Photography Goals and Predictions for 2019

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Follow Up on 2018 and New Goals for 2018

Let’s start off the episode with the goals.  First, we have to do a little accountability for last year, and to start things off we get to bring in a voice you haven’t heard in a long while – Mr. Jim Harmer!  Jim set for himself four goals for 2018.

Jim’s Goals For 2018

No New Photography Gear: Jim wanted to go through the entire 2018 year without buying any still photography gear.

I checked in with Jim to ask how he did.  He didn’t buy a single still photography item all year!  He did buy a video camera and lens for doing YouTube videos, but he didn’t buy any still cameras.  I didn’t think he would make it even half way through the year.

Branch Out:  Jim wanted to focus more on other types of photography over landscape.  He wanted to branch out into things like time-lapse and miniatures.

Jim did indeed spend some time on some other forms of photography.  He went down and shot with Felix Hernandez of https://www.hernandezdreamphography.com/ and made a video training course on how to shoot miniatures.

Shoot Maine:  In manually reviewing the photos and spots people were tagging in his Really Good Photo Spots app, he saw a flood of them come in from Maine and it made him want to go and shoot there.

I checked with Jim on this too, he didn’t make it out to Maine to shoot.  He really wishes he could have but never made it out there.

More Focus on Income School: Jim’s last goal was to spend more time with his Income School business where he teaches people how to create and successfully monetize blogs.

This is a goal Jim absolutely met.  In fact, he decided after putting more time in here that after a decade of blogging and podcasting about photography he was going to switch to having Income School be his primary focus.  He was so kind to let the other hosts of what was then the Improve Photography podcast take over the podcast network.

We love Jim.  It has been a while since he has come on the show.  I invited him to join this episode but he was spending time with his family so we will see if we can get him on a different episode really soon.

Brent’s Goals From 2018

My goals for 2018 were mostly met. I wanted to go somewhere awesome. I thought I might make it to NE India, but that fell through. So I went to Hong Kong instead.

I wanted to reduce my overload at my day job and that has largely happened. I no longer am solely responsible for our school’s only Macintosh Lab on campus, but I’m training someone in for that. So light is there at the end of the tunnel!

I wanted to get out more, and I’ve been able to accomplish that a bit, but not enough. I need to get out more and shoot more. 2019 is looking promising.

Connor’s Goals From 2018

Connor, did you have any goals?  How did you do?

If I remember correctly I had 2 main goals.

The first was to shoot at least 2 national commercial advertisements with the whole idea behind this being the desire to move my photography business towards more business to business photography work to replace a lot of my retail photo work.

In this I was somewhat successful in the literal interpretation of the goal, as I DID shoot a handful of pieces of advertising material, though all of them were local or regional campaigns. The thing is, my focus on this goal changed a fair amount pretty early in the year as I started to realize that my business was already better suited towards professional headshot photography over my product work being the main focus.

My second goal was to increase my net income in my business over this past year by at least 25%. This was a goal I DEFINITELY achieved and then some. Largely thanks to a couple of 5 figure accounts I landed throughout the year in doing my commercial headshot work, I have seen meaningful growth in this second year as a full time photographer to the extent that I REALLY know what it means to have no time to do other things. My personal work has sufferred a great deal as I haven’t really had the time to do any for MONTHS.

Jeff’s Goals from 2018

Improve Flash Photography: I wanted to work on making flash photography something I was more comfortable with.  Specifically getting good balance between the backgrounds and the flash on the models in the outdoor portraits I shoot.  

I made some really good progress here.  When I was able to fully dictate the details of the shoot like meeting the family at the site about 2 hours before sunset, I got it down really well.  Still a lot of room to learn things about flash, I am not Connor Hibbs proficient with it yet, but good progress here. It remains a goal for 2018. I am really excited about getting better with the Godox AD200 lights that

Increased Instagram Presence: Had a Photo Taco episode in 2018 with my friend Josh Packer and in that episode (Instagram Like a Pro) I talked about a new Instagram account I was starting where I was going to do the things Josh suggested to be an Instagram Pro.  

I didn’t do it.  I created the account, but I haven’t really posted to it yet.  I just didn’t have time for it and decided that this wasn’t really a big deal for me and where I am with my photography right now.

Multi-Season Scene: I wanted to shoot a scene across multiple seasons and blend them together.  I started this project in the summer, got a composition together I thought would work out well of a large tree near my house here in Herriman, Utah.  Then the construction began very shortly thereafter in my area here. Housing development. The tree is still there but the scene is no longer something worth photographing.

Brent’s Goals for 2019

Finally shoot with Back Button focus. I’ve just never seen the “need” but I’m going to give it a try anyway. Starting Jan 1 I will shift my camera to BBF and leave it there for at least three months.

Work on Mobile Editing. I’ve got an iPad pro 2 now. Full PS is coming so I’m interested to see how it’ll go. Also, Adobe is finally treating us EDU customers like everyone else so I now have full access to all apps so I can sync everything to an ipad easily now.

And finally, get this print course out, and then roll out other courses. I love teaching and I’m thrilled to bring more learning opportunities out there beyond the university.

Connors goals for 2019:

I want to stay the course with my business. I love being an educator and podcaster and want to continue putting out great content to help other photographers. I am also only planning 1 workshop this upcoming year and that is the workshop I am hosting with Erica Kay before the Create photography retreat in Vegas this upcoming march. Otherwise, I am honestly happy to keep my business moving forward in the way that it has been. I would like to add an extra 2 businesses with 100 or more staff to my headshot client list

Jeff’s Goals for 2019:

I made good progress on most of my goals from 2018, but not enough to check any of them off. They remain the same for 2019, except for the Instagram goal I had for 2018 because I don’t think that effort is really worth the reward for me personally.

  1. Improve my flash photography so that it becomes second nature to me like getting good exposure with the camera without flash. Really to get in camera results like those I have seen Connor get, though I am not dragging around a strobe and a car battery.
  2. Create a multi-season landscape photo where I take the same scene across many different seasons of the year and then merge them together.

2018 Prediction Follow-Up

Brent:

  • Create Photography Retreat in Maui in 2019.  WRONG.  It is going to be in Las Vegas and it is going to be awesome!  You really have to join us. ( BRENT’s Thoughts) I’m trying to find a way to make it work for even just a day. The organizers are happy to have me be down there, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed)
  • Perfect bag that holds 5DM4, 3 lenses, laptop, fits under seat of plane, has shoulder and backpack straps, bottle holder, tripod holder.  WRONG.  Bag doesn’t exist and Brent will continue searching. YEP 🙁
  • iPhone workshops huge boom in Zion National Park due to tripod restrictions.  WRONG.  Things changed some with the rules that were being considered and they didn’t actually outlaw tripods entirely, though they aren’t allowed on the trails.
  • Pentax medium format mirrorless.  WRONG??  Don’t remember seeing anything like this, right?

Jim:

  • Sony a6600 released with selfie mode, full articulating screen instead of just the screen that tilts up and down right now.  WRONG.  No update to the a6500 in 2018, though the a6700 is predicted for 2019.
  • Modular MacPro released starting at $6,500.  WRONG.  No modular MacPro released in (4)2018.  Something supposed to be coming in 2019 that everyone HOPES will be modular, but who knows.
  • Adobe’s market share begins to crumble because there is finally a worthy alternative.  WRONG.  Adobe did lose ground to a number of well known photographers this year to the likes of OnOne, Luminar, and others, but the subscription numbers only went up through the year for Adobe.
  • Neither Lightroom nor Photoshop will see any significant updates at all.  RIGHT!  There were updates.  There were some nice things added to both Lightroom and Photoshop, but I wouldn’t say anything there was really super significant.  I like the range masking in Lightroom and the new Content Aware Fill workspace in Photoshop as nice features, but neither program really got any major updates that just lit the market on fire.
  • First interchangeable lens camera with raw video.  NOT SURE??  I don’t do a lot with video, but I think that the cameras released in 2018 have some kind of proprietary format still that gives you a lot of the data but still isn’t raw?

Jeff:

  • Announce update of 7D to Mark 3, but not release it in 2018.  WRONG.  Didn’t announce anything about the 7D.  BTW, Brent agreed with Jeff.
  • Canon and Nikon both release full frame mirrorless cameras and both require adapters to use existing lenses.  RIGHT! Nailed it.
  • Luminar DAM will be released but Lightroom catalog conversion won’t and people will stay with Lightroom.  WRONG.  Luminar DAM has not been released.  It is promised in 2019 but Skylum has said that they want to take their time with it and make sure they get it right.
  • Lightroom CC gets local storage instead of syncing EVERYTHING to the cloud.  WRONG WRONG WRONG! They didn’t change that in 2018 and now I don’t know that they ever will.  Different objective with Lr CC where they want to take the pain out of managing your photos.  Just sync them everywhere so that you don’t have to worry about getting your edits from your laptop while on the go to be on your desktop when you get home.
  • Jim buys photo gear in 2018, within the first 6 months.  WRONG!  He held fast, though I think he cheated by changing the emphasis of his career so significantly.
  • Apple adds auto background replacement with iPhone X.  WRONG.  Though Lightroom CC on iPhone X does use the depth mapping to produce a mask for you automatically.  So partial credit.

2019 Predictions

  • AI Background Removal in Photoshop (Jeff).  I think Adobe is going to buy and integrate background erasing that uses artificial intelligence into Photoshop.  Click one button and your raw file is sent up to the cloud, analyzed by the AI, and returns a new layer in Photoshop with a layer mask that extracts the subject from the background.
  • Canon 7DM3 Released With Significantly Better Dynamic Range (Jeff): OK, so maybe this is more of a plea to Canon to do this.  Already seeing rumors of the 7DM3 coming in early 2019 and I only really care about one thing in the release.  If they do this one thing I will be buying the camera. It absolutely has to have better dynamic range.

    I don’t care of the megapixels go up.  I don’t care if the focus system is improved, though I would love to get a few more focus points on the top and bottom.  I don’t care if the frame rate goes up (it just can’t go down). I don’t even care if the ISO performance improves (though I would take it).  It has to have even better dynamic range than the 80D.

    If the dynamic range is no better than the 80D, I won’t buy it.  If they release a 7DM3 with better dynamic range than the 80D then I will be buying a new camera for the first time in 4 years.  I think they are going to do that. I also really wish it would have an R mount and be mirrorless, but I don’t think it will be.
  • Canon Releases 5DM5 As Their Last DSLR (Jeff).  There are also rumors of a 5DM5 release from Canon in 2019.  I think they will do that and that this will be the very last full frame DSLR that Canon produces.  Mirrorless with the R mount is the future for Canon. They will up the megapixel count and up the dynamic range in the sensor significantly.
  • Canon and Nikon Release Full Frame Mirrorless with Dual Card Slots (Jeff):I think that both Canon and NIkon will refresh their full frame mirrorless bodies in 2019 and this time they will include dual card slots.  The focus systems will be vastly improved and the frame rates will be
  • Pentax will release a 645z replacement that is mirrorless (Brent). Fuji and Hasselblad are the only two options for MF mirrorless. Though it’s almost a joke as it’s not true MF. Anyway, I really like the Fuji and have really liked the Pentax 645 as well. But it’s too big. This is where mirrorless can absolutely be a size and weight savings over standard MF cameras.
  • Sigma will announce FF Foveon Camera for L mount (Brent). I love the idea of the Foveon Sensor, but it’s always been crop size and suffered in dynamic range. It never caught on. But with the new L mount alliance there’s a chance it can work. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • I think there will be a significant shift towards Godox and Flashpoint systems in 2019 for flash AND strobe users. (Connor)
    • There is a very real chance I will switch to flashpoint over the course of the next year myself. I still love paul buff lighting, but more and more it seems that flashpoint is working hard to be the more practical option for affordable strobes.
  • Lightroom will remain unappealing as a raw processing program (to me) (Connor) (brent laughs)
  • I will continue to say “I’m considering a switch to Fuji” throughout the year (Brent). In reality, I’m keeping my eye on pentax and the new L mount alliance. I like the idea of Panasonic getting into FF as well as Sigma getting back in the camera body game. It will be an interesting year for sure! I’ll probably not upgrade anything until the dust has settled. The next EOS-R FF will be interesting to see as well. 2020 is an open book for my next camera acquisition.

Reminders

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