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New Year’s Just Ain’t New Year’s Without Photo Resolutions. Happy 2009!
Happy New Year!

We didn’t do any of our resolutions from last year, did you?

The problem is, we always pick stuff we ought to do, not stuff we want to do.

Here’s the thing- if it’s not fun, you won’t stick with it. Our advice is, pick ONE resolution that really sounds awesome, and do that one. Why commit to a whole bunch of things that you don’t want to do?

Need help picking that single resolution? Have a look through our humungous list of 22 photo possibilities* for the upcoming year.

(Although one resolution is the strict limit, we invite you to dabble frivolously, irresponsibly and noncommittally with anything else on this list.)

22 Photo New Year’s Resolutions for 2009

*Three more than last year! Holy mackerel!

Photo credit: włodi.

Get Organized

get oraganizedThe great thing about digital photography is you can shoot as much as you want. The downside is that you end up with way more pictures than you need. Clean out what you don’t want and organize what you have.

1. Weed out the chaff. Go through your photos and get rid of the ones you don’t need: the blurry ones, the multiples, and the ones you just plain don’t like. You know how nice it feels when you get rid of clutter around your house? Same deal.

2. Clean up your act. While you’re messing around in your library, put photos into albums, sets, or files. Then give them names and/or tags so you can find them again. Dates, events, and subject matter are all great ways to organize your photos.

3. Back up! Yeah, we know we’re always saying this, but we really really mean it. Back up your photos often, and back up the back-ups. Use Time Machine if you have a Mac, or add a monthly appointment to your calendar so you don’t forget. We’d be so sad if you lost your photos!

Show Off

photo wallYou know you’ve got a ton of amazing photos hanging around your hard drive. Get ‘em out of there and show them off properly!

4. Put more photos up. Make it easy to display your photos so you can put different ones up every month. Build yourself a photo wall or put up a couple of magnetic photo ropes.

5. Make a book. Making books online is crazy easy because of DIY publishers like Blurb, Lulu, or MyPublisher. Make a book of your favorite recipes with pictures to match, or document your road trip to Kalamazoo.

6. Enter some contests. We know you’re great. It’s about time everybody else did too. Check Photocompete to see what contests are running at any given time.

7. Share your pictures online. Get those photos out where everybody can see them. Save time by sending everything at once to all of your photosharing sites.

Try Something New

cyanotypeRuts: they ain’t no good for nobody. If you’ve gotten into one, here’s how to get out of it.

8. Use a new technique. Experiment with something you’ve never done, whether it’s pinhole photography or shooting with a plastic camera. Or try some post-processing effects like cross-processing or tilt-shift.

9. Switch teams. If you’ve been shooting only in digital, play with film for a while (and vice versa).

10. Borrow some new gear. Rent that fancy lens you’ve had your eye on, or borrow a friend’s camera and try it out. Changing your equipment can shake up your routine.

11. Get a different perspective. Shoot from up high, down low, or from the hip (without peeking at the viewfinder!)

Do Some Good

Shelter Dogs bookSay you suddenly got superhero powers: you’d use them for good, right?

Well, you sort of already have them. You know your way around a camera, so why not use your talent to help somebody out?

12. Donate your old gear. If you’re not using it anymore, give your old camera to somebody who needs it, like kids, conservationists, or folks on Skid Row.

13. Volunteer your talents. Follow in Traer Scott‘s footsteps by taking portraits of shelter dogs that need help finding homes, or volunteer to document an event for your favorite local charity.

14. Teach somebody what you know. If you’re good at photography (and we know you are), pass on your knowledge. Go speak at a local school, or teach a friend’s kid how to use a camera.

Challenge Yourself

photo books“In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” -Yogi Berra

If you want to get better at photography, you have to keep practicing and pushing yourself. Just like everything else in life.

15. Go on assignment. Assign yourself photography tasks to complete. Important: make ‘em fun. Here are a couple to get you started:

  • Photograph five different birds on the same day.
  • Take a picture of the back of your head.
  • Take a photo lit only by flashlight.
  • Take a walk until you see your favorite color, then take a picture of it.

16. Do something difficult. Practice photographing subjects that don’t come easily to you, like animals, tiny objects, or people you don’t know. It gets easier, we promise.

17. Brush up on your history. Every time we unearth a stack of old photography books, we fall in love all over again. Read up on Julia Margaret Cameron, or Mary Ellen Mark, or dive into The World History of Photography. No room on the bookshelves? Check out this handy timeline instead.

Start a Project

Project 365The shiny new year just begs for a new photo project. Start something up, be it year-long, month-long, or just for a day.

18. Start a year-long project. Project 365 has a brand-new Flickr pool starting January 1st. Or give 52 Blessings a shot (hee hee) if you want to build a picture (ho ho) of the things you’re grateful for.

19. Pick a new project every month. Not up for a year-long commitment? Try something different every month. Play Mission 24 or Guess Where? for a month, or make up your own themes for each month. (January is National Soup Month!)

20. Start a new tradition. Do something new this year, like going to a photobooth every Friday or taking the same portrait once a year.

21. Make a time capsule. Leave a message for your future self with a disposable camera, or by hiding photos somewhere where you won’t find them for a long time.

Take Your Camera Everywhere

We just know you’re wondering what Photojojo’s resolution for the year is going to be. And we like your looks, so we’re gonna tell you what it is:

22. Bring your camera everywhere you go. Even if it’s just a cameraphone, make sure you’ve got a camera at all times. Slip it in your pocket or your backpack or in the hidden compartment of your prosthetic leg. You never know when the perfect shot will present itself.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Photo credits: włodi, ReadyMade, Anna Atkins, Traer Scott, gtmcknight.

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