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2016 Goal Recap

One thing I’ve learned about growing the business continually over the past five years is that things changes and priorities shift. Especially in an industry that changes as fast as this one! In the somewhat short amount of time I’ve been a wedding photographer, I’ve already seen things in the industry shift and several trends come and go. It’s important to keep learning to adapt if you want to survive, and part of that is realizing that your priorities will have to change too.

It’s funny that I learned that this year…because this was a year when I really saw my focus shift. In years past I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things that aren’t important (like how many instagram followers I had, or how many people were reading my blog). But this year, I decided that the only things that were important to me were my clients and my friends and family. If it wasn’t something directly related to being able to grow my business and provide for my family OR related to taking care of our clients, I did NOT make it a priority.

This meant not submitting to magazines this year and not going to many networking events. It meant spending evenings doing things like going to free outdoor concerts and having pizza with friends rather than staying up late blogging all night because I “have to”. Living my life more intentionally made me a better business owner than getting featured would because it made me happier and more relaxed. It made me more excited to create and more motivated to bring my clients an even better experience. Most importantly, being happier and more relaxed made me ready to invest in what is really important in my business, and that’s people! If you find yourself getting frustrated or burnt out, I highly suggest taking time out and refocusing a bit.

With all that being said, you’ll see that some of the things on my to do list were a bust. And you know what? That is really okay with me, because like I said before, sometimes we discover that our priorities are just different, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

  • Meet booking goal – I’m happy to say that we exceeded our goal this year! And we are more than half way to our 2017 goal, too! Yay!
  • Be consistent with submissions – I let this one slip off of my to do list at some point because I realized that submissions are not as important to me as they once were.
  • Professional branded headshots – Fail. John had surgery this year and then spent quite a few months recovering, so this one was not at the top of our list! It’s definitely going back on next year’s!
  • Collaborate more with fellow wedding vendors – This is a win and a fail. I did get to collaborate with some new folks this year (like my good friend Brandi on her headshots AND our Safari themed styled shoot) but I’d like to do a couple more projects next year.
  • Secret project – I keep telling myself I want to do this project, but I haven’t yet! I swear I’m going to do it next year…cross my heart and hope to die!!
  • Re-examine each part of our wedding day shooting flow and see what we can do better. I’d say this one was a win! After having a bit more time this year to focus on things like this since John was home with me for five months recovering from his surgery (and able to help with a lot of small tasks I had) I was able to sit down and come up with some strategies for how to handle some common wedding day challenges. Maybe I will blog about this soon!
  • Education of some kind – Besides listening to a few new podcasts, this one was also a bust. I’m still looking for a great workshop for advanced business owners, so if you know of one, let me know!
  • Read a business book a month and blog about it. I read three books and then didn’t keep up with this project. I’d like to try again next year though!
  • Cut out unnecessary business spending. I think this one is a win! We spent less on frivolous items like fancy bags and cool camera straps, and I ended up being able to have a little bit more in savings this year, which meant we could go to Hawaii! Double win!

Personal Goal Progress

  • Do a strict pull up. I am SO CLOSE to being able to do this!! Come on shoulders and lats!! Let me do it already!!! It’s been a long time goal to do a strict pull up. I can do them flailing my body around and using momentum, but I think that’s cheating and want to be able to do a strict one next year!
  • Pay off our car. We did not do that this year. Instead we (John) had his surgery and we used some of our savings to go back to my favorite place…Hawaii!
  • Get a second tattoo. I finally got the tattoo I’d been wanting since 2013! It’s a small tattoo of roman numerals XXVI.II for the marathon I ran that year.
  • Take two trips. I went to California to visit my good friend Jen and we took a road trip together to Las Vegas! I also went to the mountains in North Carolina with her in the fall, and to Florida by myself to meet my nephew, who was born just after I left! I also went to Charleston with my friend Sarah, and John and I went to HAWAII for the second time this past December! We’ll round out the year with another trip to Florida after Christmas to see friends and finally meet my baby nephew!
  • Shoot one roll of film a month. This definitely didn’t happen (for like the third year in a row!) but I did shoot a lot more film than I ever have, so I consider that progress!

Overall, we had another great year! We had so many kind and wonderful clients and witnessed another year’s worth of marriages beginning. I am so appreciative to all of the people we got to work with and I am just so thankful to get to do this another year!


Love this post. PLEASE do the blog post about the wedding day strategies you came up with!

2016 Outtakes

Last year I didn’t get a chance to post an “out takes” post because my computer, with all of those images on it, was stolen right at the end of wedding season! Although I was really glad that none of my client images were lost, it sucked to lose the behind the scenes photos I’d been collecting for almost a year! This year passed without a computer fiasco and so I got to share yet another year of behind the scenes candids of us 🙂

One thing you’ll notice in viewing these photos is that it seems like I wear the same outfits…A LOT. This is actually true. I have three or four shooting outfits I wear depending on the weather and I usually stick to those!! If you are interested in getting in similarly plain, but dressy enough outfits for yourself, check out J Crew Factory and Loft, which is where most of my shooting clothes are from!

Enjoy a few of these silly photos!

John and the groom’s first look! HA!!!!

Shooting the rings at the reception since the groom’s ring wasn’t at getting ready. Though this is not what I normally like to do, if you have an off camera flash setup and you hang on to a copy of the invitation, you can make it work!

I’m always there to carry your dress!

Showing the couple how worth it it was to stay outside in the cold for just a few more minutes of photos! THAT LIGHT THO.

These little girls were so cute! And so interested in what I was doing!

My favorite summer wedding dress! From Loft!

I don’t know why I was doing this…I blame the over 100 degree heat!

Styling details!

Don’t mind me while I’m in your personal space while you eat dinner…

I call this one “calves”.

Styling details again!

Waiting for the ceremony to begin. I promise I’m more thrilled than I look!

Chatting with our third shooter for Abby and David’s wedding, Serena. Probably about Pokemon.

SERIOUSLY, that December light!!!

When it pours during the ceremony, bust out a giant umbrella.

Last but not least…I had John stand there to test an idea I wanted to try with our clients. It turned out great, but I never got the chance to do it with them after the reception started. At least I have this cool photo of John!


Love this post! And hah – that photo! Our conversation was probably was about Pokemon… 😀

Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year too!)

It’s hard to understand how it is that time seems to speed up more and more with every year that passes. I feel like I was just beginning to get used to writing 2016 on things and now we’re about to turn our calendars to 2017! I have no idea how year after year just flies by!

One thing I’ve learned though, is that the speedy passing of time just means that it’s more important than ever to really be intentional with how we spend our lives. It’s so key to remember to be present and to savor every moment of goodness that life sends our way, because it all just goes by way too fast. I hope that you can remember that this holiday season and into next year too!

Thanks for sticking around and being a friend of the business for yet another year!

Our 2016 Christmas card:

And, just for fun, a home movie I put together with some iPhone video clips taken throughout the year!

Our 2016 Home Movie from Katie Nesbitt on Vimeo.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! And a Happy New Year too! I’ve got a couple of posts scheduled for next week, but besides that, I will be on vacation until 2017. So see ya next year, friends!


Maryland Engagement Photos | Haley + Brett

As it’s started to get cooler and the leaves have started to fall, we’re also getting to spend some time with some of our 2017 couples! It’s crazy to think that 2016 is coming to a close already, but I can already tell that next year is shaping up to be a good one! We spent the afternoon with Haley and Brett in between their home in Pennsylvania and ours in Virginia at their wedding venue in Friendsville, Maryland! It was so perfectly Fall like the day of their session! We really enjoyed exploring the grounds of their venue and photographing them (and their puppies!!) and can’t wait to be a part of the big day next August!!



2016 Mini Session Favorites

Being a full time wedding photographer means that I often don’t have time to photograph things besides weddings, like families and other types of portrait sessions. Because of the personal and specialized service that I like to provide our clients means that I have to turn down other things a lot of the time. But once a year, I get to do some other fun things, (like families!) when I host my  mini session day! I can’t remember when exactly I started doing these annual mini session days, but I am so glad that I did because it gives me the chance to get to spend time with some really awesome people I might not otherwise get to enjoy!

This Fall I got to see a few old faces (including one of my couples from way back in 2012!!) and finally meet another internet friend in person! We lucked out with one of the most gorgeous days so far this month and I feel like we really used the beautiful day to our advantage! Thank you so much to all of the folks who made it out to this year’s minis and to everyone who continues to support my business and our little family! We love you guys!

Enjoy a few favorites!