Reaching your goals in 2018

Whether you think you can or think you cannot you are correct.
Henry Ford

The Start the Year in Style Special offer

 click here now to read the details

Save Money on field workshops and consulting registration !

1 – Introduction – New Year Resolutions

We all make resolutions at the start of the year.  However, for many these resolutions disappear into the ether around the end of January.  Quite often, thirty days is what it takes for old habits to return, for resolutions to be forgotten and for goals not to be achieved.  This is in part why I am publishing this essay at the end of January.  This is the time when many of us need help achieving the goals we set for the year.

So how do you do it?  How do you achieve your goals? How do you stick to your resolutions for the long-term, the whole year, and not just for a month?  Here are a few tips that have work for me and I believe will work for you as well.

2 – Focus on your vision

Vision is your guiding light.  Vision is what you see that others cannot see.  Only you know what your vision is and why it matters to you.  When setting your new year resolutions, let your vision guide you.  By doing so you will set goals that are meaningful in the context of your entire life, not just in the context of this year alone.  These will be goals that matter to you and that are worth committing to.  They will be goals that make the hard work needed to reach them worth it.  They may be new goals or they may be goals you have been meaning to achieve for a long time.  Either way reaching these goals will help make your life meaningful and build your self-worth.

3 – Set specific goals

Setting specific goals is half the battle because a goal set is a goal that is already partially reached.  This is because setting a specific goal forces you to define the path you will follow to reach this goal.  Once that path is set, all you have to do is follow it.

4 – Set specific deadlines

Setting goals is important but without deadlines nothing gets done.  Deadlines set a line in the sand, so to speak, a time by which things must get done.  Again, be specific when setting your deadlines.  For example say: I will have 12 fine art prints matted and framed by June 30th.  Or, I will have my folio project that includes 12 prints, an artist statement, a biography printed, packaged and ready to show by July 1st, 2018

5 – Start with what is hard, reward yourself with what is easy

Make a list of what you have to do each day, then give a letter to each task.  A for the most important and difficult tasks, B for the second most important tasks, C for the less important tasks and D for the easiest tasks.  Start your day by working on the A tasks, the most important and difficult ones.  When those are all done, move to the B tasks.  Don’t move to the B tasks until all A tasks are done.  Do this for all the tasks on your list.  By the time you get to the Ds you will find them so easy that they will feel more like rewards than actual tasks.

6 – Define success in your own terms

Success is different for all of us.  Therefore you need to define what success is for you.  Don’t define success as others see it.  Define it as you see it.

What constitutes success for you is most likely different from what constitutes success for others. Your goals, your desires and overall what you consider to be success in a specific endeavor is unique to you.  Don’t worry about it.  Whether what you want is more or less or different from what other people want is irrelevant because you and them are different people in different situations focused on different goals.

7 – Be realistic

Only realistic goals get done.  Overly ambitious goals are discouraging because they are so lofty that we feel we will never reach them.  Unrealistic deadlines have the same effect.  When deadlines are set too far in the future they make us feel we have all the time in the world so we never get started.  When deadlines are too short they make us feel we wont’ have time to get things done.  Either way we get discouraged before we even begin working on our goals.

A realistic goal is a goal you know you can achieve with the time and resources you have available to you.  Only you know what is realistic.  Just like success is individually defined, what is realistic is individually defined as well.  What is realistic for you is different from what is realistic for others.  When you set realistic goals you give yourself the opportunity to succeed.  When you set unrealistic goals you set yourself up for failure.

To be effective deadlines also have to be realistic.  For example, a good rule of thumb for finishing a photography folio project is 6 months until completion. This time frame works well for me and for my students.

8 – Set Mini-Goals

An effective technique if you tend to put things off or if you feel overwhelmed is to set mini goals.  A mini goal is a goal that is so easy to reach that there is no doubt we will reach it.  Mini goals can be set for any activity.  If your goal is to exercise you can set a mini goal to do one push up, or do one ab crunch, or run for one minute, and so on.

Applied to photography examples a mini goal can be going out to take one photograph, or completing a project that features three photos of the same tree near your house, or reading one page of that book on photography you bought but never opened.  If you show or sell your work a mini goal can be to select one photo for your next show, or mat one print, or put a price tag on one photo, or find one show you can do this year, or apply for one show or even sell one photo.

Because these goals are so low they are not frightening and getting started is easy.  They are so minimal that success is guaranteed.  In fact they are so easy that once you get started you cannot help but exceed the goal.  The result is that you become an overachiever right away!

9 – Quantify

Even though you defined success in your own terms, it is challenging to achieve a goal that is not quantified.  To achieve your goals you need to define them precisely.  The first step is to quantify these goals.  This means putting numbers on what you want to achieve.  How many fine art photographs that you will be proud to show to everyone do you want to create this year?  How many projects do you want to complete?  How many locations do you want to photograph? How many workshops do you want to attend?  The list goes on; these are just examples.

10 – Check your progress regularly (daily, weekly or monthly)

Mark Twain said that bad habits must be pushed out of the house one step at a time.  They cannot be kicked out because if you do that they will return. Instead, they have to be persuaded to leave, making it clear that they are unwelcome so they do not come back.  This is done little by little by making sure at regular intervals that we are on our way to betterment, whatever the endeavor might be.

Whatever resolutions you took, whatever goals you set, make it a habit to ask yourself regularly what you did so far to reach these goals and resolutions.  Do this each day for daily goals.  Do it each week for weekly goals.  Then at the end of the month do a monthly check during which you list all that you did this month in regard to reaching a specific goal or following through on a specific resolution.

Doing so makes you accountable for following through.  The goals you set are no longer abstract ideas.  They are now live actions that you are working on daily and for which you must show weekly and monthly progress.  Accountability is the keyword here.  Making ourselves accountable for the goals we set means we feel responsible to achieve these goals.  Goals and resolutions are no longer a ‘maybe’ proposition.  Instead they become a ‘must,’ something we have to get done.

11 – Be creative, not competitive

Competition means trying to outdo someone else.  Creativity means finding unique ways of reaching our personal goals.  When you operate on the basis of competition you focus on others.  When you operate on the basis of creativity you focus on yourself.  Eventually what matters most is you.  Reaching your personal goals has nothing to do with how well, or poorly as the case might be, others are doing.  Reaching your goals is not a matter of outdoing others.  Reaching your goals is a matter of outdoing yourself.  The way to achieve this is through creative thinking, by making the necessary breakthrough, the leap of faith that will allow you to make the changes you need in order to reach the goals you set for this year.

12 – Don’t worry

There will be obstacles along the way but those can be dealt with in due time, whenever they show up.  The problem with worrying about things that have not happened yet is that it means worrying about things that are vague and undefined.  Most of our fears never materialize. However, in the process of worrying about what would happen if they did, we waste our time and damage our health.  Nobody dies of hard work but many die of worry.  The expression ‘worried to death’ attests to this.  Don’t join the list by worrying unnecessarily about things that might happen.  Just move forward by working on your goals and deal with problems when, and if, they show up.

13 – Focus on the positive

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.  The mind finds ways of obtaining what we think about.  Therefore think about what you want and you will get what you want.  If you think about what you don’t want, you will get what you don’t want. In other words, as Henry Ford put it, whether you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.  Therefore think that you can.  Think of concrete ways of reaching your goals and you will be on your way to making things happen.

14 – Get help from people who are where you want to be

Don’t reinvent the wheel. The wheel has been invented and all you need to do is learn how to use it. To do this get advice from those who have been there themselves.  Only those who have been where you want to go can help you get there in a practical, efficient and successful manner.  They are realistic about it and they know exactly what it takes to get there.  Their advice will get you there faster than you ever will on your own.

15 – Don’t do trial and error

The trial and error process is wasteful of both time and money.  If you are like me, your time is precious.  Certainly, money is important as well.  However, for many of us time is more valuable than money because we can make more money but we can’t make more time.  Therefore, if we can afford to, using money to reach our goals is the most efficient approach.

16 – Focus on both soft skills and hard skills

Both set of skills are important and necessary for success.  Don’t focus on one or the other exclusively.  Instead, set goals that foster the acquisition and the development of both.  If you are not familiar with these two skills, read my essay titled Soft Skills and Hard Skills because it describes what they are in detail.

17 – Conclusion

Nobody is perfect, myself included.  However, we can all improve our success by following the simple steps listed in this essay. If we do so we will be on our way to keep our 2018 resolutions. Eventually, it boils down to a simple approach: focusing on our vision, defining success in our own terms, quantifying what represents success, not letting negativity get in our way and going for it.

Be sure to take advantage of our
Start the Year in Style Special offer

Click here now to read the details

Save Money on field  workshops and consulting registration !

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style, How Photographs are Sold and Marketing Fine Art Photography.  All 4 books are available as printed books on and as eBooks on my website at this link:

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at

Alain Briot
January 3rd, 2018

Reflections Blog Improvements


The layout and organization of my Reflections Blog was improved over the Holidays.

1 – The blog is now formatted as a dynamic site, meaning the page size will adjust automatically to fit the size of the digital device you are using.

2 – The essays were reorganized in specific categories.  Each essay appears now in a single category while before the same essay appeared in multiple categories.

3 – The menu at the top of the home page features direct links to the Mastery Workshops on DVD/USB Updates site as well as to my Videos Site, Field Workshops, Podcast and eBooks page.

4 – The Mastery Workshops Updates site was also updated to a dynamic web page.

If you are a Mastery Workshop on USB/DVD Owner and have not registered for the Mastery Updates Site yet you can do so now by visiting this link.  If you are a Mastery Workshop owner but you have not checked the Mastery Updates for your Mastery Workshop in some time, now is the perfect time to do so.

Finally, if you did not visit my blog for some time this is the ideal opportunity to take a look and read some of my essays.  Blog essays are usually not published anywhere else.

Thank you for your interest in my work.

Alain Briot

Mastery Workshops Special Offer Holidays 2017

The Holidays 2017 Mastery Workshops on USB/DVD Super Special Offer is live.

This offer will save you 20 to 40% and more off my regular pricing. Several gifts and new products are part of this offer.

Check out all the details on the Special Offer Page:

Get the new Master Files Examples Collection #2 at a huge discount
when you order one of the Mastery Workshops.
Click here to download the table of contents

Get the new Podcast Collection FREE when you place your order.
Click here to download the free table of contents


Alain Briot

2017 Zion Fine Art Photography Summit movie

This movie features artwork by 2017 Zion Summit Participants.

The 2018 Summit takes place in Moab Utah with Alain Briot and Jeff Schewe as instructors and field photography sessions in Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, the San Juan River, the Needles district, the bluff area and Monument Valley.

A detailed description of this exciting learning event and photographic expedition is available at this link:

Blue Dawn at White Sands: How it was done

This photograph was taken at dawn, at the blue hour that precedes sunrise.

The sky was clear and still not tinted red by the sun.  The light on the dunes was only from the blue sky. The white sand dunes, being neutral in color, took on the color of the sky.  While the sand was white it looked blue to the camera.

My eyes did not see the blue color because human eyesight neutralizes colors.  To me the dunes looked white.  To the camera they were blue because digital sensors, and film to some extent, capture color the way it is.  Unlike human sight they do not neutralize colors.

During processing I altered the color slightly to create harmonious blue tones and make the scene aesthetically pleasing.  However the color was there to start with.



About Alain Briot

I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on and as eBooks on my website at this link:

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at

Alain Briot
November 2017



This photograph was created during the 2012 Eclipse of the Sun.

The photograph was taken from the Island in the Sky viewpoing in Canyonlands National Park, not that it matters since you cannot tell from the photo where it was taken.

I used a 250mm lens on my medium format digital camera. The image was cropped during processing. #eclipse #canyonlands


Alain Briot

The 2017 Zion Fine Art Summit

The 2017 Zion
Fine Art Photography Summit

You can register for this event now by clicking here

Zion-sunrise-collage-pano-crop-700 Sunrise, Zion National Park

Each year for the past 15 years we have offered an event called the Fine Art Photography Summit.

This event used to be organized jointly by Uwe Steinmueller and myself. When Uwe passed away in 2014 I continued organizing the Summit with my wife Natalie.

The goal of the Summit is to offer an event that covers all the different aspects of fine art photography: field work, image processing, one on one work, printing and print reviews. The goal of the Summit is also to give you the opportunity to photograph some of the most photogenic locations and learn from different guest instructors each year.

To achieve these goals the Summit features both field photography sessions and classroom presentations. We capture photographs during the field photography sessions, at sunrise, sunset and during daytime, and we study, process and review these images during the classroom sessions.

The classroom sessions include instructional presentations given by myself and by Jeff Schewe who is the 2017 Guest Instructor. Classroom sessions also include time for personal work as well as time for one on one work. During the one on one sessions Jeff and I work with you personally and help you with specific aspects of your work. This gives you an opportunity to get personalized help and to focus on what matters to you.

The Summit takes place in a different location each year. Over the years the Summit has taken us to Death Valley, Arches, Canyonlands, Navajoland, Antelope Canyon and many other locations. This year we have chosen Zion National Park as our location. The Summit classroom sessions will take place in the Zion Holiday Inn at the entrance of the park. The hotel will be our base for this event. From there we will explore the park daily to photograph the best locations at sunrise, sunset and during daytime.

The Summit is an educational, creative and fun event. Participants include both new and previous attendees. This creates a learning and sharing environment in which study, creativity, fun and camaraderie are essential components.

Zion-IMG_2769-Pano-700Classroom Session during the 2015 Death Valley Summit

The Instructors
The summit is taught by Alain Briot and Jeff Schewe. Jeff is our guest instructor for 2017. Jeff is one of the most knowledgeable persons about Photoshop and Lightroom. I can guarantee that he will answer each and every question you may have about Photoshop and Lightroom.

My personal focus is fine art photography and my presentations will teach you how to create fine art photographs. Specifically, I will show you techniques that will take your work beyond documentation and into the realm of art, working with Lightroom, Photoshop and other software packages.

The advantage of having two instructors is that you are exposed to two very different ways of creating fine art photographs. These differences are obvious when you look at the workflows that Jeff and I use. While our goal is the same, namely to create fine art images, the way we reach this goal is very different. We use different workflows, different tools and we have a different philosophical approach to art.

This is a huge advantage for you because it proves the point that there are many ways to create art. Being exposed to this diversity opens the way to finding your own personal style. You can pick and choose what you like and don’t like and create your own personal approach to fine art photography.

Alain and Jeff teaching during the 2016 Summit


Our Schedule
The Summit schedule is carefully organized. Natalie takes care of all the logistics and scheduling. Having a dedicated person taking care of logistics insures that everything runs smoothly and that our photography and instruction time is maximized.

The Summit takes place November 3rd to 6th 2017 in Zion, Utah. The Summit is followed by a three-day Photographic Vision Field Workshop to Bryce Canyon, Escalante-Grand Staircase and Capitol Reef on November 7th to 9th. The full schedule and Field Workshop itinerary is available at this link:

About Zion
Zion National Park is one of the Jewels of the Southwest. The park consists of two main areas: Zion Canyon and Zion High Country. This layout has the advantage of offering roadside access to both the canyon bottom and the canyon rims, a combination unique in the Southwest. In comparison Grand Canyon only offers roadside access to the canyon rim. To access the bottom you have to hike a mile down into the earth. Similarly Canyon de Chelly only offers roadside access to the canyon rim. To access the bottom you have to hire a Navajo guide and four wheel drive into the canyon.

Having easy access to both floor and the rims of Zion canyon multiplies the photographic opportunities this National Park offers us. Because these two areas are totally different they allow you to create a greater variety of images. These include views of Zion’s Canyon towering walls, photographs of the river and the narrows from the canyon bottom and views of the high country where the variety of sandstone formations offer endless opportunities for creative photography.

About the Summit Vision Field Workshop
The day after the Summit ends we start on the second part of this event: the Summit Vision Field Workshop. The Vision Field Workshop is your opportunity to practice and develop the skills you learned during the Summit. It is called the Vision Field Workshop because the goal is to focus on finding a personal vision for your work.

The Summit Vision Field Workshop is popular because it allows you to maximize the value of your trip by visiting and photographing additional locations. This year we will visit three different National Parks and National Monuments: Bryce Canyon, Escalante-Grand Staircase and Capitol Reef National Parks.

All three parks offer superb photographic opportunities and all three are little visited meaning that we can expect to see few and at time no other photographers. Please note that if you are joining us and you want to attend both the Summit and the Vision Field workshops you need to act quickly because the field workshops are nearly sold out. The combination Summit + Vision Field Workshops always sells out first because participants want to maximize their time by taking advantage of the photographic opportunities offered by both.

Bryce Canyon, one of the locations we will photograph during the Summit Vision Field Workshop


Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument
A second location we will photograph during the Summit Vision Field Workshop


Jeff and Natalie during the 2016 Summit Vision Field Workshop to Navajoland


Link to the Summit description and registration page
The full Summit description, pricing and registration information are available at this link:

This link also features biographies for Jeff and myself, a detailed itinerary and additional important information about the Summit.

Free Raffle
We always have a diversity of gifts that we raffle to Summit participants at the end of the event. These include books signed by Jeff and Alain, free gifts, Epson inkjet paper and even the Epson printer we use to print participants work during the Summit.

Last year we raffled the Epson Printer we used to print participants work during the Summit.
The raffle was won by Roz (between Jeff and Alain) who returned home with a free printer,
an extra set of ink cartridges and boxes of Epson inkjet paper.

If you have any questions not answered here or on the Summit description page simply email me at

Thank you.

Alain Briot

Testimonial from Stefano, 2016 Summit participant

The Zion Narrows


Copyright © Alain Briot 2017
All rights reserved worldwide



One on One Consulting and Mentoring Program

My Consulting & Mentoring Programs


I offer two options for Consulting and Mentoring:

First, One on One Consulting over the phone:

Second, One on 1One Consulting In my studio:

After the first consulting call with a student I always pause and ask myself if I want to continue working with each student.  My decision to continue or not is based on the student’s motivation, on the quality of their work and on whether their work is marketable or not. I know you are committed, that you strive for high quality, and that your work is sellable. This is why I am making this recommendation.

Let me know if you want to join the consulting program.  The money you spend on consulting will be more than recouped through sales that would otherwise not happen and with the satisfaction of selling your work to people who appreciate it and are willing to pay adequate prices for it.

I must also point out that just revising your price list, which is what we did during the first session, is not enough to guarantee success.  While important, a price list is not a marketing vehicle and will not, by itself, generate sales, as I mentioned during our call.

We can go session by session if you want to focus on printing, processing or have specific questions about selling your work that I can answer quickly.  However, if you want me to prepare a marketing plan for you, you need to enroll in the 7 sessions program.  The reason being that we need to do follow up calls to implement and fine tune the program.  It’s not something that can be done in 1 session.  If you enroll within a month, then we can count the session we just did as part of the 7, leaving 6 to be billed.  After 30 days too much time has gone by and it is best to start all over again.

Needless to say, I strongly recommend the Marketing Plan approach.  It’s what you need and what will give you the most return both in terms of income and of personal satisfaction.  The other approach is ‘touch and go’ and not as effective because it goes from one thing to another without having a pre-defined goal.  The marketing plan on the other hand starts with a specific goal then charts the way to reach this goal.  This is why we need 7 sessions.  If you go that way we will focus on setting specific goals during the next session, work out a marketing plan, set deadlines, then use the remaining 5 sessions to implement and fine tune this plan.

Alain Briot

About Alain Briot

I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on and as eBooks on my website.

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at

Alain Briot