Well it’s a New Year, and of course everyone has been focusing on Goals, Resolutions, Fresh Starts and All Of The Things that they want to do this year…and I’m no different. In fact my mind starting thinking about January and my 2014 goals for this little business of mine way back in November, but until now I haven’t really had the chance to get it on paper (or blog, so to speak). Now that things are finally quieting down a little (still a few more sessions to share and a few orders to finish up), I’m really trying to narrow down what I want to do differently this year, and how I want to move forward. So, in no particular order, here are a few wish list/goals for my photography business in 2014:
–Simplify. In a couple of different areas, but in particular in my pricing structure. Gone will be the millions of options and combinations, instead I will offer 3 collections, 3 special packages for maternity/newborns/babies, plus a few A la Carte items…that’s it. Though it seems limiting, I think that my clients will actually appreciate fewer choices, and it will be easier for me to get the orders fulfilled and out the door quicker. Same with my wedding packages for 2015, fewer packages and choices. I will only offer products that I love and would want to have in my own home, and I’m hoping to simplify my ordering process as well. I’ll also be doing other little things to make my editing and blogging simpler (no more watermarks in 2014!) and alleviate my email issues (more canned responses!)…I’m hoping that all of these little things will add up over time.
-Hold 2 mini sessions days. Last year I had every intention of having 2 mini session days, one in the summer and one in the fall, but because I didn’t have them planned out before things got busy, they never happened…this year is going to be different. I want to dramatically reduce the amount of family and child sessions that I take on but still want to offer something to those families who have been so supportive of me over the past 3 years. These mini session days should hopefully do that. The summer one (for mid-July) will be for children only, and the fall one (October) will be for families. I may also do a few indoor mini sessions in the winter, but right now I’m only committing to 2.
-Renovate my ‘studio’. I’ve been so fortunate to keep busy over the winter by having clients come to my home and do studio sessions (newborns and children mainly). I’ve purchased several backdrops and props, but I feel like my space isn’t what I want it to be. Dan and I have talked about me ‘moving out’ of the house into a commercial space but realistically we can’t consider that until the kids are in school, so I have another 3 years working from my ‘home studio’. It’s fairly well set-up, with easy access from the front door and it’s near the washroom, but there are a few things that need to change. Paint, new furniture, actual samples on my walls, a parking space near the front door, a better work station and setting up a semi permanent shooting area with studio lights will be my main goals. This is going to be an investment but worth it in the end and I’m so excited. You can see some of my inspirational studio Pins on this board.
-Update my online presence. I’ve been TERRIBLY neglectful with my website and blog the past couple of years, which is insane considering that almost all of my business comes from the Internet. I haven’t updated my website since…2011. Yep, not a single image from the past 2 years is up (except here on the blog). Nutso. So everything is getting a facelift very soon!
–Narrow my niche. This is going to be one of the toughest ones to do, but one that I feel is necessary if I want to continue on happily with my work. I need to feel creative and there are certain types of sessions that give me the chills…and some that don’t. So starting this year I’m going to be more selective about what I take on. Learning to say ‘no’ has been really hard for me because I want to give people what they want, but it’s taken some of the joy away from me and my work instead. I may lose some clients along the way but hopefully by shooting what I love I’ll put out some of my best work and will attract the type of work that I want to do.
–Learn. I still have SO MUCH to learn about photography and running a photography business, and I want to be proactive about gaining the tools and skills that I need to get to the next level. Off camera flash, posing women, studio lighting, creative composition, these are all things that I want to improve on, and am really hoping to prioritize during my down time.
-Get help. Mainly in the form of a wedding assistant (or 2nd shooter, still undecided). After doing 13 weddings last year by myself and 12 the year before, I’ve learned that I just can’t do it alone anymore. I have way too much gear, too many things to set up, and all of those nit picky things are taking me away from my main job of the day-capturing memories for the bride and groom. So basically I want to find someone who will come with me, lug around my stuff, get my lenses for a quick swap, help set up my lights, be a test subject for said lights, and any other random things I can think of (sounds glamorous doesn’t it?) I’m also considering a newborn assistant, depending on the amount of business I get with newborns this year (I hope lots!!)
-Shoot for myself/Don’t burn out. This is tough because of everything I’m not doing above. I take on too much, my niche isn’t narrow enough, I’m inefficient and so I burn out and barely pick up the camera for myself or my children anymore. Not a good thing (thank god for the iPhone and Instagram is all I’ll say!) I want to take more candid photos at home, and do some ‘just for fun’ sessions too. I love looking back on my old albums and photo books and I know that my young children do too, so it’s important…family memories are IMPORTANT, whether you are doing them yourself or having someone like myself doing them for you. I need to remember that.
Well that’s all I can think of for now, though I’m sure there’s much more floating around in my head. For now I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me in 2013 and even before that; I’m looking forward to refining Genevieve Flynn Photography in 2014 and continuing on this crazy path I’m on!
(And because I don’t like to include posts without photos, these are a few shots I took around our yard on Christmas day…the ice storm was certainly an inconvenient thing for thousands of people-including us for about 30 hours-but it sure made for a BEAUTIFUL winter wonderland to photograph!)