“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed
is more important than any one thing.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

When Kirstin asked me to choose between a “conversation” and writing a blog post on resolution, I was quite conflicted. I hadn’t thought a bit about resolutions for 2013 and I certainly don’t see myself as interesting enough to be interviewed. I am, quite simply, a hobbyist photographer who readily sees the beauty in the world around me. I appreciate that beauty intensely. And I honor it by photographing it whenever possible. When I’m lucky enough to capture something lovely, I take great pleasure in immersing myself in Lightroom, with Pandora in the background, in hopes of giving my images color, depth, emotion, and….well….a bit of loving care. On the flip side, I am also fascinated by film and iPhone photography. My film SLR and 50mm lens make stunning images together. I am hooked on the exploration of beautiful films. I am always delighted to see my photos after much patient anticipation. My instant cameras are rewarding and fun…they love to play little games of ‘hard to get.’ And finally who, among us photographers, can resist the temptation of the iPhone and all of its fabulous apps?

first photoNikon F100, Nikkor 50mm, Ilford Delta 100

But the more I mulled this post over in my mind, the clearer it became that this past year, more than ever in my life, I have made some significant resolutions. Yes, me….the girl who has never intentionally made even one New Year’s resolution.

Here’s how those resolutions came to be. The first half of 2012 was very difficult for me. An extended family crisis led to my husband and I making a major life decision. The decision called for a leap of faith, a leap that I had been afraid of making for quite some time. I experienced a loss and grieved intensely over that loss. I now know, in hindsight, that those difficult months were transformational for me. I learned a great deal about myself and came to accept some important truths about life, in general. From those truths and the mistakes I made, I’ve come up with a list of daily aspirations…little promises to myself…personal goals that I intentionally strive to reach….resolutions, if you will. At first they were subconscious and then they became more purposeful. You’ve heard them before, I’m sure. In fact, I write them at the risk of sounding cliche. But for my own reasons, they speak to me. I want to live my best life possible. After all, it isn’t a very long life in the grand scheme of things, is it?

Here they are:

  • comparing yourself or your situation to others is debilitating; though it is a natural human tendency and sometimes difficult to avoid, try not to do it…your shortcomings, failures, disappointments, life experiences, gifts and achievements are designed for you alone,

second photoNikon F100, Nikkor 50mm, Kodak Portra 400NC

  • pay attention to and be grateful for what you do have in life, instead of dwelling on and lamenting over what you do not have,

third photoNikon D7000, Nikkor 17-55mm

  • take time to notice the beauty around you…look for it, embrace it, give thanks for it….everyday,

fourth photoNikon F100, Nikkor 50mm, Kodak Portra 160NC

fifth photoNikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm

  • reach out to people when your gut tells you to do so…fight the urge to hold back,

sixth photoNikon D7000, Nikkor 50mm

  • let go of worry over what others think…those judgements are on them, not you, so do what makes YOU happy,

eighth photoNikon F100, Nikkor 50mm, Kodak Portra 160NC

  • don’t look too far ahead into the future, live in the moment as much as possible,

seventh photoNikon F100, Nikkor 50mm, Kodak Portra 160NC

And remember,

  • life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you expected.

last photo-colorNikon D7000, Nikkor 50mm

These aspirations have given me confidence, strength and contentment. I strive to follow them every day. They inspire me a great deal, especially as I relate to people in my life and as I capture the world around me. They allow me to appreciate other photographers’ work…to learn from it and be inspired by it. In fact, I’ve begun my first-ever project 365….an undertaking I’ve considered much too overwhelming in the past. I’ve already realized what can be gained from it’s completion and it’s only day 17. Care to join me?

Happy new year and happy shooting to all you lovelies…

Jamie Klimes lives in the Chicagoland area with her two amazing children, her loving husband, and Lola, the cutest dog in the world. She is hopelessly in love with photography…film, digital, and instant. You can view more of her images on Flickr and Instagram (@Jamie_Klimes).