I have been focusing so much on my personal resolutions for 2011 that I didn't really have much brain power left to sort out my photography goals. I had vague ideas in my mind about what I wanted to do and I made sure to clear all of my photo backlog (except one roll of film) so that I would have to shoot fresh, a lesson learned from this past year.
I crashed on the sofa today for a couple of hours (I don't know why because I got a decent nights sleep....) and when I woke up my photography goals had solidified in my head. Maybe my brain just needed to clear the personal stuff out of the way so it could work on the photography stuff. I have a LOT on deck for 2011. Last year was just not good. I'm not sure if it was only because of the backlog or if I had lost some of my photo mojo since I've been doing this a while. Regardless I didn't go out and seek new photos and new opportunities. I went through the same events, taking the same pictures. Going through the motions on comfortable territory. 2011 is going to be about seeking out new photos.
I'm a little afraid I have piled up too many things, but I have them prioritized in my head. There are two main projects and a couple of side projects.
1.) Mirror Project
I still can't believe this, but I only took eight mirror project photos in 2010. Five on Flickr and three on the blog. That is shocking considering how much it used to be a part of my routine every time I was out with a camera. I remember when I used to be known for taking mirror shots. People would know what I was doing if I wandered off the path to a shiny surface. I was always seeking out new photographs. This year I'm going to do a 52 weeks in mirror project shots. One new photo each week. A lot will probably be taken with the iPhone but that is fine. I need to get back into the groove of one of my very favorite projects.
2.) The Color Wheel
I recently updated my Moo cards and while I was going through my photographs I noticed that I was drawn to photos from a couple of years ago that had bold colors. These photos always end up on my cards because I think they represent the best of my work, but I haven't had anything that felt that good in a couple of years. Color always makes me happy so I am going to focus on color this year.
I'm assigning myself one color each month and am going to go and photograph it. I am doing the primary and secondary colors and will go through the cycle twice in one year. I'm hoping to get enough photos to make at least two blog posts focusing on that color (at least three photos per post so six photos). This makes me a little nervous because in the past I have had a tendency to blow off projects and then run around at the last minute and take photos just to say that I did it. This needs to be different. Not just because that is a crappy way to take photos because it is going to break me out of my rut. I need to explore new places as well as visit my familiar places with a new eye.
3.) One on One Photowalks
I wrote this on my birthday checklist two years ago but never followed through. I am not comfortable in large group settings, but I find myself in them a lot because of Assignment: Houston. I much prefer small group outings and going on one on one photowalks with people. Most of my photowalk friends have dropped out of my friendship circle, moved away or have just gotten busy. I hope in the coming year to push myself to set some walking dates with people to get out, talk and shoot.
11 is my favorite number so if there is any year where I'm going to have a project focused around 11 this is it. Photograph the number 11 when I see it. I am hoping this will also pull me off the comfortable path and cause me to wander to places I haven't gone in the past or to see old places with a new eye. This will be ongoing throughout the year and since it is a side project there is no pressure to get a set amount of photos.
This is also a side project but it will be a little more difficult than 11. I love photographs of bicycles but I hesitate to take them when I am out and about because I am self conscious. I know that I will stick out of I'm suddenly crouching down around some strangers bike. I have gotten worlds better about this particular aspect of my shyness but it is still there and still a struggle. I want to get some bicycle photos in my portfolio this year. Again since it is a side project there is not pressure for set numbers.
So that's it. Whew, that is a lot! The two main projects alone are going to keep me busy. The side ones are just that. Side things that I can do if I come across them. With the clearing of the backlog and the change in my photoblog posting routine 2011 is going to be about fresh and new photos. I'm excited for the first time in a long time.