At the beginning of each year, I come up with a list of goals I want to accomplish. For some reason, resolution is a dirty word to me. If you want to go back and take a look at that original post, feel free by clicking the link here. I've found that having a list and publishing it for all the world to see has really pushed me to accomplish more. Nobody wants to fail, right? I put up some pretty lofty goals in 2012 and to my surprise, I accomplished a lot more than I thought I would.
1. Redesign my website.
I accomplished this goal pretty early on in the year and without much fanfare on my part. I'm so glad that the majority of you never had to look upon my old website. It was so dark and heavy and ugly. I feel like the new one is much more dynamic and gives you a better insight into who I am. In case you've never been to my actual website, check it out here. I have an amazing web designer, so if you're ever looking for one, I'm more than happy to pass along her information.
On top of the website redesign, I started various social media sites for my business. I'm on twitter, tumblr, facebook, pinterest and flickr. I can't believe all the new, wonderful people I've met through my work. You make this so much more fun, so thank you!
2. Visit friends in DC.
Do I get two gold stars for this one? Not only did I make it down to DC in April, I did it again in November. My amazing friends Rachel and Zach got married this year and asked me to share their wedding day as their photographer. I swear I wrote this goal before they had asked me!
3. Go to a concert every month.
Leave it to me to make up a ridiculously expensive goal, but I did it!
January: Aimee Man
February: William Shatner, Bjork cancelled at the last minute
April: Hotel Lights, Punch Brothers
May: Andrew Bird
June: Keane, Clearwater Festival
July: Orgone, Noam Pikelny, The English Beat
September: Ben Folds Five, Eytan and the Embassy, Gotye, Michael Bolton cancelled at the last minute
October: Ben Folds Five, Eytan and the Embassy
December: Jess McAvoy
As an added bonus, I covered 10 of those concerts and I learned so much, it blows my mind. I need to set more ridiculous goals in the future!
4. Contact and learn from concert photographers.
I don't have any photographic proof of doing this, but I did. In August, I went to a gallery opening that Brooklyn Vegan hosted on concert photography. I spoke with one of my favorite concert photographers there, and have emailed him a few times since. I haven't followed through on this as much as I would have liked, so I'm going to continue to work on it next year.
5. Purchase and learn Totally Rad.
Totally Rad is a really cool action used in post production. I did not purchase Totally Rad this year, although I did go through a training session with a brilliant photographer, Jason from Dreamscape Studio Photography. Instead, I invested my money in the most current version of Light Room. I do not regret this decision at all because I've become much more adept with this program and I've learned to do the majority of my post prod work with it.
6. Return to summer fitness level.
I love my vague goals. I'm not at that level yet, but I did make a lot of fitness improvements throughout the year. I wasn't nearly as sick as I was in 2011, but I did suffer a serious injury back in February. I was as close as you could get to breaking your wrist without actually breaking it as a result of a fall down a small set of stairs. I spent the next two months in a wrist brace, but my trainer was amazing and came up with several workouts that didn't involve my wrist at all. The other victory that stood out in my mind happened around the same time as my wrist injury. Three years ago, I tore my left ACL and had reconstruction surgery. They used part of my hamstring in my knee and ever since then, it's been a slow recovery. While my knee is completely stable and strong, my hamstring hadn't fully recovered. When I tried to do a leg curl, my left leg would just stop about half way back. There was nothing I could do, the muscles were still recovering from the removal of a couple of strands. One day at the gym, I don't even remember what exercise I was doing, my leg worked again. My orthopaedic, who I was seeing for the wrist injury, told me I was a few months ahead of schedule as far as the hamstring went.
7. Make my own wrapping paper.
In 2011, I made a goal to be craftier and I failed it, so I reworked it to be more specific. I learned to carve my own stamps out of erasers with a linoleum cutter. I started on Mother's Day and pretty much went from there. It's been so much fun making personalized wrapping paper for my friends and family. The robots that I made for James were my favorite and the ginger bread men for Christmas made me batty, but I love them just the same.
8. Photo of the week challenge.
I included a screenshot from Pinterest that includes all the images from this challenge. I definitely started slow on this, but in the end, it was a great exercise. When I was first learning photography, I was told to go out and shoot a roll of film, gasp! film!, every day. The only way to improve was to shoot, look at your results, learn from your mistakes, shoot some more, screw up again, learn some more. I feel like this challenge forced me to see a lot more of what was going on around me and notice details. It's pretty cool to see an overview of what I did throughout the year.
9. Share my photos and/or do a guest post on another blog.
While so many people have told me they enjoy my writing, it is the most loathsome part of this blog. I often times don't know what to say. I was touched when the Wall-Nuts asked to use some of my pictures on their blog. I definitely plan on doing more of this in the future.
10. Learn Photojunction.
This is another computer program, used in album design. It is so unintuitive, it has frustrated me to no end for a couple of years. Again, my friend Jason sat me down and went over the program. I have a much better understanding of it now, but it's just not the right program for me. Learning this program was another way of saying that I wanted to make my first album, and guess what? I did.
11. Do a pull up.
Oh, upper body strength, will I ever have you? It's good to fail a couple of goals; it keeps you honest. I did not do a pull up in 2012, but I am able to do a flexed arm hang for a solid 10 seconds. Better luck in 2013!
12. Get a paying job as a concert photographer.
While I had intended to get a gig for another publication, I ended up accomplishing this at my current job. It was an absolute blast being able to use my love of concert photography in conjunction with my coworkers. There's another article coming out next year that I shot this year; we just had a lot happen in the state of Connecticut that our papers unfortunately had to cover.
All in all, not a bad year right?