events. I can fuck up all the photos I need to. And let’s be honest. I’ll probably fuck up a lot of them.

April: Strangers
Thank God I’ll be back to aperture priority in April, since I’ve decided to tackle “strangers” this month. I love taking pictures of people. I just wish I was more comfortable with it, and as a result, better at it. April is really going to get me out of my comfort zone.

May and Beyond
I’m not into planning that far ahead. I’ll decide May–December as I get closer to spring. But here are some of the challenges on the agenda:

  • Pics to go with quotes/song lyrics (this has been in my head for years)
  • Multiple exposure
  • long exposure

“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.”

Benedict Cumberbatch
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