Today is the day that most people I know are heading back to work after the December break. It can be tough to get going, after spending time away from the office - I remember when I was younger my sister and I would always sing "back to school, back to reality", preparing ourselves for the year ahead. I don't mind this time of year, I always get excited about what the new year may bring, I start looking forward to new experiences, meeting new people, getting back into a routine of healthy eating and exercise after an indulgent Christmas - and this year is no exception.
As 2016 was drawing to a close, I made a decision to put more of an emphasis on my photography. My website had remained pretty much unchanged from when I first created it in 2009, sure I was shooting, but I only updated it once every few months, if that! I'd never created social media accounts for my photography, even my own personal Instagram feed went through dry patches. So I re-designed the website, and spent a good amount of time going through my images for my portfolio.
While I was on this little journey, my graphic designer fiancé was very kindly designing me a new logo, letterhead and business cards. I'm lucky to have a partner who is also in a creative field, and one who could offer me constructive criticism - I can be rather sentimental about the images I've shot but I realised that to move forward with a fresh look for 2017 it was time to go back and clean up the archive.
Turned out going through my archive was just what I needed - and for my photographer friends reading this I would definitely recommend doing it if you haven't done so in a while. I could see just how my style of photography had developed over the years, I could see how my editing skills had become sharper, I found images I loved in shoots I hadn't given a second glance to before. I removed images from my portfolio that I once loved, but now didn't speak to my style of photography. The process helped me figure out what it was I wanted to focus on within my wider scope of portraiture - family portraits have always been my first love so I started there. And once the editing was done I realised they were still my first love!
I'm not good at making resolutions (come February and most of them have gone out the window), but I do believe in cultivating habits. So this year, I plan to make it a habit to share my new shoots, to share things I've learnt over the years, to join discussions with fellow photographers, to learn something new and to challenge myself to always be growing.
Three cheers to a brand new year!