2019 was an incredible year. As I reflect back on the past 12 months spent behind the lens, I realized I failed to complete just one of my five Creative Resolutions published last year. Apparently, I take these things more seriously than I thought.
If you’re curious what I included in my Best of 2019 list, head over to Trover. I’ve just published 19 moments that stood out. And if you’re slightly vindictive, please point out my obvious omissions in the comments!
Before jumping into my creative resolutions in 2020, I want to reflect back on the entire decade. In 2010, I had the faint idea to become a professional photographer, but I had little idea how to get started.
I still remember feeling ecstatic when Dan Dakin, former editor of Canadian Cycling Magazine, accepted my Amazing Andes Adventure story. It was my first magazine feature. Not long after that, Nancy Smith, the former social media manager at Travel Alberta, hired me to guide the province’s first-ever Instagram campaign. During that trip, Garry Norris and Lauren Bath helped show me the impact social media can have not just on my career, but to my audience.
Since those first early successes, I’ve worked on so many incredible projects that it’s overwhelming. Ten years later, I am so grateful for the help and support I’ve received from my family, friends, colleagues and clients. I will never take this career – and your support – for granted. Thank you.
And now, my Creative Resolutions in 2020
Whenever my friends ask about my upcoming schedule, I always hint at a slow period a few weeks away. For some reason, it never seems to arrive. If I am not careful, 2020 will fly past as quickly as 2019…
I am already looking forward to personal adventures in South America, Europe and at home in Alberta. I am eager to host workshops in Scotland and the Canadian Rockies. And I am looking forward to assignments I have with Eddie Bauer, Tourism Canmore, Salsa Cycles, and others. I need to renew a few courses, too, and potentially take a guiding exam. It’s going to be busy.
My calendar seems full, but I am determined to accomplish these 5 creative resolutions:
1. Personal Projects
As creatives, we always talk about the importance of challenging ourselves with a personal project. We’re also quick to forget their importance when we’re busy with assignments.
This year, I’ve scheduled time away from assignments to give myself an opportunity to work on a personal project. I look forward to the challenge and the freedom of shooting on my own terms.
2. Time Off
My life, as a creative entrepreneur, can be overwhelming. It can be hard to take time off, especially when I have job proposals to write, images to edit, or emails to respond. I’ve been guilty of doing too much, ignoring my personal life, and pushing until burnout forces me to slow down.
This year, I will give myself permission to schedule regular time off.
3. Shoot Locally
I live in Canmore, just outside Banff National Park. It’s a bucket list destination for many people around the world. It’s my backyard. Somehow, I still don’t photograph it enough!
In 2020, I will capture an entirely Canadian Rockies-themed portfolio.
4. Collaborate More
I absolutely love collaborating with other photographers. Whether it’s working on an entire project together or merely getting out on a single landscape shoot, it’s always rewarding to work alongside other people.
I don’t do it enough and I plan to change that this year!
5. Authentic Adventure
I know adventure can mean different things to different people; however, I think we can all agree on that adventure:
- requires the participant to push their boundaries or comfort zones.
- rarely happens within view of the carpark or hotel.
Over the next 12 months, I want to collaborate with athletes, push further into the backcountry and showcase adventure as authentically as possible.
What are your Creative Resolutions
I prefer to approach my career and personal life purposefully. I believe a solid plan gives me stability and purpose. I’ll still act spontaneously from time to time, but trust my plan will keep me heading in the right direction.
Each year, I create my Creative Resolutions for myself. They’re largely personal and, truthfully, I would be more comfortable keeping the list private. I choose to publish it because I believe it can help inspire other creatives to approach their craft and their career more purposefully.
Whether you want to call them new year resolutions or creative goals, I encourage you to take 30 minutes to think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next months, year, or decade.
If you’re comfortable sharing a few of those ideas, leave them in the comments!