Tag Archives: Goals

Principles for excellent photographers – yes, thats you!

No matter how quirky, make sure you drive your photography forward...

No matter how quirky, make sure you drive your photography forward…
Quirky By Netkonnexion on Flickr External link - opens new tab/page

People who excel do so because they try.

My students of photography are exceptional. They are dedicated to learning photography, clever, talented and they enjoy what they do. They don’t know how talented they are, they are not ready to move to the next level or to take charge of their photographic destiny. Most of them hold back.

Those students are you! Photography is a uniquely self driven pursuit. You don’t need to be “ready” – you need to have a go… Everyone can be exceptional if they try; most don’t.

Here are the principles to help motivate the next move. They will take your photography to the next level and get your pictures out there.


You can do some incredible things with photography. Imagine what you want to do. No matter how amazing it sounds, no matter what you want to achieve, or how out of your reach it seems – imagine yourself doing it. If you have that dream, that goal, that vision in your mind, you are on the road to success.


This is your dream. No one else’s. Only you want it. Make a deal with yourself to fulfil your own contract. You are going to reach that goal you envision. You will get help and work with other people, but that contract is your guide. Be your own leader, worker, supporter, friend, cheerleader troupe and advocate.


Your contract is your guide. Plan how to fulfil it. Make your path obvious, map it clearly. Don’t be afraid to risk changes – be flexible. Your development can teach you better ways. Work to move quickly to your goals. Use your dream. The paths you take should reflect the importance of your contract. Take one step at a time and move smoothly forward.


Do things that invigorate your soul. Get the adrenaline pumping. Do the risky things despite your misgivings. Publish a picture, dare to write to a celebrity for a photo-shoot. Challenge your limits. Take risks to push your photography beyond comfort. Make your heart pound. Don’t protect yourself or create limits. Take some risks, it opens doors. Try new things, it makes you take a new look at your photography. Start immediately, stretch your limits.


Doing new and exciting things will get you attention. Sometimes you will be the toast of the town. Sometimes you will feel you are drowning in the pool of criticism. Stand-outs, leaders and risk-takers all have enthusiastic followers. The down side is the critics cluster around too. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Being neutral will consign you to obscurity. Get used to being on the crests of waves and in the trough between them. They come together, but the benefits win out. Stay with it.


You don’t need to wait for validation, promotion or the big break. You are not going to be ‘discovered’. You are ready now. Moving on is liberating and simple. Take the next step on your own initiative. You know you can do it. So take the next move – dare to work to better your photography, dare to be bold. Don’t question yourself – you are ready.


If your vision is different, innovative – that is good. Dare to think different. Push your style to its limits. The unique, quirky and out of the box style gets attention. Don’t listen to the inner art critic. You can let your style out. You can realise your artistic and photographic talent. Be different. It will be your own personal validation. It is a licence to show people how you see. Seeing is what photography is about. Be quirky – show the world.


Ask for help. Ask for advice. Make your own decisions about moving forward. Assess advice yourself. Be confident in your assessment. Work to your agenda. Your development, your talent, your ideas are only going to be successful because of you. Other people have agendas of their own for helping and advising. While some things others say will be useful – some will not. Review your “contract” with yourself. Check that the advice of others fits with your inner direction. Test all advice you are given and follow only the advice that benefits your long haul goals.


Focus your attention. Do the unthinkable. Push the limits, take your photography to the edge – push your skills. Remember, learning and redefining your boundaries is hard. You will be challenged and you will find it tiring. Stretching yourself becomes a compulsion once you start. Make sure you have some “you” time. Take time for respite. Be rested – be more effective.


Share your knowledge, skills and talent. There is no greater self development than to share and teach. Be generous with your help of others. Give of yourself so that you can feel fulfilled as a person as well as an artist and photographer. If you are helping those who will be the future of photography you will also be the parent of a trend. Don’t hold back your talent. Let others benefit. A wave will carry you for free. Commanding the tide not to rise is futile and saps your strength. Share and you will reach your goals.


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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

A quick tip to keep you motivated for years!

The thing about photography is that every day is different

There is no doubt you can enjoy photography for life and not do everything. There is always more to learn. However, it helps to be a little focused. Here’s a tip to help.

Lists help me keep a long view

If you are familiar with my article 50 ways to improve your photography – every day! you may also have read 15 great links for you to see 50 photos a day. You will probably also like One tip to keep your photography improving for ever!.

The one thing these have in common is that they provide a way for you to be exposed to lots of different photographs and images every day. A broad range of input helps you develop a broad outlook for your photography. That will help you take a rounded approach to your interest and lead you to experiment and learn.

The tip for today…

Extending yourself and exposing your ideas to a wide range of photographs will inevitably lead you to want to try some of them, or go to places you have seen in photos. To reach for this goal is one thing. But the idea is quickly lost in the competition for all the other things clambering for your attention.

So, make a “Shoot List”. A shoot list is a list of all the photographs you want to take one day. It is if you like, an ideas list. Set up a list or folder, or some recording method, for you to record the shots you would like to try and get done. Simple.

The beauty of this list is how motivating it is to have it sitting there. So many photographers spend a lot of money on their equipment and then it sits unused. With a shoot list on hand you will always have something you want to achieve in photography.

A shoot list is not like a big list of goals to achieve – lifetime ambitions, or even a life map. It is just something that you can keep around to help you try out some of the things you want to photograph.

When you don’t have time to do a set-up for a shot, your shoot list can help. Spend a little time finding out how to do one of your shots. Read about it here… look in other places on the Internet. Your preparation will help you get your shot later when you do have time.

Simple and easy. Achieving your photographic fun in bite-sized actions. Enjoy!

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

Change your photography forever with this great tip

Go for it... great things will start to happen

Go for it… great things will start to happen.
Click image to view the picture full size

Create a list of your goals – then go for it

Goals, bucket list, wish list, aspirations, ‘things to do’… whatever you call your, list just do it. If you want to enjoy your time you have to grab life by the scruff of the neck and shake it about. Don’t wait for your death-bed to suddenly realise you never did what you wanted to do.

This simple tip is about you. It is about saying to you, “If you are really committed to your photography, then go for it!”. I have said this to a lot of my students and friends over the years and they all sit there open-mouthed and blinking. I can see the cogs grinding. “Wot’s ‘e on about then?”, they want to say. Well, here is my message…

Write down a list. This list must be everything you want to do in photography. Make it exciting. Make it out of reach. Make it a challenge. Most of all, make it a personal commitment.

Next, just do it. “What?”, I hear you cry… “How?”. That is up to you.

If you really did make a commitment then the how is easy. Start by finding out what the options are. Pick one thing on your list and before the day is out make sure you have done one thing towards achieving that goal. Then, tomorrow, achieve another – and the day after another. I can guarantee you will get results. A bit at a time, one step in front of another… you will get there. But not without commitment, and not without setting the goal first.

So, to get you started here are three goals I am working on for my photography…

  • An audio-visual sequence set to music of candles. Nothing else, just candles.
  • I want to photograph an erupting volcano – close up and personal. I want to see that lava flow!
  • I want this website to be the best website for aspiring photographers in the world!

I have some other goals for my photography too. Twelve goals in fact! I won’t share them here. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Anyway, this post is about you.

Now you know what I have in mind write down your goals. They can be simple and clear, like my candle audio-visual sequence. Or, they can be world changing. Whatever they are, if you have the drive and commitment, your goals can be achieved. You just have to start in order to finish!

Don’t go all soft on me – or yourself. Let’s be positive. Just start, write your goals down. Shout them loud and long to everyone you know. Keep telling them that is what you are going to do. Keep telling yourself that is what you are going to do. And, do you know what? Soon you will be doing it.

I know this works. Because I have already ticked off a lot of my goals over the years. And there are many more to go.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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