13 ways to make 2013 the best year yet!

Happy new year to everybody!  I thought that seeing as it is a new year I would share some ideas with you that I found useful to help me be a better photographer.  I hope the new year brings you lots of good light, decisive moments and great images!


1.  Get out (or in) and shoot often.  There is no substitute for practice.  If you want to be a better photographer then set aside quality time on a regular basis to get out and photograph.  Accept no excuses from yourself, if you miss a session then don’t beat yourself up about it just reschedule it.

Ireland's eye-Dublin bay_photo-tour-briancooney-photography

2.  Drink in the view.  As photographers we are so lucky to get the opportunities to see what we do and visit interesting places so remember to drink in the view and savor it.    This will help you relax,  you know you make your best images when you are in a relaxed state, switch off the phone, chill out and enjoy looking around you.

Iceland_Photography_aurora-Briancooney (1 of 1)

3.  Stop comparing your photography to other people’s.  This is neither good or useful.  You are the only person that can improve your own photography and comparing your work with the best photographer’s in the camera club only serves to make you feel bad  and unmotivated.  Celebrate your successes, enjoy the moment, remember how it felt.  Make your self feel good about your own photography.


4. Learn from your mistakes.  All those times when things didn’t work out are great opportunities to learn and improve.  Before you delete your errors have another look at them and ask yourself what went wrong and how could I do this better the next time?  Use your mistakes as feedback.


5.  Take a course, attend a workshop, buy a book, read a blog.  There are so many different ways to learn today.  Dedicate yourself to continuously learning more about a subject that your passion knows no limits for!


6.  Use your mobile phone.  The best camera is always the one you have with so now you can practice anytime, any place, anywhere… There are so many mobile apps too that allow you to play & and have fun with.


7.  Challenge yourself to make an image a day.  No rules, no boundaries just take one image a day of anything that grabs your attention.  This will get you into the habit of looking and being curious.  You will see & notice more.  Over time you will build up a fascinating documentary of your daily life too!


8.  Show your work.  Photography is better when shared so start a blog, start a Facebook page, a Flickr page.  Use social media to show off your work to other people.  Connect with other photographers and people who share your passion.


9.  Print your images.  There is no substitute for holding a print in your hands so print your images and enjoy seeing them on your wall, the reward for all that time spent in all kinds of weather and remind you why you do this.


10.  Look at the work of other photographers.   Get ideas from the work of others that can inspire your own, all art was inspired by or influenced by other art in some way.  Build up an inner library of photography that you can draw on.  There are so many resources available nowadays like galleries, photography books, magazines and the internet.

Iceland_Photography_Jokulsarlon (1 of 1)

11.  Refuse to give up.  Be doggedly determined to get that shot, complete that project, finish that edit.  Persistence will overcome any resistance so don’t get down, get back up, get back out there and keep going.  Imagine how great it is going to feel when you finish!


12.  Read your camera manual.  Yes that’s right, that small, slim manual that came with it which will allow you to strip the camera down and reassemble it blindfolded….  well maybe not but knowing your equipment means that you can take that shot blindfolded if you need to!


13.  Above all have fun!  Taking your photography too seriously is detrimental to your personality as well as your creativity so enjoy getting out there and doing what you love!

About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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13 Responses to 13 ways to make 2013 the best year yet!

  1. Conor Cullen says:

    Great blog Brian, thanks!

  2. patriciamoed says:

    Great post! Great photos. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Shutterbug Sage says:

    Brian, this is an awesome list! After just completing my first 365+1 photo project in 2012, I couldn’t agree more with the advise you provide here. It’s the perfect reminder (and encouragement) as I do it all again in 2013. Happy New Year!

  4. Great suggestions, Brian and, of course, some KILLER pictures. 🙂

  5. Huffygirl says:

    Wonderful tips Brian, thank you. I will be posting some of my shots with my new camera soon, and welcome your comments.

  6. it’s a good list! looking forward to improvement and admiring more works of photographers too in 2013 =)

  7. zamdezign9 says:

    Great list of things to keep in mind and keep ourselves creative this year! thanks!

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