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New Year's Resolutions of a Freelance Photographer · Caitlin Mills

Small Business

We’re two weeks in, how are those New Year’s Resolutions going in practice? While the stats around success can be a little discouraging, you’ve just got to get to 66 days (if that helps at all!!).

In our second instalment of TDF team goal sharing, we chat to photographer Caitlin Mills. This diligent listmaker has her sights set on making some professional improvements this year, whilst also relishing in some of life’s simple joys.

15th January, 2018

Illustration – Ashley Simonetto.

Illustration – Ashley Simonetto.

Elle Murrell
Monday 15th January 2018

‘The practice of putting pen to paper helps to set the ideas into motion’ – Caitlin Mills.

New Year’s Resolutions are great for short-term motivation while you’re on summer holidays, the real test is if you can stick to them once life gets crazy,’ reasons Caitlin Mills.

The photographer is a listmaker, constantly jotting down her ideas. ‘I might not come back to these for another year, however the practice of putting pen to paper helps to set the ideas into motion,’ she tells.

2017 saw Caitlin set a few goals around health and fitness, with inspiring results, which were also a bonus for her often quite physical day job as a freelance photographer. This year, Caitlin’s focus is on professional development; she’s laid out specific goals relating to business structure and organisation, in the knowledge that these will take a bit more planning and organisation. ‘I think the trick is not to be too hard on yourself!’ she encourages.

Take care of business

This year I’ll be looking to streamline my processes, not double-handle information and not write everything on post-it notes that I will lose! To start, this’ll mean using some efficiency programs such as OneNote and utilising the task functions on Microsoft Outlook. I have recently been reading Smart Work by Dermot Crowley, which I’ve found inspiring, and I’m hoping this, as well as The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (next on my list!) will help me make this goal happen!

Get a studio dog

I’m definitely a dog person! I grew up with a Bearded Collie and I’ve been dreaming about getting one for a while now. It could join me on my many solo photoshoot expeditions, as well as in my studio at The Establishment Studios in Prahran – I think they’ll let me, if it’s well behaved!!

I’ve always wanted to take my dog to work in a creative space, I think animals brighten everyone’s day, and dogs are such great companions.

Hold an exhibition

In 2018, I’d like to work towards exhibiting a series of my fine art photography for the first time; this has been a goal since as long as I can remember, and I didn’t make the time to focus on it last year.

My personal photography often centres around nature, and I would really like to further explore the fragility and beauty of this subject. This work really pushes me away from the commercial (highly briefed and directed) photography I do day-to-day, allowing me to explore and experiment with fine art practices too.

I’ve found it’s hard to commit the time to a personal project in the past when my business is so busy and there is just so much to be done… This is where I’m hoping an overhaul on organisation (see above!) will help free me up!

See Caitlin Mills’ photography and help keep her accountable (!!) by following her website and on Instagram!

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net