I know I say this every year, but 2012 was an incredible year. We had our ups and downs (ups being giving birth to Carly and downs being Riley’s passing away) but in all, 2012 was a great year. As usual, I don’t have much time to write about all of the amazing things that took place this year, but I wanted to post some of my favorite pictures from 2012 and let you know of some upcoming changes.
My business has been my baby for the last 5 years. Through starting up to starting over, it has come a long way. For years, my goal was to shoot more weddings, do more portraits, etc. This year was quite different though. With the birth of our first born, Carly Rae, I decided to cut back on how much I shot. I only wanted to shoot twice per month, but, in my usual way of focusing on doing more, more, more (like the Target song) I got carried away and literally, last weekend was the first weekend I didn’t have a wedding and/or portrait session…. or anything else scheduled for that matter. I look back at this past fall season and I’m somewhat disappointed in myself because I didn’t do any of the things I imagined doing with Colby and Carly because I was so busy working. We didn’t go to the zoo, or collect pine cones and acorns to wash up, bake, and decorate, we didn’t carve a pumpkin for Halloween, instead we made a quick trip to a pumpkin patch for photo’s sake. We didn’t go to the beach to just enjoy the cooler weather or take more walks around where we live. Isn’t that what life is about? Isn’t like about enjoying the people you love and care about? Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly blessed to have had so much work and have the clients I have, but I shouldn’t over book myself to where I can’t enjoy time with my family on the weekends.
So, with all of that said, this year, I’m going to focus on some new goals.
- The first goal is to not overbook myself. I’m going to go down to one wedding per month, though I might take a second here and there since the summer months are usually slow. This will allow me to not only focus on providing the best client service, but to spend more time away from editing at my computer.
- Next, I want to shoot more portrait sessions. It used to be that I preferred doing weddings to portraits, but this past year, I had so much fun doing portrait sessions, that I’d like to build up that part of my business. So I’m going to focus more efforts on that.
- I really want to shoot more fine art. There is so much beauty in the world, even in the ugliest of things. I want to be a better fine art photographer. I want to put some work in some galleries and maybe even sell a few pieces. So, I’m going to spend some time shooting fine art. I even want to just set aside time to flex my art brain and make it grow. I want to make something of nothing. That takes a lot of effort and creativity and I want to nurture that desire so I can be a better artist.
- Earlier this year, I started Jen Shannon Design Studio. It’s an online boutique that includes girls clothing. Due to my lack of time, I want to spend some time working to build up my inventory and promote my Etsy store. You’d be amazed how much time it takes to do that kind of stuff.
- I have a life and living blog I’ve had for a couple of years that I’d like to spend more time building.
- Lastly, I’m going to take the time to breathe and keep my head above water. That means spending more time saying “no” and less time saying “yes.” As much as I love what I do, I’ve felt spread so thin. I want to take Carly to the park during the day or up and go to the beach. I want to take her on playdates and invest my time in what she wants to do. I want to take an afternoon snuggle nap with her or even paint her little toe nails. I can’t do that if I’m booked every weekend and spend every week editing, blogging, updating my website, facebooking, etc. I can’t say I speak for other photographers, but I know for myself, if I’m shooting on the weekends, it’s usually one or both days and then M-F is spent editing and such. So you literally work 7 days a week in between all of the other things that need to get done. Again, not complaining, but I don’t want to lose sight of why this job and work is so amazing.
So, that’s my short list. I hope I can look back this time next year and say I’ve really done all of those things. And maybe, just maybe, baby #2 will be at least in the oven by the end of 2012. I’ll keep my fingers crossed but we need to see how things go. Until next year, have a wonderful new year and I look forward to 2013 with you!