Let’s talk about goals. Many of us have weight loss goals, financial goals, etc. but have you taken the time to make photography goals? Have you ever looked at another artist’s images and wonder to yourself how you get to that point? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary helps answer this question with the definition of goal; the end which effort is directed. We need to set goals and direct our efforts with the end in mind.

M Russell Ballard quote about setting goals

I would like to break down goal-setting into three steps.


For myself, I like to set short-term goals and then long-term goals. My short-term goals in the past have included learning back button focus, learn how to process backlit images, learning different metering modes, etc. Making CMPro, having a 20-30 image portfolio, and finding my style have all been long-term goals that I have set for myself. What are some of your short-term and long-term goals? Embarrassingly, I will admit that I need to learn to achieve better white balance in camera. I loosely follow the Kelvin chart, but I don’t have it memorized-oh the shame! A long-term goal of mine is to share my images in a local gallery.

N Woodson quote

Develop self-discipline

In order to run a marathon, you have to put in hours and hours of running months ahead of time. As photographers, we need to practice, practice, practice to develop a new skill. It may take hours of editing to finally recognize color casts. Resolving to only shoot in manual will force you to learn your camera and settings. Shooting at different times of the day in different lighting conditions every day will quicken my mastery of the Kelvin chart.

Make your goals happen

Start doing something that you know you should be doing each day. For me, I should be setting my white balance every time I pick up my camera. Is there something you have been meaning to do for a long time but just haven’t gotten to it? Write it down. Place it into your life. Beginning today, do that one thing that is going to make you a better photographer. Spend your energies doing those things that are going to make a difference. The key is to do!

the importance of creating photography goals