Success comes in many forms. For the pro photographer, success might mean meeting a specific level of income or doing a certain number of paid shoots. For the enthusiast, it might be learning a specific skill or doing a 365 challenge.

No matter what success looks like for you, setting SMART photography goals can help you achieve it. 

SMART is an acronym that was coined in the 1980s as a formula for business and project management, but it is a useful tool for pushing toward any objective.

Tide Pool Reflections at Montana de Oro, creating SMART Photography Goals

S: Specific

In order to achieve a goal, you need to define what success looks like.

M: Measurable

In order to show progress and stay motivated toward your goal, you have to have some criteria by which to evaluate how far you’ve come.

A: Attainable

Make sure it is something you can reasonably accomplish in a specific time frame.

R: Relevant

Ensure that your goals align with your values and long-term plans.

T: Time-based

Give yourself a realistic, yet ambitious time frame in which to accomplish your goal.

SMART photography goals I’m setting for 2022

The past two years have put a damper on my creativity and I’m keen to rekindle my passion for travel and photography. Taking into account what I know about my schedule for next year, as well as the constantly changing rules and restrictions, I’ve decided on two relatively modest and attainable goals:

  • Go out locally at least once a month just to shoot and be creative.
  • Take a least one out-of-the-area trip in 2022 just for photography.
SMART Photography Goals helped me capture this photo at sunset at Montana de Oro

What are your SMART photography goals for 2022?

As you make plans for 2022, keep in mind your definition of success, and consider specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based goals to have you achieve your objectives.

Once you’ve created your list, share your 2022 SMART photography goals in the comments below.