As you read this, I will be in the French Alps hopefully having a well earned break.
I actually wrote this post a few days ago whilst thinking about New Years resolutions, reflecting on 2017, and mulling over what I hope to achieve next year - both personally and photographically.
Now I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, but I do find that New Year offers an excellent opportunity to reflect over the past 12 months and to think to the future.
So, what did I learn in 2017?
I suppose I learned a lot really, both personally and photographically. This has been the year that I have completely fallen for photography - it's always been on the back burner, like a simmering stove, but this year, my passion has really ignited.
Over the last 12 months I have been getting to grips with what style of photography I want to do. I have played with macro, portraits, products but have always returned to the outdoors. I now never go out for a hike without my camera and, because I have a purpose to my walks, I am getting out so much more.
Photography has not only gotten me out more, it has also given me a creative outlet that I am absolutely loving (more on that to come in a future post). This has been something desperately lacking in my life over the past couple of years
So, what does the next 12 months have in store for me?
Developing the blog
Firstly, I am hoping to continue developing this blog. I'm already running a regular feature called "Recommended Video of the Month" and will be starting another monthly segment called "What I've Learned This Month", which should be fairly light and entertaining - as I make a lot of mistakes, so learn an awful lot!
Location and Hike Planner
I would like to share some of my local knowledge of Cumbria by starting a location guide in this blog, complete with map references and possibly GPX co-ordinates. I would like these location guides to be more than just "here is this location and here is that location". Instead, I would like the guides to fuse my love of the outdoors with my love of photography. So I envisage these guides to be designed around circular hikes, each with a few suggested locations and maybe even a refreshment recommendation (think typical hiking guides with an emphasis on photography). I hope to also include information on possible best times of the year to shoot and to plan each hike around the best times of day to shoot each location - eg. starting with morning shots and finishing with evening locations.
Because of the planning and organising that will go into these guides (as always, I do want to do them well), I haven't got a launch date for the first one yet - although I do have a pretty good idea of which hike I will start with. However, I'm hoping to have the guides ready to launch sometime in the early Spring.
I'm aiming to get out and shoot at least twice per week in 2018 - weather and time permitting - although I should be able to get out at least once per week even in the busiest weeks. I will obviously blog many of these adventures as I go!
Another aim for next year is to do a Scottish shoot in the Highlands at some point in 2018 - maybe towards the end of the year. I've got a rough plan at the moment, but nothing set in stone as of yet, but I'd love to get away with my camera for an adventure in the Scottish Highlands.
Prints for Sale
And lastly, I'd like to be able to offer some prints for sale by the end of 2018 - I don't have a printing supplier just yet and no firm plans - just another idea in the pipeline!
So, a few things planned for 2018. If you'd like to follow my journey and see my hike and photography planners first, please subscribe by email to be notified every time I up-date, so you never miss a post!