Wow! This year has been such an amazing adventure.
Now that the wedding season has finally slowed down I’ve taken some time off during the holidays to spend time with loved ones and to reflect on the amazing year that I have had. I honestly am so grateful for all of the amazing couples I’ve met and had the honour of photographing as well as all the talented wedding vendors I have met along the way.
Thank you to everyone who has trusted me with capturing their most important memories. I can’t wait to see what life brings next for you! You’re all such amazing people and I couldn’t have asked for better clients.
And for my friends and family; thank you for all your support and encouragement as I grow my business. It means the world to me to have people that believe in me and allow me to do what makes my heart sing. I would not be here without you!
The best part about having your own business is being able to shape it into who you are and what you want it to be. I’m only two years new to all of this but I can boldly say that I am proud of myself for my accomplishments and can’t wait to make this coming year even better than the last. To do this, I’ve taken some time to think about ways that I can improve not just my business but myself that I’ve compiled into the list below.
Sharing this with you will hopefully help hold some accountability to these things as well as give you a glimpse into what is to come for 2018.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years!
My Top Ten Goals for 2018:
1.) Education – Doing online courses.
I have learned so much in the past two years of having my own business and am so excited to continue to better myself as a photographer. The process never really stops as there are so many facets of education that are beneficial to wedding photography like technical (lighting, technical, equipment), creative (inspiration, design, composition), marketing (social media, website, blog), business (accounting, work flow) and many others! It’s a good thing I love homework.
Winter is notoriously a quiet season for photographers so I already have prepared a few courses to start in the new year including the brand new (and Canadian!) Refresh Workshop by Hugh Whitaker and Jennifer Moher and five Creative Live classes. I honestly can’t wait to start!
Fellow Photogs—do you have any other recommendations? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
2.) Unplug – Read more books.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up reading articles, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram feeds, and getting lost online. I will be the first one to praise what the wonderful world wide web has brought us but it has seriously been taking away from other things I love to do, like reading.
Let me tell you, I used to be one of those annoying kids who did extra book reports in elementary school solely because I loved to lose myself in a book. Where did that go? Why am I spending more time perusing the net instead of taking some quiet time for myself? There is just something about the feeling of physically turning the pages, the scent of the paper, and the imagination that is inspired from words written on paper.
It’s not just an escape either, reading helps improve vocabulary, literacy and creativity. So for 2018 I’m making a list of books that I’m going to read throughout the year. Have any to add to my list? Leave me a comment! I’d love outside suggestions!
3.) Personal Projects – Hone skills in other areas of photography.
Photographing couples and families will always be my preferred subject of choice but I also have a love for other areas too. This year I plan on exploring some other areas of my field and take on a few personal projects to perfect my technical skills and try out a few new tricks/techniques that I can apply to my business.
4.) Family & Friends – Photographing my own life.
I am a strong advocate for getting yearly family photos done. So many things can change in one year and these are our memories not just to proudly display on our walls but to pass down to future generations. I need to do this more. I need to document my own life and family even when my arms are tired from carrying gear around all day or my eyeballs feel like falling out from editing. When I’m busy photographing people I often forget about myself and need to make a better effort this year to make memories for myself, too!
5.) Volunteer – Using my photography for good.
There is so much hate and sadness in the world right now that I often find myself getting lost in it. In 2017 I made a conscious effort to be kinder, to make an effort to smile at strangers and help people in the easiest ways like holding the door longer, stopping to help someone who’s dropped something, etc. It’s the simple things that could make someone’s day, you never really know what is going on in their lives and showing just an ounce of kindness can speak volumes.
While I will always do this, I’d love to expand on it in 2018 by offering my time to make a difference. Whether that is photographing animals in need of loving homes, or families who might not have the means to afford a family portrait, I want to do something to help. If you have any great causes, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
6.) Online Presence – Website/Social Media.
This year I want to be more present online. I want my clients to get to know me, to feel more of a connection to what I’m posting, or sharing whether it’s on my blog, Facebook, or Instagram. This year you’ll be getting more of a glimpse into things that I’m passionate about beyond wedding photography.
It’s so easy to feel lost on what content to put out on social media when we are mentally wired to feel more validated by the number of likes or comments—it can be intimidating. But those things aren’t a measure of anyone’s worth. Who we are as human beings is and that isn’t measured in numbers!
I’ve already made a few end of the year upgrades on my website including a new feature to add comments on my blog posts as well as a shiny new sidebar to organize what you’re looking for. Keep your eyes out for several more changes coming up in January and if there’s anything you want to see, let me know!
7.) Personal – Creating a more positive environment.
This is more of a personal goal than a business one, but the two go hand in hand much like my other points so far. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but I have noticed the negative impact some people have on my life and it’s time to be rid of those toxic influences. Life is far too short to spend feeling hurt or neglected because some people are cruel human beings and there are far more wonderful people out there who deserve my time.
And speaking of which a part of this goal is to spend more quality time with my friends & family. I’ll be ringing in the New Year with a handful of my closest friends and am so excited to see what adventures this year brings!
8.) Blog – Write more.
This is tied into a few parts of my list, but deserves its own spot because it’s something I really want to work on this year. It’s so easy to fall behind on this part of the website and so difficult to stay relevant, but one of the easiest ways to show off my work (and share a glimpse into who I am).
Starting in January, I plan on catching up on blogging all of my work from this summer/fall. I want to have a better online presence this year and have plans not just to use this outlet as a portfolio but as a place to offer education, along with what I’m up to throughout the year. Have something you’d like me to write about? Leave me a note below and I’ll add it to my list!
9.) Networking – Get to know other industry professionals.
This was my second summer photographing weddings and I have been so fortunate to meet some amazing wedding vendors from Niagara! There are so many great talents in our region and I’m lucky to get to work alongside them.
There are a few groups that meet during the week that I would love to be more a part of. Last year it was difficult because I was working another job but I plan on making it out to them this year and meeting some new faces. There is nothing greater than sharing experiences and knowledge with your peers. People are naturally stronger together and it’s so important to embrace community over competition like the online group I’ve been apart of called The Rising Tide encourages everyone to do. “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Want to chat? Let’s go for coffee!
10.) Self care – making time to focus on myself.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in work but what we often forget that we need time for ourselves to recharge. Self-care can encompass a lot of different aspects of our lives and rather than make the painfully common goal of “losing weight” or “starting a diet”, I wanted to make a promise to myself that I will be HEALTHIER and HAPPIER in 2018.
Those words can represent different things to everyone, what do they mean to you? I hope that this time next year when I review this list I’ll have figured that out! Until then, please enjoy a recap of all of my amazing brides & grooms I’ve had the honour of photographing this year.
Wow! It’s been an incredible year. I am so humbled by the love and support I’ve received from my friends, family and most importantly my clients who have honoured me with the opportunity to tell their love stories. I cannot thank you enough and wish you all the best as you start the new year as husband and wife. Can’t wait for what 2018 brings and so grateful for being able to do what sets my soul on fire.Happy New Year!(PS: don't forget to watch in HD!)
Posted by Lorie Marie Photography on Friday, December 29, 2017