Goals for the New Year!
Ah yes, the predictable "GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR" post. If not for your viewing pleasure, I find it helpful to put write down the changes and improvements I am aiming for to hold myself accountable. Firstly, I wanted to thank all of the sweet people who have supported me in my little adventure so far. The words of encouragement were really all that kept me going at some points. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Perhaps some of these will be a little tough to accomplish without a) selling an organ to afford it and b) crossing sleep off of my to-do list, but I'm definitely going to kick some ass this year. Some are more important than others, but in no real order, here we go.
1) Launch a pretty website. This seems to be paramount when establishing yourself as a "legit" photographer. I will have a nice site with a link to this blog, starting prices, and galleries with my current work for a quick browse. The hardest part about this is creating a clean, easy to navigate site that I feel embodies the feel of my work and where I want to head with it. I'm almost there, but I'm TERRIBLE (fonts and layouts are my enemy) with web design and become really easily frustrated with most website templates. I also want to have a clearly defined brand and style that will appeal to my ideal clients.
2) Comprehensive wedding and portrait packages. Presentation will be key for these, I would like to have a nice looking document that answers frequently asked questions and includes several different options for each type of session. I also would like to offer an option for an album for my brides, which brings me to my next goal...
3) Design and print a sample album for wedding clients. This is a tricky one, not only because I have never done anything like it before, but I would like to incorporate images from the several different weddings I will be VERY busy during the spring and summer, so it will have to happen later in the year. I will definitely need to spend quite a lot of time researching and learning how to make an awesome one and feeling confident enough to offer them to clients.
4) Start a learning series for this blog that highlights my successes and failures as a photographer. Some of my favorite posts from other photographers are those that offer insight into not only the how and why of what they do, but also the stumbles and failures along the way. I like the idea of offering my take on how I've done things so far, changes I have made, and moments of clarity. This may get a little embarrassing if I am to be completely honest with the silly mistakes I have made, but if someone out there is entertained, or learns just a little something from it, it is worth it. I will most likely struggle the most with these posts, as I want to be clear that I will not be coming from a place of superiority or claiming to know that my way is the right way. I still have SO much to learn.
5) Define a step-by-step workflow for each session/wedding for editing, posting, and delivering final products for clients. I have a pretty good system right now, but I would like to see it all written down in a sort of checklist form so I can make sure I am consistent with all of my work and organization.
6) Become consistent and confident with an external and off-camera flash. It is SO important for weddings, especially dimly lit receptions. It takes a lot of time and practice, and I will be blinding Jarad for months to come, much to his dismay I'm sure. :-) In case you missed it, you can find my first attempts with it on Christmas morning here.
7) Expand my lens collection to fit my needs as a portrait photographer and become comfortable switching between them during weddings and portrait sessions according to my surroundings. I'm thinking the 35mm is what I am leaning towards, but JEEZ those things are pricey!
8) Time management: DUN DUN DUN, this is the big one. I found myself overwhelmed last fall with the amount of sessions I took on, and I realized that NEVER having a day off was really taking a toll on me. This year, I have adjusted my prices to reflect the quality of my work (hopefully) and I will likely have a lighter schedule. This was the first step. The second step is carefully planning out what needs to be accomplished when, and hold myself to that schedule, even when I feel like collapsing on my bed upon coming home from work. Oh yeah, on top of photography stuff, I will continue to make sure to spend lots of time with Jarad and my baby girl Luna on long walks around town. :-)
Welp, there it is. Let's see how this year goes!