Our Year in Review + Goals for 2014
Because of our AMAZING clients, returning and new in 2013, it was the best year, EVER. Earlier this year, I was worried that our wedding & portrait season wouldn’t be busy enough, but we worked VERY hard to book up over the summer, and we ended up being totally booked from spring to late fall. It’s funny to think about how often I was blatantly told that this business would not take off…but here we are! BOOM!
Seriously, though – I’m so very grateful to the people who trusted Matt and I with the important task of documenting a special time in their life – whether it was for a wedding or a family portrait. It still boggles my mind when I get 5 or 6 emails in one day inquiring about our services. To our incredible clients: it’s your referrals and enthusiasm about the photography we create for you that gets new people talking to us, and I really can’t thank you enough for that.
We consider it a huge honor to be your photographer. Photographing your wedding or family, boudoir session or newborn, is a big deal to us. I don’t just press a shutter button and call it a day. I’m so, so thankful for the people out there that appreciate my skills, talent and the time I take in processing your final images. It means so much to me that you choose US over the many other photographers out there.
I’ve learned so many lessons this year that I’d like to take a moment to share as we enter a new year:
1) You have to have a thick skin to own a business…especially a creative and personal business like photography…or any biz where you wear almost all the hats, since your business is an extension of your self. People will hurt your feelings. You have to let stuff roll off your back and keep pushing forward.
2) Everyone thinks they know how you can do things better. Some people have great advice – don’t be afraid to explore options that friends, acquaintances and family lay before you – but trust your gut most of all, because not everyone’s ideas are golden.
3) Don’t get caught up in what other people in your industry are doing. Look at how much time you spend comparing yourself to other people and then just stop doing it. This is something I have to try hard to do EVERY day. Since I purposefully surround myself with creative people, I struggle with the comparison, trends and gossip. I also fall into the trap of sizing up and criticizing others who are in my industry…and I don’t want to be like that…I want to just be me and concentrate on what I have going on.
4) Owning a business shouldn’t mean you can’t have time off like other people. You deserve to be excited and energetic for your days…and you don’t have to kill yourself trying to succeed. You also deserve to spend time with people you love and to do other things you like doing.
So in 2014, we will be striving to make our service even better, while actually allowing Matt and myself a more balanced lifestyle. Here are the new changes for 2014:
1) Photo sessions (aside from weddings) will be available on weekdays only, with some exceptions throughout the year since weekends are mostly reserved for weddings.
2) Ordering appointments will also only be available on weekdays, between 10am and 5:30pm. We have to keep late-night appointments to a minimum, as it totally wrecks Ben’s night, and often leaves us needing to eat unhealthy garbage for dinner. Of course, we will make some exceptions here and there!
3) We are in the process of creating our product guide so that you can have a catalog of everything we carry – hopefully making it easier to place your orders, also giving you clear examples and more time to consider what artwork you want in your home!
4) Matt won’t be available shoot every wedding in 2014, so we are bringing on an amazing friend to take his place for some of our 2014 weddings, and also help out when needed. Like for all our couples with 200+ guests 🙂 We are SO excited about this and know you will love her!
And now, let’s get personal! My resolutions for 2014 include business AND personal goals:
1) Take more time for myself (and for my family and friends).
2) With that time, exercise and eat healthy…to take care of ME…something I always leave for last.
3) Create a more efficient workflow so that I CAN have more time for myself and my family.
4) Get better at my craft and get better at selling my art…never stop striving to be the best, but also don’t give myself such a hard time when I didn’t exceed my own expectations.
5) Be a better wife, mother and friend…be more generous, loving, accepting and kind.
And before 2013 comes to a close, I want to say THANK YOU to my incredibly hard working, loving and generous husband for believing in me.
That’s it for me…how about you? Care to share your resolutions? Please do in the comments below!
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays – from my family to yours, have a JOYOUS New Year 🙂