I’ve written blog posts before about setting goals, but this time, I wanted to write one specific to fashion photographers. Rather than keep things broad, I do feel its helpful to get super specific!
That being said, it’s hard to help everyone, because each and every one of you reading this post will be at a different stage in your career; some of you will be brand new to fashion photography, only just getting started. Some of you will be a year or more in, and still building up your reputation. Some of you may have been going for years already.
Either way, I hope that this blog post will be heplful, and give you some guidance going into 2019, and every year after that.
Before you begin to set yourself goals, I think that it’s important to spend time reflecting on the year you’ve just had. Grab a pen and paper, and begin to write down how 2018 went for you. What went well? What didn’t? What did you achieve? What do you wish that you’d done more of? Less of? Get as detailed as possible. I find that it’s helpful to think of the year month by month. I even go through the images I shot throughout the year, starting in January and move my way down. It helps to jog my memory!
By reflecting on the year you’ve had, you’ll be able to take note of what really worked for you, and what didn’t. This should, in theory, help you to set your goals for the new year.
Let Yourself Dream:
This part is always quite fun. I encourage you to do this in written format, either in a journal, or in a document on your computer. Let yourself dream! If you could achieve anything this year, what would it be? Do you want to shoot for a specific brand? Have you got a concept for a shoot that you’d really like to bring to life? Is there a model agency you’d love to work with? Or maybe you’re just starting out and you’d like to shoot your first editorial? Get published in a magazine for the first time?
Let your mind go wild, and write it all down. At this stage, no dream is silly or too big. We’ll narrow it all down and create a solid plan later on. Just get everything out of your head, and onto paper.
Don’t feel like you need to do this all at once, by the way. You can write for a bit, put your pen down, and come back to it later on. Ideas might come to you throughout the week. Make note of them, and don’t rush. You can continue to add to this over the year as well! Make it a living, breathing place for you to write down all your dreams.
Analyse Your Dreams:
Ok so you’ve written all of your dreams. Now what?
Grab your document, and begin to look over it again. With a highlighter, highlight the goals which make you feel the most excited. The ones which intuitively make your heart flutter. These are the goals that you need to focus on.
The ones which you’ve written down, but don’t highlight, are still great goals, but it’s ok to not feel the need to go after them all right now. In fact, I encourage you not to. Your career can’t be built entirely in one year… or else there’d be nothing to do long term! Keep this document/notebook to hand, and you can refer back to it each year. In 12 months time, the dreams that you’ve written down may feel totally irrelevant, but they may also still be very important to you! You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to forget something you dream about. Keep hold of it to jog your memory.
This is where we need to start getting practical. I like to break my year up into 4 quarters; Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. It can be really hard to look at 12 months and know how to fit your goals into one year! Splitting the year up into quarters really helps me narrow down, focus and plan.
Planning is essential as a business owner. Without a plan, how can we know when and how we’re going to proceed?
I’ve created a super simple Excel doc so that you can see exactly how I like to plan out my goals. Click here to download a copy of it for yourself!
The best thing to do is to write down each of your goals, why you’re doing it (your goals should all have a purpose to them!), a target date for completion, and a list of what you need to do to achieve it. You can sit down at the start of the year, and make note of all your goals for the year. The great thing about doing this digitally is that you can continue to add to it, or remove goals if they no longer feel relevant as time goes by.
Keep Coming Back To Your Goals
This last step is important, because it’s super easy to forget about your goals come the month of March. We’re on a roll, the months are flying by, and we sort of forget what we set out to achieve. So keep your plans front of mind. Print out a copy of your plan, or write sticky notes on your desk. Whatever you do, don’t forget about what you set out to achieve. Use your planning efficiently and effectively, and I promise that you’ll have a brilliant 2019.