resolutions, new years, new year's, travel, photography, blog, website, goals

2017 New Year’s Resolutions for www.JenniferMcCallum.com

I love New Year’s! Not the Eve part so much, I can hardly stay awake until 11 pm these days, but the whole new year = blank slate idea. I get that I’m a total list-making geek so I kind of feel like this is my holiday. Well, to be honest I do love the champagne too, who doesn’t love bubbles? And why don’t we all drink sparkling wine more often? I might have to add that to my personal resolutions for 2017, see how good I am at this? Okay, getting back to the photography and travel resolutions. I’ve heard that if you share your goals publicly you’re much more likely to keep them. So my friends, here are my photography/travel resolutions for 2017.

Consistent Blog posts

This is my biggest priority in 2017. It actually was in 2016 as well, and we can see how well that turned out! But I finally have a website theme that I love (Odyssey by Indielink), I’m slowly but surely figuring out my style, getting over the agony of how silly I feel when I read my own words online, and all the social media prerequisites. My ultimate plan is to post travel information on Monday, photography topics on Thursday (or vice versa), and maybe a random post or photo essay in between for at least 2 – 3 posts per week.

Improve Keywording in Lightroom

I’m happy with my organization within Lightroom but I am really, really bad at keywording items when I initially upload them. And it costs me time in the long run. I can’t count on searching for a keyword, I have to rack my brain to remember which trips or shooting location might have an image to submit. There’s nothing worse that finding an image that would have been perfect for a Snapwire (see my Snapwi.re review here) challenge….one week after the challenge is closed! It’s time to make Lightroom work for me.

Smugmug, portfolio, photography

Home page for Jennifer McCallum on SmugMug

Leverage my SmugMug account

I debated long and hard about lowering my SmugMug membership level this year. I currently subscribe at the annual Portfolio level. It’s significantly more expensive than the Power level but the Portfolio level is required if you want to offer your images for sale through SmugMug. I finally decided to give it one more year, but it’s only fair to invest a little time into my SmugMug site to be able to make an informed decision next year. I really hadn’t done much with SmugMug over the past year and I was a little embarrassed when I starting reviewing it and realized how poorly I have managed it. Images lack keywords and captions, and I haven’t uploaded any new images in a very long time, ouch! So I have my work cut out for me! You know, in all that mythical spare time. At the same time I’ll work on my Plan B – Pixels.com or Red Bubble since you can purchase wearables and home goods on these sites as well as prints. SmugMug is offering a 15% subscription discount Follow my affiliate link to learn more.

Backup my files in multiple locations

Since my fiasco with Carbonite (see the whole miserable story here), I’ve been backing up on hard drives. It’s a pretty easy and affordable system with Western Digital external hard drives, but it worries me that all my images are still in one physical location. My Christmas present was a Western Digital 8TB hard drive that I plan on filling and sending off site with another family member. I’ve actually already started the process but decided to clean out some old or duplicate files before I make the official back up to save some space (I know it’s silly, the cost of external storage is pretty affordable and I could use my time much more effectively but it drives me crazy knowing that I’m wasting some of the backup space. So I’ll try to find that balance.)

landscape, photography, sand dunes, sand, Michigan

Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan

Enjoy local events and locations as much as possible

I’ve moved around quite a bit for my work, living in 5 states and covering 4 others as part of my sales territories. I approached each new city and state like a tourist. I bought guidebooks and asked my new co-workers about the local must sees and dos. And it never stopped surprising me that most of the people who were from that area had never actually been to the destinations they would tell me about (except the Arch in Missouri, I think that was a requirement for anyone who lived in St. Louis, no joke).

We’re planning to move to Colorado in a few years so it just makes sense to experience as much of this side of the country as possible. I’ve even created a list (which surprises no one) of the events and scenery that make Michigan different from anywhere else- like the sand dune image featured above, can you believe that’s in Michigan? So it’s my own “before we move” bucket list. Plus, with a cat, three permanent dogs, and a foster dog it’s tough to get away without overwhelming or burning out our support network (thanks again, Mom and Dad!). Sticking closer to home makes it possible to do day trips and still experience the thrill of planning an outing and taking photos.

So, that’s my list! Actually, that’s just one of my resolution lists, I have many….color coded and alphabetized (though not laminated as my husband likes to claim). But those are the ones pertinent to this blog. Time to enjoy a glass of bubbly!

How about you, any resolutions that you’d like to get out in public?

Jennifer McCallum

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