SMART Goals for Photographers – Business Planning that Works!

Smart goals for photographers are actually S.M.A.R.T goals for photographers! That means that when you sit down to plan and set goals, you need to set goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic, and
  • Timely.

The time to plan is NOW! Setting goals in your business means that you will have tangible objectives to strive for, and have something concrete to judge your business performance against when the time comes. Goal setting is especially important for us creative business owners like photographer, who are easily distracted by the unpredictability and spontaneity that comes with being artists.

In this video, we will unpack what each of these criteria mean, and give some examples of how this applies to photographers.

Prefer to read about smart goals for photographers? Read on!

We’ve all heard the saying “Someday, I will do this.”


TODAY is your someday! Pull out your Milky Way Planner and let’s start the year off on track!

free business planner

Today we’re talking about the importance of planning and the power of writing down your goals. But we also have to be realists and look at our time management, as well how much we can do in order to achieve our goals, and of some things that might need to change.

You may have heard of S.M.A.R.T goals – if you haven’t let me tell you all about them. SMART goals is an acronym for goal setting that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

A SMART goal is one that incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase your chances of achieving that goal.


Goals that are specific have a greater chance of being accomplished. To make a goal specific, it is great to consider the five W’s.

  • Who – Who is involved in this goal?
  • What – What what do I want to accomplish?
  • Where – Where is this goal going to be achieved?
  • When – When do I achieve this goal?
  • Why – Why do I want to achieve this goal?

For example, a good general goal would be “I want to be a good newborn photographer”, but a more specific goal would be “I want to book two newborn sessions per month so I can practice my taco and chin on wrist pose”.


A SMART goal must have some form of measurement. If there is no criteria, we can’t determine our progress. To make a goal measurable, you need to ask yourself: How do I know if I’ve reached or achieved my goal? What is my indicator of progress?

To build on our example: Every month I’ll follow up with a local business who is in contact with pregnant women.


A SMART goal must be achievable – this will help you figure out ways you can realize the goal and work towards it. Achievability should feel like a stretch but also something that is totally doable. So you need to ask yourself: Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal, and if not, what am I missing? Is it more training, or classes, or a mentorship … maybe an on-line retreat?


A SMART goal must be realistic. I’ve definitely set up some pretty lofty goals, and then completely fell on my face because they weren’t realistic! In order to achieve your goal it must have realism to it. Are you going to be able to commit to achieving that goal?


I don’t know about you, but when I have a deadline, I’m like a dog with a bone. But when I don’t, and there are no constraints, it’s easily forgotten. You need to ask yourself: Does my goal have a deadline? By when do I want to achieve that goal?

To build on our example of real smart goals for photographers: If we’re wanting to book two newborn sessions per month to practice the taco and chin on wrists and you’re going to contact a local business that is in contact with pregnant women, you’re going to say: By August 1st, I will have 12 newborns that I want to practice on and I’ll be able to compare my first and last.

smart goals for photographers

Whatever your goals may be, we all have a definition of success and there is no one universal one. My advice to you is to keep working on that planner, set those goals, have a business and have a life!

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