Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Sunset - Wild Eye

Welcome to 2018

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

Welcome to 2018!

Before I signed off for 2017 I posted some thoughts on my Instagram feed which I had after an awesome year and many shared conversations on my travels and with people online.

I wanted to share them with you here on the blog as well.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Sunset - Wild Eye

Now I don’t believe in or make resolutions at the beginning of each year as I think you should be able to make any changes as and when needed throughout the year but I always think it’s a good idea to take a moment to reflect and remind yourself of what’s important and what you’re trying to achieve.

With that in mind – in no particular order, and with some additions from the Instagram post, here are few of the things that stood out for me during the year and that I will keep in mind moving into a brand New Year.  I know I have but I hope you also find some value in some of the thoughts below.

Intent matters
Whether photography or in life your why is and always will be important.  If you go on safari or out into the field with intent – knowing what it is you’d like to achieve – you are way more likely to succeed.  Yes, it’s about always about experience first and you need to learn to roll with the punches but a clear vision and focused intent will always put you in the best place to win and get the shots you’re after.

Be nice
Always.  It’s the right thing to do.  And it feels good.  Always.

Care what other people think
And in the same breath don’t give a shit what people think. By learning how to know the difference and how to pull from both sides you’ll be amazed how much more fun you photography and social media experience will be!  Decide which voices add value. Ignore the rest. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Don’t copy
Do your own thing.  Try different things.  Yes, use the inspiration and ideas you get from other people but for the love of everything that’s good about photography don’t just copy.  When you copy people notice and it kills your photographic voice.

Do you
Specifically when it comes to your photography.  Shoot what you want, in a way that you want and share whatever images you want.  Let other people do their own thing and ignore the need to comment if you don’t have anything positive of constructive to add.  Let other people do their own thing.  You do you.

Travel more
It’s still the best way to create a diverse portfolio and awaken and excite your photographic vision.  I can help you with this.

Get physical
One of the things I miss most when traveling and hosting safaris the ability to train and stay active so whenever I can I make exercise and training an absolute priority.  There is a lot to be said for getting out of your mind and into your body.  You’ll feel better, work better and be more creative.  As the saying goes, just do it.

Think about your photography
It’s very difficult to create something – an image, a website, an IG account, a portfolio – if you don’t know what you actually want to create. Yes, you’ll be pulled in different directions, and that’s a good thing, but always work towards some or other goal.  Photography is by it’s pure nature a creative exercise and I’m all for going with and shooting for feeling but giving a little thought to the what, how and most importantly why of your photography will only make you a better photographer.

Stop overthinking your photography
During the last year too many of you crippled yourselves by worrying about whether your image are ‘good enough’.  This is probably the most common discussion I have with people on safaris, workshops and presentations and it is without a doubt the biggest stumbling block we as photographers put in our own way.   Stressing and worrying about whether you’re good enough will not make your images better so let it go.  Just enjoy the journey.  Seriously, stop worrying.

Make mistakes
This one follows on from the previous point and I’m gonna steal from Neil Gaman who said “ I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.

Experience
Always – always – focus on the experience of wildlife photography first. The rest will fall into place. Always.

And always remember…
Don’t forget to be awesome!

Thanks for a special 2017 and I wish you all an incredible 2018 filled with amazing adventures, sightings and photographic opportunities.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography - Sunset - Wild Eye

Happy New Year.

Let’s do this!

Until next time.

Gerry

About the Author

Gerry van der Walt

I am a private and specialist photographic safari guide, public speaker, co founder of Wild Eye and wildlife photographer. Visit my website at www.gerryvanderwalt.com or follow my journey on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter a look forward to changing the way you see the world.  I also host a Wildlife Photography Podcast and I Vlog!

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