At the end of every year, I take time out to reflect on my business year as a whole. I think about what I could have done better, what I’m proud of, what I’ve accomplished and then I establish goals for the next year. This past year has been really incredible in so many ways. No I didn’t win any awards or get published in a print magazine but for where I want to be, I’m well on my way to reaching some of my other goals.
Before I get into it though, I realized this is my 400th blog post! WOW! I can’t believe I’ve reached 400! I started a blog back in October 2008 (though I think I deleted a few entries when I went with a real blog so it may only go back to November 2008). So it took 3 years, but I’ve reached 400! What a milestone! It’s fun to go back and read my old entries and see pictures from back then.
This past year was like starting over again with building my business because of my move from Chicago back to Florida. I second shot a bunch of times, shot an elopement, shot one of my own weddings, did some portrait work, and started building a fashion portfolio. I’ve met a ton of other amazing local photographers. We have a really great group here. I’ve met a bunch of really amazing vendors as well.
One of my biggest struggles, however, is trying to find my niche. So many people seem to think that you have to focus on one type of photography but I enjoy SO MUCH the ability to do weddings, fashion, fine art, animals, etc that I don’t want to focus on one type of photography. So instead of deciding to focus on one type of photography, I plan to continue doing what I’ve been doing with the broad spectrum, but with a focus on developing my fine art portfolio. Being as though I’ll have an infant, I try to be somewhat realistic in establishing my goals so as not to make them too aggressive. I also hope to focus on continuing to build my fashion portfolio, but because that is a lot more labor intensive, I may hold off on that until later in the year.
One of my other struggles has been finding my style of photography. I feel like I’ve spent so long trying to mimic the masters that I never really knew what my style was. Being in the fine art photography program at UNF as helped me to develop my style and give me a glimpse of where I want to take things, so I plan to mimic less and develop my style more.
As a side note, there is nothing wrong with mimicking the masters. I believe that that is how you learn to better yourself and your skills, but at some point, you have to spread your wings and fly. You’ll fall… and hit your face… and maybe break a leg… But that’s all part of the process! haha! jk.
I want to start selling my fine art more consistently and entering my work into galleries and shows. I don’t really have any idea how to go about doing that, so I want to focus on doing that next year.
I want to get to a point where I’m blogging 5 days a week. I think I’m usually pretty good about blogging consistently, but since I’ve been pregnant, I may have slacked here and there because of fatigue. Obviously, after our baby comes I will be taking some time off, but once I return from maternity leave, I want to plan to blog 5 days a week, consistently.
I want to do more with the Jacksonville Humane Society through The JRB Foundation. I am still trying to raise the money to file for 501(c)(3) status so I’m hoping that can be an accomplishment in the near future. I have gotten involved in a way that I’m very pleased with but I’d like to start doing something more to continue helping. I have some ideas, but they are secrets 🙂
I’d also like to continue second shooting next year. This past spring, I had jobs pretty much every weekend for, I think it was, 13 weeks straight. I don’t think I’ll do that again, but I would definitely like to continue second shooting. I love working with other photographers and I learn so much when I do.
I’m sure other goals, changes, and focuses will come up as time goes on, but these are going to be the main changes and focuses for next year. The start to the new year will be slow because I’ll be on maternity leave, but I have the whole next year ahead of me!