As part of the #bloomIGchallenge, I thought I would share my goals and the lessons I’ve learned in 2016. Overall, it was definitely my biggest year in terms of volume and I feel proud of what I accomplished, but at the same time I feel like I was running in all directions. Ever feel like that? Like things are moving so fast, but you’re not sure where your headed? Yep, me too.
I’m a pretty business-minded person (hey, it was my major in both undergraduate and graduate school!), so I did map out a plan prior to 2016 – it was just sticking to that plan that was the challenge.
My 2016 goals were pretty simple, so let’s see how I did:
Objective #1: Offer a summer mini-session
I did offer a mini-session in late summer at the beach. Honestly, I don’t know how photographers do this and turn a profit. It was a lot of work and I’m not sure if I’ll ever do them again.
Objective #2: Book 12 family sessions, 6 senior sessions, and 3 weddings
Yep, I nailed this one. A total of 28 sessions for last year – exceeding all my expectations.
Objective #3: Redo my branding and website
In March I launched my new website and branding with the help from a designer. Best thing I ever did because I believe it helped me attract the clientele I wanted to work with.
Objective #4: Attend a workshop in 2016
Hands down, one of my favorite things from 2016 was attending the family workshop from Sarah-Beth Photography in Indy. She is the rock-star of family photography and I feel so lucky that I was able to attend. Normally, I’m not a fan of workshops. I’ve attended quite a few and I’m always slightly disappointed…I feel like the information shared is common knowledge…or I get annoyed at the vast amounts of attendees which makes it almost impossible to get good quality shots at the styled portion of the workshop because everyone is jockeying for the best position. I’m not an aggressive person, but you have to be if you want any good pictures (elbows out!). However, at Sarah’s workshop it was very intimate with only 5 attendees and everyone got their fair share of photo time and Q&A. It was awesome. Her information was invaluable and it changed my workflow and creative outcome. I’m so thankful for her.
Objective #5: Expand my maternity portfolio
Yep, I shot 3 maternity sessions to expand my portfolio. I really want to continue to pursue this because motherhood is something so close to my heart.
Objective #6: Increase my social media presence and audience
This is something that I still struggle with – I love social media, but I don’t necessarily like contributing to it. Not every client wants sneak-peeks or their images shared online, so if I don’t have creative assets to share, I’m not necessarily comfortable with sharing personal information – I’m a pretty private person. I post maybe once a week. So, while I may not have thousands of Instagram followers or Facebook fans, I did increase my reach by about 30%, which is A-OK in my book.
Objective #7: Get published
Wahoo! I did it! I collaborated with some amazing vendors for a Lavender themed shoot and it was amazing! It got published with Wedding Day Magazine in July and I think it was one of my best accomplishments of 2016.
As an artist, I know I still have a long way to go to get to where I want, but I also feel like I’ve also come a long way too. So many growing pains with this little business of mine, but so much reward too. Next week, I’ll share my goals and dreams for 2017!