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9 Days of New Year’s Resolutions | Number 4

4. A ‘full tank’ is essential for any job. No, I didn’t run out of gas on my way to a shoot this year. Could you imagine?

But the theme did appear in different ways throughout the year, and it all comes down to preparation. Whether it is an hour-long portrait shoot or an all-day wedding, I have learned that the more preparation, the better.

This can include researching the location online or scouting it; knowing your equipment; innocently “stalking” your client on facebook, twitter and Google; creating a shot list and a weather back-up plan; filling your gas tank the night before and getting a good night’s rest; planning which Starbucks to hit on your way to the shoot; eating before the shoot and, conversely, relieving yourself just before the shoot begins (LOL, but seriously!); knowing exactly what the client wants, etc. You really can never be too prepared. I’ve always been diligent with research and pre-production, but I’m taking it to the next level.

I resolve in 2012 to up my preparation game. My Christmas gift was a second camera (no more renting back-ups, baby!), and I can’t wait to dive into the manual to learn the differences. I am also preparing my homegrown marketing plan for the new year to avoid some of the “fly by the seat of my pants marketing” I did in 2011.

With that comes the restructuring of my design workflow and client list so I can spend a little less time on design jobs or monotonous tasks and a little more time on photography and the new projects that excite me. One of the coolest things I learned this year, discussed by Tim Ferriss on chasejarvis LIVE, is The Pareto Principle (aka the 80-20 rule): What are the 20% of my inputs, people, products, etc., — everything — in my life that brings me 80% of the joy, happiness and positive outcomes? And what are the 20% of my activities, clients, products, etc., that are producing 80% of the headaches, stress and anxiety in my life? I’m actively applying that principle to make changes in every aspect of my life, and I’m already more motivated.

Tune in tomorrow and every day until New Year’s Day to learn more about 2011’s best lessons and my plans for 2012.

Jeanette - Have enjoyed your 9 resolutions, especially #4. Completely relate to this one…..and the one on the 2nd shooter. My husband keeps hinting I need to be more than the “equipment manager”. Nice photos. Nice blog. Keep up the good work.February 17, 2012 – 7:55 am

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