2017 has been an exciting year for this site and blog, and I want to share with you what has been accomplished, and what I will be focusing on in 2018.
First, however, I want to thank all subscribers to my blog, and followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It is great to connect with you all, having an audience, and getting feedback on my images and blog posts. You are the reason I continue pushing myself, and to publish, even when it is challenging to come up with new ideas and images.
I started with this Zenfolio site in August 2013, not really knowing what to expect, how this would develop, and if I would like it. Looking back, especially to 2017, I realize that keeping this website and blog up helps me to focus on the quality of my images and finding my artistic voice and style.
2017 actually was the first year that I really committed to the site and the blog, and I learned a lot in the process. Publishing a blog every week is a challenge, and in the process, I have built a huge respect for people who are able to publish multiple posts every week. I however also learned that it is a lot of fun and that it provides a great feeling of accomplishment.
Working with Zenfolio has its challenges, but there is a lot to discover and learn, and once it was set up to my liking, the site is quite easy to maintain and expand. Although a Zenfolio site cannot be customized to the same extent as for example a WordPress based site, there are still a lot of opportunities to change pages and layouts. Some of these changes can be accomplished with Zenfolio's built-in tools, and I am also learning quite a lot about coding in the process.
My blogging goal for 2017 was to publish a post every week, and looking back I am happy (and proud!) to see that I accomplished this for 50 of the 52 weeks; I missed only 2 weeks!
2017 also was the year I started publishing my PicTales, Haiku, and Essays on the blog.
The blog posts published in 2017 include:
The 14 remaining posts are about topics I hope you, my audience, appreciate because they provide information about my photographic approach, interior design, and other photography related topics like book reviews.
The above means that 74% of my current total of 68 blog posts has been published in 2017; only 18 posts being published from 2013 through 2016.
Working on this site and blogging was not only fun to do, and rewarding because it connected me with you, my audience; it also has helped me to grow artistically and move ahead in my photographic journey. I really got hooked on telling stories and on medium format film photography. I also have become more critical of my own work, which led to a major review and culling of images on my site when I had to re-publish all images in October.
Looking back to what I accomplished and learned in 2017 provided me with some good thoughts and goals for 2018:
Digital photography definitely will continue to be part of my work: I am a mixed medium photographer and I appreciate the benefits of both digital and film photography. One of the challenges I have set for 2018 is to work in 4:5, 1:1, and 1:2 aspect ratios for digital work. Creating images with 1:1 and 1:2 aspect ratios will be relatively easy because I can select these aspect ratios in the Electronic and Optical Viewfinders (EVF and OVF) of my Fujifilm X-Pro 1. The 4:5 aspect ratio, which is actually my favorite one, will, however, be more challenging to achieve since this is not an EVF/OVF option on the X-Pro 1. I probably will need to work with the grid overlays in the finders to make the right compositions for cropping.
I want to expand my film photography and start my own developing. Although I will continue to work with a photo lab (I can recommend Richard's Photo Lab and The Find Lab) I want to experience the fun and learn from developing my own negatives. Traditional silver halide printing of images then will be something for the future.
Looking back to 2017 I realized that quite a lot of the stories I published were based on existing, older work. For 2018 I definitely need to produce more new work for my blog posts and portfolio.
I very much enjoyed creating and publishing the PicTales and Haiku, and these will continue to be part of my work. I, however, want to find a better balance between Essays and Editorial work, which probably will lead to creating more documentary type images. This actually makes me wonder if there actually is a thing like "fine art documentary". Maybe a topic for a blog post!
To get more feedback on the quality of my images, and also just for the fun of it, I am going to submit on a regular basis to Calls for Entries and Contests. This also will provide me feedback regarding the marketing of my images.
Talking about marketing and sales; starting 2018 I will provide several diversified opportunities to purchase prints of my images: I will offer open editions via Zenfolio for all images, limited editions of selected images via one of the major artists sites, and "on request" limited editions for all images when potential buyers would like to purchase prints in specific sizes and/or mediums. I am in the process of arranging this all, so stay tuned (subscribe to the blog!) for announcements on how to purchase prints.
My final goal for 2018 is to start at least two major, long-term, photography projects. I have compiled a long list of possible projects I would like to work on, and I am going to select at least two for 2018. In addition to the final results, I will regularly share progress and images on the blog. Another reason to subscribe!
So a lot to start and accomplish next year. I am looking forward to working on all these projects and sharing new stories and projects with you.
I wish you all a great, exciting, and successful 2018, and thank you again for subscribing (and if you haven't, you still can do here) and following. 2018 will be another exciting year with new developments for my photography, website, and blog.