New year, new goals !
Do you make a list of things you want to achieve in the next year?
Well, I do and for me it works perfectly.
Why should you write your goals down?
How about because a Harvard Business Study found out the following related to goal-setting:
– 84% of respondents had no goals.
-14% of respondents had plans but had not written them down. The study found that this group was ten times more likely to succeed than those without any goals.
-3% of respondents had written down their goals. They were three times more likely to succeed than the group who had some plan in mind.
What this research made me clear a couple of years ago, is that if you want the best possible results, you need to define your goals and then write them down.
So starting from – I think 2012 – I wrote a so called “Bucket List” (Inspired from the movie with the same name) were I wrote my goals for every year, on personal and professional level. Not only goals but plans how to achieve them. In this article, I want to share with you 7 of my most important goals for 2023.
- Be a better photographer
I know what you are thinking. How can you measure this? More knowledge? More awards? More events? More profit? Well for me balance is key. Every one of those things matter. That’s how I will stay a happy photographer. Yes, happy.
We all know the John Lennon story:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
So to stay happy I want to learn more, earn more, give more and receive more.
Learn more by participating to different photography conferences, meetings, workshops. I learned a lot while participating to these events, not just about the technical part but also maybe even more about the business side too. Conferences & workshops are great places for networking too. I’ve met so many great photographers and formed friendships with many of them. I recommend to everyone these events ! Beside that I always take time to study at the office too, reading about photography, about the industry and watching videos,vlogs. The wedding & event industry is always changing, progressing, many new trends come and you need to be up to date and innovate. You can’t be a better photographer if you always do the same. And can’t stay happy too by doing so. Where will I go this year? Maybe I will tell in another blogpost.
I started this business for the love of photography but with time I realized maybe I love even more to help people, and how can I best help? Capturing their most important events in their lives, capturing the moments, the emotions, the laughs, the cries, the hugs…People’s stories inspire me, so I love to meet them, get to know their stories and learn from them. So giving more, as I mentioned, means giving more help, giving more informations, tips, giving more quality in my services.
And finally receiving more means receiving more recognition at the most important Wedding photography contest where I participate every year. For me, a person who is passionate about photography means a lot to have my work recognized by famous photographers, who are asked to judge at this contests. It’s a great feeling when one of your photos which was a hard worked staged shot or a unique moment which won’t repeat is awarded. Also while participating I learn a lot about my mistakes, about how I could shoot better or edit better in the future. In 2022 I made it into the TOP 50 Fearless Photographers of 2022 which is a huge achievement. Fearless Photographers is the biggest and most renowned wedding photography community in the world so yeah, breaking into the TOP50 it’s a huge achievement for me, probably the biggest so far. Beside Fearless, I was also in the TOP 100 Photographers in 2022 , at This is Reportage, where only documentary style is allowed, so only moments, no couple shots, nothing staged. At the annual national contest organized by Fotografi-cameramani, I stayed for the second year in the country’s Top 10 which, when you see how many talented, world-renowned photographers we have, it’s a huge achievement for me. The aim for 2023 is doing better but staying true to my principles, to my style.
- Stay healthy
You can’t be a better photographer while being sick. This is a job where we can’t take a day off because we are sick. No, we need to be at that wedding and we need to be focused for about 14 hours. We need to carry our equipments, maybe working while it’s cold or it’s raining. It’s hard while you’re sick. I am grateful because this business taught me that I need to take care of myself because no one will like a sick photographer. And my girlfriend who – luckily for me – is a nutritionist taught me that there are 3 keystones for staying healthy: diet, exercise and rest.
Diet means eating foods that are good for your health, not skipping the usual meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and staying hydrated. You can’t do 14 hour weddings for years while you constantly eat just fast food, sweets and drink coke.
We talk about working for around 14 hours continuously. So you need stamina. You can’t succeed in the long term while you don’t exercise in the other days. What sports do you practice? I am a big fan of tennis but also football, basketball, hiking and even running. I am so proud that I did a lot of sports last year, even tho it was an overwhelming wedding season. It made me healthier and happier too ! This year I want even more sports. I am confident about scheduling regular activities, and also I want to compete again in tennis competitions and also to try my stamina at a running competition. It’s hard because usually my weekend are busy with events but I made some free days and hopefully there will be competitions on those days.
And the last keystone is rest. As I said many times, wedding photography is not easy, it requires physical and mental stamina so you need to take breaks, not only on the wedding day but throughout the year. With time I found a great way to take a break: while everybody moans about mondays, well, I am an exception, I love mondays because it’s the first day after the weekend, my work days, and especially last year when I was really busy with events, photoshoots and editings, I made clear that monday is rest day. And I meant seriously: no social media, no phone, just relax, go out in the nature, spend time with my loved ones, doing what I love…It helped me a lot ! On tuesday I was recharged, honestly ! I was ready for the culling, editing parts and also for the photoshoots. Another day to have a good break is the day before the weddings, usually friday afternoon, or maybe thursday afternoon. I don’t overwhelm myself with work on those afternoons to relax and prepare myself for the weekend.
This year the goal is to stay loyal to these 3 keystones, to help myself staying healthy.
Of course beside these I will do my annual medical tests to see if I’m okay and of course taking care of my teeth because I had so many problems throughout the years with them. And teeth problems can be annoying.
What about you? How do you take care of yourself? Do you rest enough? What sports do you practice?
- Travel more
Anyone who knows me, knows that I looove to travel! And I’m grateful that photography helps me travelling to many beautiful places around this beautiful planet. This year I photographed in 4 countries outside Romania and if time would been on my side, probably in even more!
I’ve been so lucky to combine my hobbies. Photography gave me the opportunity to photograph in so many beautiful places, cities, countries. As I said I love to travel so it’s such a success for me to be able to combine these to hobbies so practically my job is to do one of my hobbies (to photograph) while I’m doing my other hobby (travelling). And this year will be another year with lots of photosessions in many new, beautiful places, here in Romania and abroad! Can’t wait!
Also like every year, I want to visit beautiful, new places, while on a vacation. Last year we went to Malta and maybe it was the best vacation we’ve had. I recommend Malta to everyone ! It’s small island with everything for everyone from beautiful beaches, diving sites to beautiful historical architecture and great cousine. We are lucky to live a country with so much natural beauty and I want to travel more inside the country too. I have some places I really want to visit like the city of Iasi, Maramures county or the Bucegi Mountains. I’m confident that with a great time management I can achieve these, like last year, where I had the most events but also the most travels and maybe it was the year when I did the most practicing too.
- Catch more sunsets
I learned a lot in these 10 years of photographing. I made mistakes, I learned and I grew. I found out my strong and weak points. (I recommend for everyone to know these points of yours, it’s essential for your growth!) And I realized who I am and what is that i like. And one of that is watching sunsets. And of course photographing them! I just love those sunset photos with that orange. For 2023 I want to catch and to shoot even more sunsets! It doesn’t matter what kind of photoshoot: family, pregnancy, save the date or after wedding. Even landscapes! Yeah, I also want to take more time for landscapes because that’s how I started photography. That’s why I fell in love with photography. I just want to enjoy much more times this beautiful time of the day! Long live sunsets!
- Share more
It was a tough for us from the re-opening, from the middle of 2021, and last year even tougher with such an immense amount of work. And yeah I didn’t organize my time to be more active on social media. I am happy because I made a great job in these years, I grew as a person and photographer and achieved most of my goals but this year I want to take more time to constantly post on social media & on my website. Why? Because I have this beautiful job: to photograph peoples in love, people’s emotion and I really want to show more of my work, to help couples with many tips, to fill the internet with beautiful and useful stuff & why not, to inspire other photographers as well.
- Help more
Help more because helping others feels so good, right? And by help I mean any kind of help, starting from the earlier goal about sharing, I want to help other photographers in being better persons & photographers aswell. I already succeeded in helping some young talents achieve their dreams to be photographers and I want to help photographers who are not happy with themselves. When I look back to my beginnings, I never taught I will grow so much as a person and as a photographer. Now I can say that I am a happy photographer who achieved many goals, learned even more and knows what are the next steps. Over the years I learned many many things which I will be glad to share.
I couldn’t be here where I am today if I did not have the support I have. I think of the important persons in my life. My parents, my family, my girlfriend and my best friends. I want to help them whenever I can because when I was in need of help, they were always there for me. And for this, I will be forever grateful for them.
As I said, today I am a happy photographer and I am grateful that God gave me the opportunity and strength to be here today. But many people can’t say the same. There is a war going on not so far from my country, there were heavy earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and there are many places around the world (even in Romania) where life is not easy at all. Whenever I can I help these people, mostly by donating. It’s sad that many people live in such mess but by helping, even a little bit, feels right and feels so good. You probably know the feeling after helping someone, I can’t think of many better feelings than that. So yeah, this year I want to help even more as many people as I can because I love to help. As a photographer, I always say that my main goal is to help my clients, by capturing their events so they can look back always to those memories.
- Spend time with my loved ones
Time flies and especially on summer, a wedding photographer’s life is full. But as I said earlier, I can’t forget the people who are always there for me. I need to be sure that I organize my time so that I have enough time to spend with them. But what is enough? There is no such thing. But it’s important for my health, for their health to meet and have a good time constantly. Work can’t be an excuse. Nothing can be a good excuse. Time flies and you can’t go back in time. I learned over the time to make time and enjoy that time with your loved ones, because we don’t live for an eternity. And I learned it by the hard way. I lost my grandfather and I miss him so much, and I know I was so busy I didn’t make enough time for him. I don’t ever want to make the same mistake again. Spend time with your loved ones ! This is the only thing you won’t regret when you look back at your life.