Downtime & goal setting...

Oh hello February, here so soon? January through February tends to be my "slow season." This gives me a lot of time to think about what changes I want to make to my business in 2013. I feel like I am a forever student in this crazy world of photography. No matter how much I think I know, there's always something or somebody that proves me wrong.  This is quite alright with me. In fact, it's the only way I can really grow. When I quit my job as a part-time  server in April to fulfill my dreams of becoming a full-time wedding photographer, I really didn't know how much it would change my life. No longer do I squeeze in photography between shifts at the restaurant and actually enjoy my "slow season" or time off. I now have to use that extra "time off" to make sure I'm doing what's necessary to keep my business moving forward. My livelihood depends on it. If I'm not booking weddings or shoots, I'm busy contemplating on ways to bring them in. Running your own business is such a rewarding experience, but at the same time, it can bring an overwhelming amount of pressure and anxiety. Just keepin' it real. I love what I do so much, that if I'm not constantly doing it or not making enough money to justify it, I would be heartbroken. Yet, thus is the life of a wedding photographer. Every morning when I wake up, I remind myself how thankful I am to be doing what I love. But at the same time if I'm not putting myself out there and taking risks for my dream, what can I expect to get in return? For this reason I have decided to share some of my goals for this year and the future of my business here on my blog. They say if you write it down and share it with others, you are holding yourself here goes nothing!

Business goals for 2013:

  • Double my wedding bookings from last year.
  • Makeover my brand and website (currently in progress ;)).
  • Own ALL of my gear. I've been dying for some pocket wizards and a new lighting setup.
  • In reference with the above, I really want to perfect my wedding reception/flash lighting.
  • Get featured on at least three more awesome weddings blog (I'll just say it: I really really really want to get featured on Green Wedding Shoes).
  • Do a creative "styled shoot" with like-minded vendors (also in progress ;)).
  • Establish a working relationship (and friendship?) with two other non-photographer wedding vendors. Never hurts to have fellow industry folks have your back.
  • More personal blogging (starting NOW, haha).
  • Be extremely organized financially (gulp).
  • Start a seasonal newsletter to keep in touch with my market (Cough can sign up here ;)).

A few long-term goals for my business:

  • Balance work and personal life by outsourcing the work that doesn't require my personal touch.
  • Yeah, I'll say it...I want to make a "healthy" income. "Healthy" in my opinion is enough to contribute to our life without comprising what's important in life: family, friends, happiness.
  • Shoot only for my ideal client. Allow me to explain: in the world of wedding photography, a huge part of what we do is attract many different types of clients. This is awesome, and such a wonderful way to establish your style and brand (the experience you provide). However, one day, I want to have established my style and brand so well, that I only attract couples who are drawn to the same things. This is what all of us wedding professionals ultimately strive for. Because we want to showcase what we do best and what makes us unique!

While I'm at it, I may as well hold myself accountable for my personal goals too. Which to be honest with you, I haven't thought much about, since I've been so busy working on my business goals. I guess now is as good a time as any other to start!

Personal goals for 2013:

  • Establish a stricter schedule for work and time off (I don't know if this counts as business goal, but lets just say it's a little of both)
  • Work at making new friends. Man, this one is hard. Especially for someone who takes a little while to warm up to people. For some reason I am great at this in my business life, but not so great at getting out there and meeting new people in my personal life. :-\
  • Shop smarter. Shopping is by far my biggest weakness. I really want to learn to be a better thrift shopper. This requires a lot of patience and time. None of which I have enough of.
  • Live a healthier life. I would say I'm generally a very health conscience person. I am really into nutrition and living an all-natural lifestyle. I just want to be even better at it. We only have one body. Shouldn't we take care of it?

If you took the time to read my rant, thank you, you are a saint (Will ;)). Here's to 2013 being the BEST YEAR YET!!!

And because every post needs a photo, and this is a personal post, here's a personal photo of us (yes, even photographers get their photos taken!)...

{Photo of Will & I taken by my friend Carlie at Gabriel Ryan Photographers}