This year was a doozy. Anyone else feel like they were just drinking champagne watching the ball drop in Times Square for 2019?! Who am I kidding…I was shooting a New Years Eve wedding in Missoula, Montana that night, but you know what I mean.
With all the craziness, this year went so incredibly fast! I knew that I wanted my business to have a solid plan and goals for 2019. I walked into the year on this momentous high of excitement, and I am happy to say that I am still enjoying this excitement at the end of the year.
I am a planner–through and through. It’s because of this, I love everything that has to do with paper-pencil planning, goal setting, and journaling. I’m slightly addicted. I love to dream BIG. I love to push the comfort envelope so that I can actually grow. Now let me clear…it wasn’t always like that. Those years that I didn’t go live on Facebook, or I didn’t put myself on Insta stories, I didn’t see much growth. Knowing this, I tried hard this year to reach out to new clientele, try out new genres and styles of photography, invest in business courses, and so much more! So let’s dive in and see what my biggest goals were!
Goal 1: Book 5 Weddings
Yes, you read that right–I only wanted to shoot FIVE weddings this past year. That’s laughable to some wedding photographers, but guess what? I’ve done the 30+ weddings a year, and it ate me alive. My editing consumed me, my marriage was wreck, my child was crying whenever I left. It was pretty clear that something needed to change. I learned quickly that this was not what I wanted to do ever again. So I literally only took five weddings. Next year I am thinking I will even do less!
I want to pour out all of my love to my few brides and grooms and foster deep and meaningful relationships with them, versus only knowing their names and showing up to do my job. I’ve heard of photographers who overbook themselves, and my greatest fear is becoming one of them. Instead, I want to slow down, create real and deep relationships with couples entrusting me to to capture the most important day of their lives.
Goal 2: Join a Mastermind
This was a game changer. I joined Paige Marie’s Mastermind and was surrounded by some amazing women from all over the United States. All of which still reach out to each other for knowledge and support even though the mastermind has ended. From CPAs, to graphic designers, to photographers, and florists, it was an incredible experience where we pushed each other to grow and set goals that we didn’t think we could ever attain…and we did. It helped me realize that my dreams could become a reality, and I had a support system that encouraged me along the way.
Goal 3: Elevate My Clients’ Experience
I wanted my clients to have a consistent, easy, and enjoyable experience from the moment they inquired, to the moment I send them their gallery. It was clear that I needed to invest in a great client communication software that sends each client a dashboard where we can keep all of our communication, contracts, invoices, questionnaires, and style guides all in one spot. Honeybook was the key to that! I also wanted to gift more shoots, money, and time to causes that moved my soul and I am happy to say that I was very blessed this year and was able to do much more that I ever thought possible. I was also able to get to know my clients more by adding questionnaires and doing video chats with prospective couples. To put a face to a name is so helpful, but I have found that either meeting in person makes this job the best there is.
Goal 4: Go Back to My Roots: Film
How long do you have? I can’t fit my love for film in one paragraph. From the look, sound, feel, and even smell–it’s my secret passion. I actually started my photography journey on film, and I even had my own dark room. I developed all of my own film before it was “cool”. Years went passed and the digital craze hit, and I jumped on the bandwagon. As the galleries loaded, and the photoshopping swallowed me whole, I yearned for that spark that made me love photography. It was actually on a photoshoot with the lovely Susan K Adams that sparked my interested in film again. She shot the entire family shoot all on film, which terrified me to be honest. I couldn’t fathom not double checking myself with a digital camera, but when I got my prints back…It was TRUE art. So authentic and romantic. So I jumped right in, bought a used Pentax 120 mm camera that weighs 8 lbs. I invested in rolls and rolls of film and after my first roll, I knew that I found that spark again. It came in a roll of film.
I am so excited to sit down by a window as the snow falls outside here in the next few weeks to start dreaming up my 2020 goals. Don’t be surprised if you see me do some wild and crazy stuff this year–it’s all part of the plan to get uncomfortable in order to grow. Any dreamers out there?! Who’s with me?!
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