2011 in Review and 2012 Goals
Around the time we take down our Christmas tree I like to take some time to think back on what was and what will be.
2011 was a very rough year for my family. We ended 2010 with the loss of Andrew’s mother and uncle. A few short months later, we were surprised to learn that we were unexpectedly expecting. Sadly, after some abnormal blood work we discovered at 4 months along the pregnancy was not viable and a month later, at 22 weeks, after many complications and unanswered questions we lost our baby. Following those rough months, the company that Andrew worked for began to experience some financial difficulties and we knew that a lay-off was looming on the horizon…. and, finally, a few weeks before Christmas, Andrew was laid off. In a few short sentences, I’m able to sum up what was probably the worst year of my life. With it all in the rearview, it’s seems that a positive attitude and time make the pain more bearable and every day a little bit easier.
I learned a lot in 2011 and even though there were more unpleasantries than I care to think about, I am glad to have lived that year and thankful for all of the blessings I have going into 2012. I’m optimistic, enthusiastic and eager to begin the next chapter in my life. 2011 was also full of many good things, like beach vacations, Emma-Kate’s first day of pre-school and many wonderful things in regards to my business. I’ve grown, I’ve learned and I’ve changed, and I hope that in 2012 I will continue to do all three of those things and more.
One of the best things I did for my business last year was attend Melissa Jill’s 2-day workshop. It was a crash course in business, marketing and shooting. I loved every minute of it and took so much away from that experience that I still am not able to fully articulate what I walked away with. I was able to fine tune my business practices and workflow. I learned more about off-camera flash and how to make the most out of any lighting situation I may encounter at a wedding. I met some amazing photographers, who have since become friends, and as part of our learning and bonding experience, we also did a mock engagement shoot (see one of my shots below!) We watched Melissa find the perfect light, great locations and coach her clients through posing.
Melissa’s workshop was incredible and because of that experience, I have decided that every year I will learn something new from someone new, and I will always challenge myself to be better than I was the day before.
As part of my reflection on the previous year and brainstorming for what’s ahead I like to write things down, especially goals. A written goal has more weight. More permanence. It stares you in the face and keeps your train moving steadily along its tracks. I like that. I like the challenge and sense of accomplishment when the goal is met. With that said, here are a few of my goals for 2012:
- Grow my business: More clients!
- Improve my clients’ experience: Happier clients!
- Expand my brand: Advertising, Published Work and New Friends
- Nurture my relationships: Spend more quality time with family and friends, and devote more energy to wedding vendor and photography relationships
- iPhone photo of the day for a year – Fun, right?? (See those pics & like my Facebook page here!)
- Learn more, grow more and practice!
- Give back: More charitable giving and more meaningful connections with my community
So, there’s nothing totally crazy on my list of goals, but there is a lot more to my list than what meets the eye here. I have a lot of ideas scribbled in notebooks and my desktop is scattered with stickies notes. Goal setting for me begins long before the New Year. I’ve been working now for months on a marketing plan for the year, which includes print advertising, getting more work published, fine-tuning and improving the experience my clients have working with me, and more! I love owning my own business and I get so excited at the potential and growth I see in my future.
Here’s to a fresh start, a great new year and many, many wonderful photographs and happy clients to come!!