It’s that time of year again! Time to look back and evaluate how things went this past year. It’s so hard to believe that 2014 is coming to an end, but apparently there are only two weeks left! Where the heck did the time go?? I love doing these recap posts annually because I feel like writing them and sharing with you guys helps keep me accountable. It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to do something and then totally sweep it under the rug and not do it, but if you tell everyone you know via the internet, it’s a lot more difficult to pretend you didn’t say you were going to try to do what you said you were going to do. So, to all of my friends who read the blog, thanks for keeping me accountable! And if you’re curious, here’s how I did this year!
(Thank you for this photo, Katch Silva!)
Redo my packaging.This is already in the works! I’m so excited about this! It’s really more of a refresh than a complete redo, but it’s something I’ve been planning to do for a while and…well just never did. COMPLETE. This is done, but I feel like I’m constantly working on tweaking this to make things better. But I love packaging, so it’s fun to do it!
- New headshots. I haven’t had headshots done in a while, and I would love to update them in 2014! The tricky part is going to be deciding on locations and outfits! INCOMPLETE. I had a few photographs of myself taken at Foster workshop by the amazing Ben Sasso and Katch Silva, but I really need some specific, branded portraits for my marketing collateral. I’m adding that to my 2015 to-do list!
- Slowly begin to incorporate John into the brand more. John is such a huge asset to my business…he’s a great photographer, he’s fun to be around, and he really interacts well with my clients. I have LOVED having him as my second shooter, and we grow to be more and more of a team (work-wise) I would like to slowly incorporate that into my marketing/website/etc. IN PROGRESS. John is a big part of a project coming up in 2015 and I couldn’t be more excited about it…more on that soon!
Book 10 weddings for 2015. I have found that 20ish weddings is my happy place, and I also feel good about my business when I close out the year at least halfway to my goal! COMPLETE. Yay! We are thrilled to have 16 couples on the books for 2015 so far. We are only going to be taking on a select few more weddings for next year too, as we’re narrowing our focus a bit. Buy a new computer. Do you guys want to know a secret? I’ve been running my business on a 15 inch HP laptop since the start! in 2013 I upgraded to also add an external monitor for editing, but I can tell that the computer isn’t going to last me another couple of years. I’m thinking about upgrading to a Mac Mini to use with the monitor I bought last year! Does anyone use one and love it?? I would love a Macbook Pro but I’m not sure it’s in the budget this year. COMPLETE. If you told me at the beginning of the year I’d be able to get a Macbook pro AND a 5D Mark III, I’d have said you were smoking crack. But I invested in both this year and both have been so amazing I can’t remember how I ever lived without them! Learn stuff. One of my goals for the first quarter of the year is to get some education. I feel like there’s never enough time during wedding season, so I want to make learning a bigger priority for the rest of the off season! COMPLETE.
- Find solutions for bottlenecks in my business. One major stumbling block I had last fall was: sharing images from every wedding with all vendors in a timely manner and submitting each wedding. I work really hard to turn my images around quickly to clients, but sometimes that means other things are not quite as big of a priority. I realize that BOTH of those are things that I need to stay on top of to continue to grow my business and not become stagnant, so I want to come up with a way to make it easier for me to do them both. Basically I call this my “step up my game” plan. Haha. IN COMPLETE.
- Try out different methods of marketing. For a while, I was adamant I would never spend a dime on marketing besides my client experience. But then I started to wonder why do I feel that way? It had a lot to do with the fact that several of the photographers I really admire built their businesses solely on word of mouth referrals. I consider myself lucky to have been able to do the same…especially since the pool of people I actually know in real life is so small! I didn’t go to college and was homeschooled in high school so I don’t have a huge sorority or groups of college/high school friends to book from. I also believe my business should be first and foremost run on what makes me feel good, and what my gut tells me…my gut tells me I won’t know how effective other forms of marketing are until I try some out! So, I’m actually going to be a part of a well known wedding blog’s vendor guide this year…we’ll see how it turns out, and I will definitely keep you guys updated if you’re interested! COMPLETE. This was definitely an interesting experience. I’m contemplating blogging about it, so I won’t give away too much, but I would definitely say that you should always feel like you are open to trying new ways of doing things, even just to experiment and see what happens.
- Shoot a few more lifestyle/portrait sessions. Last year I discovered that I really loved shooting lifestyle-esque sessions like the ones I did for my friends Jerri and Mark as they prepared for and welcomed their baby, Vance home. I would love to take on a few more of these types of sessions in between my wedding schedule. I’m also interested in getting shooting more boudoir! INCOMPLETE. One of the things I introduced this year was teaching workshops, which meant in between planning for that and working my regular wedding schedule, I didn’t have much free time to work on other projects I was interested in.
Meet my 2014 booking goal. Duh. COMPLETE. Yay!
- Figure out why bulleting these lists makes the text so small. Help?
Have fun. Also: see more live bands, eat more, drink beer, dance more, and laugh-til-I-pee-or-cry more. COMPLETE. This has been one of the most fun years. Run a marathon. I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but I have been training for weeks now! COMPLETE! I am so pumped to finally cross this huge item off of my bucket list! Swim lessons. Last summer, Lauren taught me how to swim in a 30 ft lake. I wish she lived closer because I really want to learn actual strokes and how to be a confident real swimmer. I’m in the process of looking for a place to take swim lessons, and don’t tell anyone, but my eventual goal is to do a triathlon. Haha…it seems to be go big or go home with my fitness goals lately…I did say EVENTUAL though, and triathalon is NOT actually on this year’s list…so. INCOMPLETE. Kept meaning to sign up for these at my gym…that I joined because there’s a pool there…but I haven’t done it yet.
- Save money. A cliche goal, but one that I’m committed to. I’m also interested in looking into investing in the stock market…should be an adventure, albeit not a super exciting one IN PROGRESS. Can you ever mark this goal complete??
Finally upgrade our mattress (haha). We sleep on a full sized bed like we’re one teenager, except we’re two grown adults. It’s…cozy. I’m ready to make this happen this year! COMPLETE! Woo hoo!
- Drink more tea and water. Another cliche but very necessary goal. So obsessed with this almond caramel amaretti tea from Teavana. OMG. It’s delicious. IN PROGRESS. This is another goal that’s kind of a never-ending story if you know what I mean.
Take a mini vacation. John and I have been putting off our honeymoon for two and a half years. I’d love for us to travel some this year…together. Just for fun, not for work. I sometimes feel conflicted about planning vacations for us when we need to save and pay down on our bills, but we’re only going to be young once, right? We also may have a family one day and it will be a lot harder to do our honeymoon when we’re leaving behind kids. Come on guys, I know you can help me rationalize a trip:) Complete. We still haven’t honeymooned yet, but I’m happy to say that we have gone on two mini trips this year! One to New Orleans and one to California. We love traveling, so more trips are on our goal list for 2015!
In the coming days, I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favorite images from this year as well as my goals for next year, but I thought it would be fun to close out this post with a few favorite Instagrams from this year!