Some Of Our Favorite Photographers Shared Their New Year's Resolutions With Us

"I’m sure I will look back at this resolution and laugh on Jan. 1, 2023, as I’m changing into a full hazmat suit to go out and take photos amid the virus's 100th extra strength mutation."

2021 started off in uncertainty, with a dash of chaos, and most of us just strapped in and went along for the ride. In 2022, we’re hoping for better days ahead. No matter your stance on resolutions, the beginning of a year is a good time to check in and make some plans. We talked to some of our favorite photographers about their photo resolutions for 2022 — for the record, mine is to finally put down my mom’s camera from the ’70s and try a few new things.

DeSean McClinton Holland

"Black mayors group photo* — this is the first time more than a couple of the mayors of the historic all-Black towns of Oklahoma were in the same room since the towns were formed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Only 13 towns still exist and we were able to get 10 to show up. This was a dream shoot for me! It only happened because I wasn't afraid to ask Liana Blum (my fellowship supervisor at NY Mag) who loved the idea and helped make it a reality."

DeSean McClinton-Holland

"I’m surprised at how difficult it was for me to answer this question. With COVID spreading and businesses changing how they operate once again, it was hard to see a year that could be as productive or life-changing as this year was for me. Then a friend showed me Hello Future by Farah Al-Qasimi. That changed everything. Not only did it remind me of how much fun it is to make work with the people and objects around me, it also made me think of all the amazing work and books created during the height of the pandemic. With that in mind, I’m now inspired and hopeful that no matter what 2022 brings, anything is possible as long as I’m focused (and fearless)."

Gabriella Angotti-Jones

"My resolution for this next year is to continue making photos that reflect my personal history. This past year I really tried to take a step back from doing quick-hit daily assignments to focus on longer-term work that represented my own life and interests. I realized that a lot of my visual vocabulary is informed by my relationships and childhood growing up at the beach. I want to continue figuring out how this influences what I see and the kinds of photos I like to make. I want to get to know more nuanced emotions within myself so I can recognize that in the things and people I photograph. It’s cool because I feel like this is an ever-evolving thing and that this will always be something I get to explore."

Yael Malka

"I don’t believe in making resolutions for the new year, because they are almost always a letdown. Resolutions like that put too much pressure on making big transformations, so I prefer to make goals in a more organic way throughout the year.

"Something I have been working on this year and will continue to move towards in the new year is balance — perhaps that will be a lifelong feat? I want more balance between making my own work and making the work I get paid for. I want more balance between working and taking time for myself and not feeling guilty about it. I want to get better at remembering that productivity does not just come in the form of working, but also in relaxing, learning, and feeling joyful. Of course I also want to shoot really cool stories that I care about deeply and make tons of new work and exhibit it, but I also want to remember the importance of having those in-between moments — a lot of times that’s where the best ideas come out for me."

A young boy plays in the sang at the water's edge
Devin Yalkin

Devin Yalkin

"I'd love to have two books finished by the end of next year with a plane ticket to Paris Photo booked in tandem. The first book being the Vampire book I've been working on and then Alone Together, which is a body of work I've been working on since March of last year.

"I would love to have a solo exhibition in the making somewhere in Los Angeles, where I'll be moving to next month. Also to find an agent to get bigger commercial jobs so I can have more time in between to work on personal projects."

Imdad Barbhuyan

"I transitioned from architecture and started making images right at the beginning of 2020. So my journey of exploring photography as a medium — communicating and exchanging thoughts and ideas, all within the bounds of the digital/social media landscape.

"So this coming year I wish to be free of that constraint; I wish to engage wholeheartedly with the physical world in a deeper sense — through observation, creation, and dissemination of my work. I have always been a tactile person; I wish to try to explore the physicality of art itself. Returning to creating something tangible is something I really look forward to.

"Besides wanting to be able to meet more people in real life, collaborating and creating portraits of individuals, I wish to be able to travel and make images from different places and cultures. I have gotten too comfortable. I want to put myself in unfamiliar situations, push my horizons, and surprise myself."

Hannah Gottlieb-Graham

"I recently worked on an incredible project with Google Pixel and SN37 — the fifth edition of Creator Labs, a long-standing partnership and visual arts incubator providing resources to photographers and filmmakers to document personal work grounded in social impact and made on the Google Pixel 6. I’m interested to see how new camera technologies develop in more equitable and inclusive ways for professional photographers and everyday users alike, and this project was a great way for me to start thinking about that resolution."

Four law enforcement officers stand with their hands clasped, looking down, with a tree in the background
Cheney Orr / Reuters

Law enforcement officers grieve during the burial of corrections officer Robert Daniel at the Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield, Kentucky, Dec. 18, 2021. Officer Daniel was killed on Dec. 10 while directing workers and inmates, under his care, to safety following a devastating outbreak of tornadoes that ripped through several states.

Cheney Orr

"As I write this, I am just coming off a 10-day assignment for Reuters covering the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through several US states, focusing much of its fury on Mayfield, Kentucky, where dozens were killed and neighborhoods left unrecognizable. A key photographic goal for 2022 is to continue to follow this community as it strives to find resilience in the face of deeply inflicted trauma and unimaginable loss. These stories are often ignored once a disaster is out of the headlines.

"Another major photo goal is to continue developing a story that looks at how one of America’s most underserved communities is also dealing with one of the nation’s highest rates of Alzheimer’s, a disease that took the life of my own dad. Entering this new year, I want to remind myself to point my camera at my own family, friends, and loved ones. At the end of the day, these are the images that I will forever hold the closest."

Adam Perez

Adam Perez

"For the past year and a half, I’ve been working on a photo project titled Pandemic in the Heartland, chronicling how the pandemic has devastated California’s Central Valley, which produces one-fourth of our country’s food. My resolution for 2022 is to expand the project into a public art campaign, entitled "Ve Me" (See Me), that aims to bring the work back into the community. The idea is to meet the community where they’re at. Many are farmworkers, driving across the region, following the crop season. My plan is to display the photos and quotes on billboards off of Highway 99, a major artery that connects many Central Valley rural communities."

Myrtille Beauvert

"More than ever, it’s important to support the wonderful organizations that make photography available to the world through exhibitions, artist discussions, and publications. Whether it’s by being a regular patron or an avid reader or just staying curious about new work being produced, I want to acknowledge and appreciate as much as possible the work of museums, galleries, publishers, and media to champion photography in all its diversity. In 2022, I look forward to supporting meaningful photo projects both privately and professionally!"

Hanifa Haris

"The tradition of New Year's resolutions is approximately 4000 years old, it's said to have originated among ancient Babylonians. As I sit at my computer on a winter's eve in LA, contemplating my resolutions for next year, my insignificance (as it relates to the history of the world) is not lost on me. As the Creative Director, Head of Photography at Verizon, I'm grateful every day to do the work that I do. I get to work with some of the best creatives in the world and have fun while doing it.

"In 2022, I want to commit to harnessing a creative space for discourse while continuing to advocate for equitable storytelling and fostering inclusive environments for artists globally. In the last two years, I've seen, heard, and taken part in a lot of conversations about inclusion, equity, and representation. I'd like to take it further and have discussions about the nuances within this space and the impact on visual culture, image-making, [and how it interacts with] the history of photography and the photography industry at large. For me, 2022 will be focused on actionable impact, both systemic and personal. Personally, I've been developing a couple of projects that I'm excited to share publicly."

a young goth girl eats a spongebob ice cream on a park bench
Sinna Nasseri

Sinna Nasseri

"Mainly, I’m getting the itch to hit the road again. After a manic 2020 where I was constantly on the move, 2021 was a lot more stable. I only drove across the country once this year! I miss the feeling of being in motion, forced to make something happen every day. So I guess my main resolution is to put myself into more uncomfortable situations. And also I think it’s time for a long trip to Turkey and Iran to find out about my ancestral homeland."

Polly Irungu

"My personal photo resolution this year is to build my archive and document my immediate and external family more frequently. If this pandemic taught us anything, it is that time is precious and limited.

"My second personal resolution is to create a personal project every quarter. I need to carve out more space to photograph the things I deeply care about with no pressure from a client or worrying about algorithms. It's the personal projects that help me remember my 'why.'

"My last resolution is to continue building and growing the Black Women Photographers organization — for Black women and nonbinary photographers to be seen, celebrated, and hired — all year round. There is still so much work to be done for us to receive proper equity and inclusion in the industry."

Nolwen Cifuentes

"My photo resolution for 2022 is to focus on community. Being a freelancer on top of being in a pandemic can get very isolating at times, and I strongly believe people thrive amongst communities. A big goal of mine in 2022 is to foster a photo community both online and in person. I want to host small (and safe!) gatherings with other photographers, photo editors, stylists, makeup artists — all kinds of folks within the photo industry. Ideally more in real life than online because I think real-life gatherings create deeper bonds. Throughout my career, I’ve been so blessed to have exceptional photo mentors or photographer peers I can call for questions or simply to vent, and I want to continue to expand that."

Celeste Sloman

"I am really looking forward to working on more longform bodies of work in 2022, and to being more intentional about my photographic practice. I am really excited to experiment with content and technique and push the boundaries of the work I have been doing up until now. The pandemic has made me crave so many of the communal aspects of the creative process, and I am hoping that we will get a better handle on Covid this year so we can all get back together and make things! I do have a list of collaborations and ideas up my sleeve and I am excited to see how they materialize."

Jamie Lee Taete

"I’m a pretty anxious and pessimistic person, but I’m going to make an optimistic resolution to try to put some good energy into the universe. My resolution is to take more intimate photos of people and places. I’ve spent the last couple of years photographing people either outside or indoors under extremely limited conditions (and always while having a low-level panic attack, thinking that I might be infecting people with COVID). I want to take the kinds of photos that you can only get by being close to someone for a prolonged period of time. The kinds that are only possible if COVID goes away. (I’m sure I will look back at this resolution and laugh on Jan. 1, 2023, as I’m changing into a full hazmat suit to go out and take photos amid the virus's 100th extra strength mutation.)"

Three men in sunglasses, one in an astronaut jumpsuit holding a sign saying "the earth is flat they lied to you"
Jamie Lee Taete