(Pretty photo, just because. Sigh, September light…)
Hey there! So, it’s almost the end of the 1st month of 2016 and I’m just getting around to writing my plans and goals for this year, which is actually pretty much on par for me, always a bit behind on things…but after many, many years of goal-setting, I know that while getting them written down isn’t everything, it’s an important place to start….and so I start.
I have to say that 2015 was probably my most ‘relaxing’ year in business to date; I’m proud to say that with the exception of a 2-3 week period in October, I didn’t ever really feel frazzled or overwhelmed last year, while still managing to meet most of my deadlines and shoot as much as ever, which means that my workflow has improved, my shooting has (maybe) improved and I’m feeling more comfortable doing only what I want, which is an awesome position to be in. I want 2016 to be a year of growth and of continuing on the journey of doing what I feel passionate about, even if it means veering off the path that I’ve been on for the past 5 years.
So, in the spirit of ‘putting it out into the world’, here are my goals and desires for this year in business (in no particular order):
- Start Shooting Boudoir. Yep, as I mentioned last month, I’m diving into the world of boudoir photography this year. I feel like I’m in the right place in my personal and business life to offer this type of photography, and I’m going to be working on getting everything up and running very soon. I’m currently shooting portfolio sessions and will be working behind the scenes to develop my new website/blog (my boudoir will be under a separate name in order to keep my main brand consistent), so I hope to announce everything by March or April! I’m super excited about this and hope that it will develop into a fairly large chunk of my non-wedding work. So come on ladies (and gents!), let’s do this!
- A Mother’s Body Project-Year 2. I received such good feedback and enthusiasm from my A Mother’s Body project last year that I’ve decided to offer it again this year. It was a personal project that started out mainly as a way for me to beat the winter/spring blahs, but ended up giving me so much more. I’m aiming for shooting in April, blogging in May, and will be putting out my Model Call next month.
- Mini Sessions. I want to offer 3 mini sessions this year, and have almost nailed down my dates and themes; these were a huge success the past couple of years (the Fall family sessions) and I want to spread the love again this year (and in turn, offer fewer ‘full’ family sessions; I only did about 5 last year and that was perfect for me.)
- New Products, New Lab. With the US dollar being so abysmal I, along with many other photographers in Canada, am now in search of a new lab which, although is a pain, allows me to review my products and switch things up a bit.
- Teaching. I have been offered a few opportunities lately to teach photography and although it makes me feel nervous, I think that it’s a great new skill to develop (teaching/public speaking) and I look forward to the challenge. I also want to incorporate a bit of teaching into this blog, so I plan on starting a “Photo Tip Friday” series, and a few other fun posts. Again, it’s about veering off my current path a little bit and trying new things.
- Workshops. I’ve been watching about 1-2 online workshops a year for the past couple of years and have found them to be a great boost to inspiration and drive in my business, but I’d really love to take it a step further and go to an in-person workshop (eek, real people!) There are a few great local ones, or maybe even taking a trip for a big one, I’m not sure, but I don’t want to stop learning.
- Save for Dream Studio. I had grand plans at the beginning of last year for saving enough money throughout the year to start building a studio on our property this winter, but with the US dollar and with, well, me not calculating my taxes properly (ugh), let’s just say that this dream has had to be pushed back a little bit. Still, my main goal for “Phase 2” of my business (Years 5-10) is to get my business out of my house(!)
- Review my Business Plan. As I mentioned, I’m entering what I call “Phase 2” of my business; in March I will have been working officially (aka legally) for 5 years. I’m SO PROUD that I’ve made it this far (not many small businesses do), but let’s just say that what I thought my business would do and what it has done don’t really line up, so now that I have some experience and hard numbers behind me, I can properly predict and set real goals for the next 5 years of business (5 years where I will be able to work full-time, now that the kids will both be in school!) It’s exciting and scary and who knows where I’ll ultimately end up, but I know that if it’s anything like the past 5 years have been, it will be a wonderful, wonderful life.
- Be a better photographer. Always.
- More Personal Posts. Less “here is a session I did lately!” and more storytelling, more authenticity (prepare for a swear word or two to maybe pop out), and more variety.
That, on top of my annual ‘to do list’ of updating online galleries, getting samples, and prepping for the upcoming year, is what I will be focusing on for the next couple of months.
Personally, this year will be about finding a new work/life groove with 2 kids in school (and trying not to break down emotionally at the thought), growing a larger garden (have you seen the price of food lately?!) and helping my dad with his plans of sustaining us with local meat grown on his farm, more live music for me and Dan (we’re going to try and see something once a month, I’ve got my eyes set on Dave Matthews in June!), longer travel plans-a road trip to Toronto is in store for this year’s annual summer vacation-, and enjoying my free time when I have it. More novels, more yoga, less scrolling, less laziness, more laziness, more dreaming, and more enjoying this good, good life that I’ve made for myself.
Hey 2016, you’re looking pretty good.