2017 Reflections and 2018 Wishes

2017_newborn_photography_collage

WOW! I am floored by what a great year I have had. No, seriously, I am shocked. For the past 2 years I have set goals that I really thought were beyond my reach, and not only did I reach them, I surpassed them! 

For those who don't know me, I started my business officially in October 2015. I have enjoyed photography as a hobby forever and had thought about starting a business for a few years but never had the guts to do it. But, once all of my kids were out of the house I found I had a lot more free time to pursue my hobby so I decided to give it a try. I was teaching middle school at the time so I could only work on weekends and some evenings. I started out shooting mostly families and a few weddings but didn't start shooting newborns until January of 2016. And immediately after that first baby I was hooked!

 My first official newborn :)

My first official newborn :)

And when I say 'hooked' I mean HOOKED. I became obsessed with finding information online about newborn photography and rounded up 15 free portfolio-building newborn sessions. It was crazy but I loved every minute of it. I look back at some of those images and cringe, but I also have a few that are still my favorites. I learned so much in such a short period of time. Meanwhile I was still teaching and shooting families, weddings, SXSW and other events. It was crazy hectic but totally worth it. And it ended up being a little profitable too...which, considering my Etsy addiction, is kind of hard to believe. :D

 I didn't shoot enough newborns in 2016 to fill up the collage, so I included all of my older babies too :)

I didn't shoot enough newborns in 2016 to fill up the collage, so I included all of my older babies too :)

My goals for 2017 were 1) Quit teaching. Check! Thank you Baby Jesus. 2) Shoot 10 weddings. Check! I shot 11. 3) Double the number of newborn sessions from 2016. Check! I shot 46 newborns in 2016 (40 sessions with some twins and triplets). In 2017 I shot 86 newborns in 80 sessions. So I exactly doubled the number of sessions, which is freaky, but AWESOME! 

I know it sounds dumb, and no one really cares, but I truly am humbled and honored that every one of my clients has trusted me with their precious babies and with their wedding day memories. I love my job SO much, and it wouldn't be possible without y'all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

So for next year I'm pushing the limits of my goals again and I'm putting it down here for all to see. 1) I want to double my newborn sessions this year. Yup, that's right, I want to shoot 160 newborn sessions in 2018! That's 13.3 sessions a month or 3-4 a week. That's totally do-able. And I still want to see all of my babies coming back for milestone sessions and cake smashes. And don't forget the maternity sessions and lots of Fresh 48 sessions. So basically I am focusing on babies, babies, and more babies. I will still do a few wedding and of course the dreaded fall mini sessions, but I want more babies dammit! :D 2) I would love to get a studio. I think it may be more of a 2019 goal, but I'm just putting it out there, because if I can do it in 2018 that would be super cool. If anyone knows of a south/central location that's actually affordable (HA), let me know. Even with a studio I think I would still travel to client's homes for the newborn sessions because it is so less stressful for new parents and even more-so for families with older kiddos. But a studio outside of my home would be amazing for everything else. 3) I have a few more mini goals for organizing and streamlining business tasks, advancing my photography skills, and becoming more profitable, but I think I've babbled enough for now.

Thank you again to all of my clients, followers and friends. I obviously couldn't do this without you! Now go make some babies and help me kick ass in 2018!