Getting the Year in Focus
I suppose with a title like that you might be expecting a discussion of mega-pixel count or lens sharpness. This is, after all, a page dedicated to the photographic arts. But as the bright colors of Christmas slowly fade into the gray and overcast skies of January i am actually referring to that most dreaded of all annual proclamations, the New Year's Resolution.
Now, i don't usually make these, but i kind of feel like this year i really need to make some promises to myself to get my ass in gear. Sure, i survived the previous year, making all my earning solely from my freelance work for the very first time ever. No teaching gig to pad out those irregular freelance invoices. But when i look back on my year i see a whole lot of poorly spent time and half finished projects. I know i can do this better and get a whole lot more done. I know i should. So here's a list for me to hopefully get behind. I guess we really won't know how well i've done with it until the end of 2015.
1. Do something that relates to my photography EVERY day. This doesn't have to mean making a new photo (though that is a nice thought). It could also include, but not be limited to, editing and toning or just getting my invoicing or some other business aspect of the job down. I haven't been too bad at this over the past year, but i know i can do better.
2. Create the studio space in my basement that i have been wanting to set up for the past year. I have had many idea for still life imagery that i have not pursued so far due to the lack of facility. Once facility is in place it is much harder to put such projects off.
3. Purchase a medium to high-end film/slide scanner and get started on my archives. It's not so much that i feel i need to do this to preserve my old analog work. I am, in fact, more and more fearful these days for the safety and preservation of my digital files. But i have many bodies of work that i am very proud of that i have not been able to show through the digital venues of the internet. Call it my "lost work". I know there is an audience waiting for some of this stuff, but i need to get it out in plain sight. The expense of paying someone to do this just seems beyond my means (and there really is sooooo much of it) so i think it will simply have to be a long and tedious task that i tackle on my own. But the first step is the proper equipment.
4. Purchase a high-end home printer capable of making exhibition quality prints. This is kind of the opposite problem to my analog work. My digital work has remained in a sort of virtual reality for far too long. I have only printed up a handful of images for the occasional showing. I want to see my photographs up on walls, even if they are only the walls in my own living room.
5. Once set up for producing prints i would like to actively start seeking gallery space for a showing. I have numerous bodies of work from which to mount a show. I am not locked into producing any one of them more than another so much will depend upon the work any given gallery is willing to show. While i can't make actually getting a show one of my resolutions (since it is possible that no one is really interested in showing what i do) i must actively work to find that possible venue anyway.
6. STOP WASTING TIME! Really, i waste so much time. Whether it is spent chatting away on Facesmack or watching bad TV, i really need to make better use of my time in the new year. One of the big problems i have found living the freelance lifestyle is that my days and nights don't have a regular, formatted schedule and it is far too easy for me to slip into laziness and procrastination. This needs to stop, especially if i want to successfully accomplish the rest of the resolutions on this list.
I suppose i could go on, but there is really no point if i can't get these simple goals in sight. Once sighted i must aim and strike. As i relaxed in my in-laws' beautiful rural home over Christmas vacation, mulling over this idea of resolutions, i was surprised to find myself pestered by the buzz of a persistent little fly. The middle of the winter in Nova Scotia, and somehow there was this whiny fly in the house. Well, this little guy annoyed me for three solid nights until one morning when it landed on the window to greet the dawn and i flicked him good with my middle finger. I think resolutions can be a little like that. They pester you for a while until you finally catch up with them, take aim and nail the sucker. Sometimes it can get a little messy, but you sleep better afterwards...
©David Sorcher 2015
Edit: Oh yes, i forgot one very important resolution about something i found myself falling down on quite a bit last year. I must find a better consistency for my blog posts this year so i resolve to post a new one at least once a week!