The end of the year always asks for a time of reflection, which is always a good thing. Too often Ben and I spend our time running around like crazy, in constant communication with the world through our phones, and dreaming about 2 weeks of zero work that will mostly likely never come! In life and in business it is always good to take time to think about what has happened over the past year and what needs to change in the next. My (Molly) birthday is the 30th of December so it is even more-so a time of reflection and time for planned changes in the new year.
Identify what in the world we actually did this year!
We photographed 12 seniors, 13 families, 13 weddings, 3 engagements, 15 commercial shoots, and 6 personal projects/shoots.
We attended 4 bridal shows, 1 major photography conference where Ben and I were conference chairs, and 3 charity events that were photography related.
We designed 6 projects,and re-designed our own blog and website.
Identify the weak points and where we can improve.
This year was honestly a hodgepodge-take-what-we-can-get year. We were still figuring out who we were as a business, what we liked to photograph, and what we photographed well. In the end we were drowning in work. In the summer Molly was working 12 hours a day 6 days a week, sometimes 7. It was non-stop eat, sleep, breath photography. Our family time suffered and we had limited time helping at our church and other places that are important to us. Our utmost importance in our business is customer service. Although we have never gotten a complaint I feel like we could have done even more. I wanted to have gone above and beyond our clients expectations instead of just meeting them. Starting now we will say no to a lot more than we say yes. We call ourselves wedding photographers and yet to look at our stats this past year we were even across the board in all areas of photography. We will say no to most jobs unless they are weddings/engagements. We love weddings! We love working with brides and grooms and our best work comes from wedding photography.
We blogged 100 posts in about 100 days at the first part of the year then petered out the rest of the year. Telling the love stories in words is a wonderful part of showing their stories in pictures. As we grow and learn, we want to share what experience and knowledge we have with our fellow photographers. I want to make sure these things get blogged in 2012.
Goals for 2012
Because we choose to book only 1 wedding a weekend we need to spread our weddings out throughout the year. We want to book 20 weddings and 10 engagement shoots. Anything else will be very little and far between. We understand it is half impossible being wedding photographers to expect just as many weddings in January as we do in July, but it’s part goal and part dream. Just dreaming a potentially attainable dream 🙂 We already have 1 wedding in January and 2 in February so we are on track. We have 10 weddings for this year so we are half way to our goal in weddings.
By only photographing 20 weddings and 10 engagement sessions, we will have the time to devote to charity causes and non-profit organizations, something that is very important to us. It will also allow me to not work such longs hours and ensure that it won’t hinder my ability to home school our two children.
I want to leave our blog and website alone! This may sound funny, but a website is kind of like a living room to a girl. Every other week you wonder what the couch would look like…over there… no over there…wait what about there… Eventually you know there are better things to do with your time than rearrange your furniture. It looks great as it is an no one is going to notice any differently. I will make one last sweep through the site and then not touch it except to update new pictures into the galleries as we take them.
A lot of this post may sound selfish. And to a degree that is true. Everyone wants more time with their family and less time working, no matter how much they love their job. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what profession you are in. If you have a great home life it effects your work for the better. The best way to have a great home life is to actually be home for starters. Not only home but off the computer and engaging with my family.
Our daughter Adelaide is the creative/dreamer in this family and it just happens to have been her birthday yesterday. So here’s to a new year and big dreams! Princess fairies who paint and all!