I haven’t done this in the past, but I felt this would be a good way to end this year and a nice tradition to start. Taking a cue from other fellow Flickrites, I went through my work and selected 16 photos that I really liked from the bunch. Reviewing my work gave me a lot of insight to everything that happened in 2012. It’s certainly been eye-opening, full of surprises and some major changes.
At the beginning of 2012, I wrote this sentence at the top of a document: shoot more, submit more and photograph someone else. I wanted to see myself improve further from 2011, which was a year of exploring and just simply getting myself to shoot. This year was very different. For one, I came to accept that 365 projects and I no longer mix. It was a great idea when I first did one in 2011. In fact, that project is what helped me get back into photography after a very long hiatus. While I love the intensity, I missed having the time to plan my shoots. I was rushing too much or just shooting for the sake of shooting and I wasn’t happy with it. I decided that I preferred quality over quantity. Some people are capable of both, but I just don’t work that way. So I gave myself the time to research, scout, experiment, craft props and create costumes – all things that I love just as much as shooting. I may have taken less this year, but I’m much happier with the results. Project 104 has been a much nicer paced project and I plan to continue until it’s finished.
Stylistically, I’m still experimenting but I feel that I’m beginning to find my voice. I’ve discovered what I love and what I hate. I’ve abandoned some techniques I’ve gleaned from other artists and brought back old ones I thought I’d forgotten. I was able to attend a portfolio review with a local photography friend and the reviewers gave me some great advice about creating a body of work, selling to publications, portfolio layout and stylistic feedback. The response was also wonderful (I’d never been reviewed before!). While I feel my work is beginning to look more cohesive, I still have not created a series or a complete body of work to submit to galleries. I have a few ideas and now is as good a time as any to start working on them. So that’s one of my goals for the new year: create a series or two (or five).
And while I enjoy self-portraits (there are so many in those 16 photos), I missed being behind the camera – there’s a bit more control when you aren’t in the photo. I managed to shoot with a couple of models and friends, but not as many as I hoped. I need to fix that in the next year. I’ll admit that my nerves haven’t helped me – I enjoy meeting new people, but I sometimes find myself distracted/nervous when it comes time to work. But excuses aside, I met many awesome models, designers and MUAs and really want to do more collaborative projects next year.
My biggest accomplishment/change this year was to submit to more shows and contests. I sent my work to as many as I could afford and that fit my style. It was a good practice in getting exposure as well as dealing with rejection. It went pretty well and my work was selected for group shows at a local galleries as well as in LA and NYC. I haven’t had a solo show yet, so that’s a goal for next year. I also haven’t submitted to many publications – time to change that. My list of competitions/shows/galleries just keeps growing…
Another major change is that I’ll be leaving my admin job mid-January. It was a great community, I learned a lot about myself there and it gave me the time I needed to explore. But I’ve decided to take a chance and pursue something that is much closer to my heart (i.e. photography and design). I have no idea what is going to happen but I’m excited.
2013, you’re looking interesting already.