I made it a goal at the beginning of the year to do more personal blogging but so far that hasn’t gone so well…luckily my excuse is that this winter has been much busier than last winter and much busier than I had expected, which is amazing and for which I’m so grateful. However, I wanted to look back on the past 4 months and give a quick little ‘review’ of what’s been going on, both personally and professionally. So here we go! (I’ll be using Instagram photos as reference, because for the most part this is what I use for my every day photos.)
January was filled with plans, goals, expectations, purging and all the other excitement that inevitably comes with the beginning of a new year. It was also a busy blogging month for me because I shared my favourite images from 2013, including Kids, Maternity, Newborns, Couples, and Weddings. As far as photography, I shared my December sessions with my Baby’s 1st Year kids, Kit, Odessa and Rosalie, as well as three family sessions, The Bonnells, The Bells, and The Browns (all B’s!), and last but not least a sweet newborn, Johanna. On the more business side of things I blogged by Goals for 2014 and a post about my current gear, and a very personal session that I did with my husband Dan (which I must admit I still go back and look through/read at least once a week.) Whew! Told you it was a lot of blogging 🙂
I also shot a few sessions, including a few newborns, a few maternity sessions and a belated birthday shoot. On the back-end of things I started working on updating my blog and website (something that I’m still finishing up!), updating my computer, re-working my portrait pricing, and doing all of the year-end stuff that always gets pushed back during the frenzy of Fall/Christmas. And I was absolutely shocked when I found out that a session I had done back in 2012 was featured on ABC News as part of a heartwarming story.
Personally the Flynns had a bit of a hard time getting back into the regular routine of life after a long and indulgent holiday break (this was especially true with my workout routine, and I felt very discouraged with my regression to the flub). We did our annual family photo and I decided to take on a personal photo project of photographing each of the kids every week for the entire year, and I even started a FB group to keep myself accountable. Victor started working with his ASD worker at the end of the month and continued to work on his speech and social skills. We had a few sick days here and there, a very frustrating bowling trip with the kids, a trip out to my parents’ camp for some rest and relaxation in the snow, and I dyed my hair bright red (well, ok, parts of it).
The dead of winter, ugh. February is usually a pretty slow and boring month, but somehow I managed to get through it! All month I was obsessed/inspired by the amazing Susan Stripling and spent several hours watching her CreativeLIVE course, learning and getting psyched up for the upcoming wedding season. I continued working on my website and blog and chose images for my galleries (so hard!) I blogged the rest of my favourite images from 2013 (families and beauty), as well as 3 (!) newborns (Jayse, Jacob and Lucy), Julia’s princess pictures, and a couple of winter maternity sessions (Jessica and Anderson, and Ashley and Justin). Finally I shared some long-forgotten images from a commission I did the previous year with the Agricultural Museum of New Brunswick. By this point I admit I was a bit tired of shooting in the snow but did a few more snowy kid sessions, a newborn session, a maternity session, and a cake smash. My FB page reached 1,000 fans (thank you!) and I talked with several brides about their upcoming weddings.
It was a busy month for us as a family too. Valentine’s day came and went (and I continued with my ridiculous obsession of making cute Valentine’s for the kids’ daycare friends…thanks Pinterest!), and I was given not a box of chocolates but a heart attack when Dan slid into a ditch on Valentine’s morning, nearly rolling his work truck. I made a couple of photo books with our personal photos from 2o13 (so time consuming but so worth it!), and we spent a few days with my grandmother, which is always wonderful. Victor’s 4th birthday party at the end of the month was meant to be a laid-back affair with a family trip to Crystal Palace in Moncton but it all went south fast once we arrived and Victor was struck with a fever and couldn’t go on any of the rides. We also took the kids skating a few times (with mixed results-next year will be better), Dan and I had a date night out (always much needed), watched all 2 seasons of House of Cards, and I FINALLY got my long-awaited tree tattoo…on my thigh!
March was all about the ‘studio makeover’. I planned it, dreamed it, pinned it, and…well, started it. I managed to get my walls painted a much more flattering beige/pink/grey/white colour (yeah, not sure either), and I also finally ordered wall samples (mounted prints and a canvas..of Dan. of course), as well as creating and ordering my 2013 wedding sample album. I’m still on the hunt for a new loveseat, desk and a few more decor-type items but I’m really happy with how it’s coming together! Blogging was light (Jenna and Jake‘s maternity session, Hannah’s 9-month session, and Kit’s 1-year cake smash), which was more than ok since I had other things on the go. I shot a maternity session and an engagement session, a few more newborns (so!many!newborns!) and another 9-month session. I got to socialize and meet other local photographers at a photographer’s yardsale and networking event in the city, which was really nice. I found a local crafter who can make all my newborn hats and props, which is WONDERFUL, and I also bought more newborn blankets/furs/wraps/hats than I care to admit. On a totally random note, I found a PC-synch cable that I had lost FOR A YEAR while cleaning, and I inherited my grandfather’s old film camera (still need to learn how to use it!). Oh, and I worked on my website…some more.
Personally, we traveled a bit in March; my sister and I drove up to Bathurst with the kids for March Break to visit my grandmother and aunts and cousins, and we went to McAdam for my nephew’s birthday party. We stayed in a lot due to the CRAZY amount of storms we had and I worried endlessly about my trees cracking and falling over. We introduced Victor to the Star Wars movies after a few weeks of obsessing with the Angry Birds Star Wars games, and Violet…well, continued being crazy little Violet. Dan absolutely SHOCKED me by shaving his beard while I was in Bathurst (thankfully it’s growing back), and Victor got his 4-year needles (sniff sniff). We had St. Patrick’s Day supper at Dan’s aunt’s house and we spent our evenings watching True Detective. Finally, my friend Sara and I did one of those crazy all-day batch cooks where we each made 10 meals for our freezers. It was a ton of work but it’s been incredibly handy to have those meals in the freezer now, when I am just so DONE of cooking winter foods and cooking heavy meals every night. Oh! And Daylight Saving happened, thank heavens.
This month…funny, I can’t really recall what’s been going on this month. I think it’s been the slowest month work-wise (kind of), which has been REALLY nice because as you can see, winter has been busy so far! I blogged a few sessions (James‘ and Cole’s 9-month sessions), newborns Atticus and Gracelynn, a country maternity session with Farrah and Dan, and a city engagement session with Katelyn and Jeff. I also shot a newborn, child, maternity and family session (I’ve been averaging about 1 session per week all year, wow!), and finished up the final major details of my website. I ordered a few stationary pieces for work and bought more newborn props (oops!). I finalized details for a wedding assistant this year, researched lighting equipment, re-did my wedding packages for 2015, decided on what new gear I want to get this year, did my taxes (UGH), and tied up as many loose ends as I could since I know that May is the beginning of the roller-coaster that is wedding season. And finally, for the past few days I’ve been dreaming up a personal photo project that is going to take a lot of preparation, thought and time (it’s a 4-season project), inspired by these amazing images I saw on the web this week. I’m excited and inspired and dreaming, which is always fun and much needed right before my busy time.
At home we waited patiently for warm weather to come (and got out as much as possible when it was the least teensy bit warm), had friends over for the night, went on a few playdates, had our first bonfire of the year, traveled to McAdam again for another nephew’s birthday party, and watched the horrible flooding happen in Sussex a couple of weeks ago. Victor caught a terrible stomach bug that lasted for a week, but luckily the rest of us managed to avoid it. Victor was better just in time for Easter and we did our first outdoor Easter Egg hunt (fun!) This past weekend Dan and I did a 16-hour Spring Cleaning blitz of our house while the kids were at the camp, and we’re now trying to keep it as clean as possible (and decide on when we are going to finish the rest of the house!!)
WOAH. There it is! Quite a busy winter, but there was a lot of leisure time in there too, I will admit. Working for myself, I get to choose how busy I allow myself to get and I think that I struck a good balance so far this year. May-August is going to be just as busy (probably more…hello weddings!), but I think I’m ready. Ready for warm weather, ready to practice with new gear and techniques, ready to debut my website, ready to finish up my studio and get my packaging finalized, ready to meet new people, find new locations, and shoot shoot shoot.
Let’s do it!
(See you in August.)
If you made it through, congrats!
PS-This post was inspired by Kandise Brown’s Month in Review posts.