5 photo resolutions for 2021: Photo ideas for the New Year

Whether the start of 2021 finds you tending to a particularly delicate head after a heavy night of New Year’s revelry, or enthusiastically savoring a hearty New Year’s feast, there is one question that will unite photographers everywhere: how can i improve my photography this year? Luckily, we’ve got some fantastic photography ideas to help you push your work even further in 2021.

Whether you’re a landscape photographer looking to hone in on your gorgeous views or a portrait shooter looking to take your captures to the next level, we’ve laid out your photography resolutions for 2021. Find out what projects you should take on, what kit you should invest in and the photographers you should learn from for your best year of photography yet!

(Image credit: Louise Carey/Digital Camera World)

01. Set a goal (but make it realistic)

It can be very easy to pop up on January 1st with a twinkle in your eye and dramatically declare, “This year, I’m going to travel the world, take hundreds of amazing photos, and gain thousands of Instagram followers.” However, it probably won’t be that easy to come up with that statement. The problem with setting such an optimistic goal is that it can quickly become overwhelming and intimidating.

We’re all for ‘shooting for the stars and landing on the moon’, but don’t set a goal so extravagant that you’ll feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think big! To help you decide what your photography goals should be for this year, consider the following questions:

• What do you want to achieve by the end of 2021? (Do you want to improve a certain skill, or photograph a particular location, or perhaps bring your work to new audiences?)

• How can you realistically work towards this goal? (Whether you’re obsessed with step-by-step plans or prefer a more laissez-faire approach, give yourself a few action points to get you started on your journey.)

• What incentives can you give yourself to achieve this goal? (Whether it’s a swanky new goal or maybe even a nice meal at the restaurant, be sure to have a reward for completing your goal in the park).

02. Invest in the kit

While it’s certainly not true that the kit makes the photographer, we’d say there’s definitely something to be said for shaking up your routine and trying something new. We don’t necessarily recommend investing in a shiny new camera (opens in a new tab) (although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you think you need). Indeed, something relatively inexpensive like the Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System (opens in a new tab) could be just the ticket to reigniting your creativity.

You might want to check out some of our most popular buying guides below for more inspiration:

• Best camera for beginners (opens in a new tab): we help you choose the right camera
• Best mirrorless camera (opens in a new tab): we select the best compact system cameras
• Best instant camera (opens in a new tab): perfect instant photos for the holiday season!
• Best drones with camera (opens in a new tab): these are the best drones for photography
• Best camcorders (opens in a new tab): which one is right for you?
• Best DSLR (opens in a new tab): DSLR Cameras for Beginners, Enthusiasts and Pros
• Best camera backpacks (opens in a new tab): carry camera gear, laptops and more

(Image credit: Louise Carey/Digital Camera World)

03. Get out of your comfort zone

We hear you – it’s awfully comfortable in that comfort zone right there, shooting predictable situations and getting pleasing results. However, if you want to take really great shots, the only way to do that is to push yourself.

Identify your weak spots, create a battle plan, then move forward fearlessly to improve your photography. Do you hate flash? Invest in a cheap flash (opens in a new tab) and look at some photography tips (opens in a new tab) videos. Afraid to photograph people? Get a nice friend to make the model for you, so you can practice a bit.

Even if the mountain you have chosen to climb seems insurmountable, remember that no photographer is perfect. Everyone still has something to learn, no matter how good. And, in fact, imagine knowing absolutely everything about photography – what a boring world it would be with nothing new to learn.

04. Find new inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere – the soft shimmer of morning sun on the sea, or perhaps a few drops of dew on a lonely blade of grass. They are two worthy inspirations and have inspired thousands of amazing photos.

However, sometimes the best inspiration comes from some solid technical advice. Armed with your newfound knowledge, you are free to explore your chosen photographic genres with ease and aplomb. Obviously, we recommend that you consult our wide range of tutorials (opens in a new tab) about the World’s First Digital Camera, but there’s a huge range of information you can dig into.

From YouTube videos to the best online photography courses (opens in a new tab)there are many sources you can take advantage of – including one of our favorite ways to learn new techniques, which is to read the best photography magazines (opens in a new tab).

(Image credit: Louise Carey/Digital Camera World)

While investing your time in formally learning new skills is a very commendable activity, you can often find yourself learning even more when you are part of a photography community. Whether it’s joining a photo club, meeting a few equally happy friends, or finding an online forum, your fellow shooters are a wealth of information.

Obviously cam clubs have had to rethink the way they do things in the current climate, but if you’re using your cam as a webcam (opens in a new tab) you can collaborate with other photographers on Zoom. And we’ve found that Facebook groups can be a great place to learn from working pros. Some of our favorites include:

READ THE FILM LEARN (opens in a new tab)
TheLawTog® – the legal resource for photographers (opens in a new tab)
Promptography (opens in a new tab)

Read more:

Best photo editing tools (opens in a new tab)
The best GoPro cameras (opens in a new tab)
The best drones for beginners (opens in a new tab)

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