The year 2016 marked the completion of my third year since my very first photo shoot and my decision to become a Newborn Photographer. And even now, I still feel like this is the best professional decision I have ever made. I love my job and also found a love for Maternity and Children Photography. I am currently serving the Seattle and Eastside area of Washington.
As the year began I sat down and made a list of all the things I wanted to do with my business and personally over the course of 2016. The list ended up being a mile long. LOL But my main goal was to just grow and learn as much as I could.
2016 really turned out to be a great year. I met so many new and amazing clients and continued to work with some pretty special returning clients. For everyone that keeps coming back…You are awesome and THANK YOU. I really think I have the most special and best clients around. Not to mention the sweetest kids and most adorable newborns EVER. I am so lucky.
On the back end though, is where most of my goals lived. This is the area where I feel the most changes happened. In case you are interested in some behind-the-scenes….
Creativity – This has definitely been my favorite part of the year. I have had so many ideas swirling around in my head. For 2017 too and I can’t wait to share them with you. I really refined my vision for my business and my branding. I know where I want to take my business and what I want to bring to you as clients. I am super excited. I really feel like I found my heart’s desire and how I want to run my business. From gorgeous packaging for my product, the types of specialty products I want to offer and the different types of sessions I want to make available to you…yay for the Maternity Progression Series. I know how I want my images to look and really feel like my dreams are becoming a reality. This is so exciting for me.
Education – I feel that this one was my most important goal. Creativity is fun and necessary but education is just as equally important. I am continuing to push myself towards my creative goals. But with that comes a certain level of responsibility that I do not take lightly. Every day I want to learn more about business, lighting, posing, safety, editing etc. Anything and everything I can get my hands on. I want to be the best me I can be and give my best to my clients. Newborn photography is so challenging and wonderful all at the same time. I am holding someone’s new babe in my arms. Someone’s pride and joy. Someone’s reason for being. The most important thing in the world. I do not take that lightly. I never take that for granted. So, education. All the time. Continuously. I have taken so many classes this past year. Newborn Retreats, Maternity retreats, posing classes, lighting classes, editing classes. I have loved them all. But by far the best and most important class I took was an in-person workshop with a highly respected and admired photographer, Kelly Brown. I was so honored to be a part of this class. She taught on Newborn Safety and Posing for Newborn Photographers. I feel like I learned so much during this two day workshop. It was truly amazing and vitally important.
Stepping out of my comfort zone – This part of business is always the hardest for me. I love people but being the center of attention is really something I am not comfortable with. I like to be behind the camera and not in front of it for sure. This year I was approached for two separate conferences. One was the Women’s Inspired Conference at Eastridge Christian Church and the other was Vacation Bible School at the same church. The Women’s Conference was the first one. I was asked if I would be interested in teaching two photography courses to the ladies attending the conference. I was honored to be asked and thought it would be fun. I could pick my own topic and design the class however I wanted. It was a huge undertaking and I thought it would be fun. I was really nervous but I went ahead and agreed. I created the class and taught moms how to use their cameras and how to capture pictures of their own families. I loved it. I am so glad that I did this. I met some amazing women and really had a wonderful time. I heard lots of positive feedback about my class which made me feel pretty good. Over the summer I was asked to come back and teach Photography to the kids at Vacation Bible School. This was a little more involved. I designed a two day class not only for me but for the other gal who would be teaching the morning class as well. It was four days of fun hanging out with all the kids in these classes.
Time Management – This is one of probably my most challenging goals. As many of you know, I have four pretty amazing kids. Three of them are in school. My youngest, my beautiful little girl just turned 3 in October so she is still at home with me during the day. She is high activity and full of spunk. She keeps me on my toes 100% of the time. She is my reason it takes forever to edit a session or get a blog out on time. I swear she has a 6th sense for when I am trying to work. Haha Anyway, I really felt that I made some great strides here. I have set myself a very good schedule and really saw myself being able to stick to it for the majority of the year. This has given me a lot of confidence in my business and helps me feel like I am not forgetting anything and staying organized.
Personally – I have four kids. It is crazy around here most days. I love it. Being a mom is the best thing I have ever done. I do not take this for granted and wouldn’t change it for the world. My family is the most important thing to me. Being present in their lives means everything. So I signed up to be room mom for two kids, I wanted to be there and they loved it. I coached my son’s flag football team because no dads (or parents) would step up and do it. That was REALLY out of my comfort zone. I loved it and learned a lot but I think I will stick with photography. LOL I was team photographer for my son’s Spartan football team this past year too. Definitely more my speed and I absolutely loved it. I love being a part of the kid’s lives. But the biggest thing I did was take a month, yes one whole month, off and give my kids a huge vacation. We drove to Texas and stayed there for three weeks and then drove to Las Vegas for a week and back home. It was a pretty amazing trip and a much needed vacation.
Even though I accomplished a lot last year, I still feel like there is such a long way to go. I have so much I want to do this year. I have some really great events coming up. I want to really be present in my VIP Group and with my clients. I want to keep moving towards my creative vision and brand. I want to be an even better me than I was last year. I am still a member of the Bump Society, now the Motherhood Society, which is a group I am immensely proud of and honored to be a part of. I want to be a great resource for all things motherhood on a personal level. My door is always open. I am really looking forward to 2017!!
I love your maternity photography style here. And that you incorporate yourself into your work. I definitely wish I was in Seattle for my maternity pictures.