2015 To Do List – Recap

The Business

December 16, 2015

This time of year I start to feel a lot more contemplative. I spend more time thinking about the year that’s almost passed, and what I might like to do differently in the year ahead. I think most people do this, right? One benefit of blogging my “to-do list” at the beginning of the year is that I am kind of obligated to look back and see what I did and didn’t do. It helps keep me honest!

One thing I’ve learned this year is that it doesn’t really make sense to make an arbitrary goal for no real reason except that it sounds good. Goals should be well thought out and intentional. I realized that some of the goals I set for myself this year didn’t even really make as much sense to me as the year went on, and that’s totally fine. Being able to see growth is more important to me than a goal I made for myself on a whim!

Old Town Alexandria Engagement Photos_0038

So, with that being said, here’s how I did! You can see my original post with all of the goals I set (And my thinking behind them at the time) here.

  • Utilize more forms of social media. Ehhh, I would say I did okay with this, but I definitely could have done better. I have been much more focused with the use of my Instagram account. I think Instagram is HUGE for photographers and I’ve booked 3 weddings from people who’ve found my work there and had even more inquiries, so that’s quite a big return on investment…especially when you consider Instagram is free. Haha. In the year to come I’d like to be a bit more consistent with my presence on Google Plus and Pinterest.
  • Promo Film. Yes! We filmed in April and premiered this in June. I am SO thrilled with how it turned out. We finally got the opportunity to work with Josh, who is basically the best, and we have something that really represents us so well for this stage in the business! I think this was a huge success and I’m so glad we did it!
  • Update mobile version of website. YAS. Once I started working with Josh, I realized that I was also ready to re-brand. I worked with 315 Design on that and she created a custom mobile version of our site too!
  • Shoot one roll of film a month. Oh hell no. This didn’t happen for whatever reason. I think partially, I am just too busy during many of the months of the year for more photography projects. And, I also kind of didn’t have my heart into it the way I should have. I’m not going to be too hard on myself about it though…there’s always next year!
  • Photograph a destination wedding (or elopement). I hesitated on adding this to my list at the beginning of the year (you can read my initial thoughts on the original post, here) because this is something mostly out of my hands. I admit that I love to be able to control things as much as I can (which, surprisingly DOES help me as a wedding photographer!) and I don’t like to set myself up to fail, which I feared I was doing since I literally cannot MAKE someone book me for their destination wedding. I WILL admit that there are things I could have been more proactive about to help create this opportunity for myself, but at the end of the day, I’m not even really sure that this is all that important to me anymore. Yes, it would be absolutely fantastic to shoot a wedding in Italy or somewhere cool, BUT, it would also be super stressful traveling with full gear and working through the logistics of shooting in a foreign country. Do work visas sound fun to anyone?? I realized that more than anything, I just wanted to SAY I had done one. So that I could be a “world traveler” or something. I don’t even know, guys. Haha. But, I think ultimately, I would rather call myself someone who pays the bills every month by shooting weddings. And THAT’S what really makes me successful. Not flying somewhere to essentially shoot a wedding for nothing because it sounds cool!
  • Set up and shoot a personal shoot. Didn’t do this one, and for similar reasons listed in the last two bullets, I kind of don’t care. I don’t feel like I NEED to do this. If it’s not helping grow my business, or taking care of my clients, it’s not a priority for KNP right now.
  • Streamline submissions process. I can’t say that I 100 percent completed this. I’ve worked on it some, but it’s still not my favorite thing to do, and I’m also going to come right out and admit that I do NOT love Two Bright Lights or it’s interface, so I know that’s not my answer either. I’ll be continuing to perfect this til I get it right, and hopefully updating you all with an amazing solution you can use too!
  • Say yes. Yes and no. Haha. I don’t think I have an issue with balancing saying yes or no, so I’m not sure what made me write this into my list earlier this year. I feel like I’m happy with how I’m doing as far as workload, so no issues there.
Personal things:
  • Take at least two trips. Yes! Complete! When I wrote this goal for myself, I had no idea how much travel was in store for me! I literally had nothing planned back then, and I went on to get to go to Italy, Boston, Chicago, Siesta Key, Orlando, Cape May, and now I am in Hawaii! So yeah, I would say I can cross this off my list 😉
  • Run a half marathon in the Spring and a full marathon again in the Fall. Didn’t run a half in the spring, but I did run one in the Fall. I also didn’t sign up for a full marathon this year. I was more focused on learning to lift weights instead. I really am not sure if I will run a full again. The first time I did it, I wanted to prove that I could do it. Now that I know I can, a lot of the motivation is gone. Who knows though, race atmosphere is addicting and makes you sign up for crazy things! Ha.
  • Take a calligraphy workshop. Yes! I technically did this twice. I went to Sincerely Amy’s workshop with As You Wish in May and then hosted a workshop by her for my brides in August, which, I also participated in, because why not?
  • Get wisdom teeth out. Not yet. Because of insurance, I couldn’t make an appointment for this til October, and once October rolled around, I didn’t have a stretch of free time long enough for recovery until January. So 2016 it is! Enjoy life while you can, wisdom teeth!
  • Get a second tattoo. Still on the list for now. I’m hoping to get a tattoo to commemorate running my first marathon though. That was such a huge moment for me and I’d love to have that as a (very belated) souvenir!
  • Have fresh flowers in our home at least once a month (preferably once a week). I would say this was a success. Thanks, Trader Joes for helping make this happen for me!

I can’t say that my goal list was entirely a success, but I do feel like I feel like I had a successful year as far as the business goes. All of the important things (taking care of clients, etc) were handled and I’m looking forward to an awesome 2016! How did you guys do with your goals?? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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