For those who might not follow my wedding photography blog, I wanted to be sure I shared this here as well.
I can’t believe we’re at the half way point for 2013. So much has happened this year and I’m just thrilled with the direction my business is taking. In case you don’t remember, at the beginning of the year I sat down and listed out 30 goals for my business in 2013. I always share my goals here on my blog as a way to hold myself accountable to them and to mark my progress along the way. Every quarter, I like to sit down and see where I am with them. So this is the second quarterly check in of 2013! Below is the list of my 2013 business goals and a short recap of where I stand in relation to each one so far this year.
1. Read Film is Not Dead – DONE!
2. Purchase a used film camera and start shooting film for personal projects… with the hopes of eventually integrating film into my client work – I bought my Contax 645 medium format camera a few months ago but I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t shot with it yet. Spring wedding season didn’t afford me much time to experiment, but hopefully I’ll be able to shoot with it in the next few months since I have some downtime in July + August. Film is definitely something I plan on integrating into my personal work this fall – and hopefully a few weddings this fall as well!
3. Attend WPPI in 2013. Get inspired + implement what I learn to better my business – DONE! I found a new album company at WPPI that I absolutely love, so I am currently offering this to my wedding clients. I’ve implemented some of the things I learned at WPPI, which has helped with my workflow and office administration. Overall, it was a great experience and helped reassure me that I’m on the right track.
4. Keep working on my off-camera flash technique – Although I haven’t been thrilled with my OCF results thus far, I just bought a taller light stand in an effort to improve and create more interesting, dynamic reception images for my clients. I also just registered for the Justin & Mary Lighting Intensive in Baltimore in September… I am SO excited for this!
5. Have my wedding photography work published in print (Southern Weddings, Charleston Weddings Magazine, etc.) – not yet… but I’ve submitted my work to Southern Weddings and Charleston Weddings Magazine so my fingers and toes are crossed…
6. Have my pet photography work published in print (Lowcountry Dog, Maryland-Virginia Dog, etc.) – I’ve had work featured in Lowcountry Dog this year, which is great!
7. Have my wedding photography work featured on Style Me Pretty – not yet…
8. Receive Best of The Knot 2013 honors – not yet…
9. Shoot with purpose. Slow down, think about composition + styling, analyze the environment + light, focus on quality shots – I feel like I do this really well with my pet photography, although recently I have started to feel that my shooting is becoming “stale”. I need to really practice more. I’ll be the first to admit that the wedding side of my business has completely overtaken my life and I haven’t gotten to focus on my pet photography as much as I’d like. I hope to find a good balance soon that will allow me to keep pushing my creativity when it comes to pets.
10. Continue to second shoot as often as possible – Although I’m taking less and less second shooting jobs now that I’m so busy with my own work, I still make time to shoot with friends and those who have helped me along the way. Recently, I’ve second shot with Paige Winn, Caroline Ro, Shannon Noel, and Gayle Brooker. I’ll be shooting with Paige + Caroline this summer as well.
11. Book/shoot 18 weddings in 2013; book 25-30 weddings for 2014 – so far, I’ve booked 20 weddings for 2013 and I hope to book a few more for this fall before it’s all said and done. So far for 2014, I’ve booked 7 weddings and I’m waiting on 3 contracts to come in the mail to bring the grand total to 10 weddings booked for 2014 already!
12. Integrate Preveal into both businesses – I sold my first pet photography canvas cluster using this software last month. I absolutely love how I can show clients exactly how their wall art will look before they buy!
13. Participate in at least 2 styled shoots – I recently participated in a styled shoot for A Lowcountry Wedding and it was FABULOUS. I hope to organize another one on my own this fall.
14. Continue to build friendships within the wedding industry + possibly start a local Charleston vendor meetup group – I’ve become really close with a few other wedding professionals here in Charleston and I’m so blessed to work with such amazing, genuinely nice, talented people.
15. Constantly look for ways to work more efficiently + streamline my workflow to decrease turnaround time and improve the client experience – My turnaround time is pretty darn QUICK! I’m consistently turning around weddings in 4-5 days and portrait sessions in 1-2 days.
16. Work on shooting in Kelvin white balance – This is something I need to keep working on throughout the year, as I get more comfortable. I know it would save me a ton of time in post-processing.
17. Create promo videos for both my wedding + pet photography businesses – not yet…
18. Implement office hours… and stick to them! – I’m ashamed to say that this hasn’t happened. In fact, I may be even more wrapped up in my business than ever before. I hope that one of these days I get to the point where I can set boundaries and stick with them. While I’m still building my business, I still feel like I always need to be hustling.
19. Blog three times per week using the blog calendar system… from now on, you’ll see posts on Monday, Wednesday + Friday on both blogs – Like I mentioned earlier, my pet photography blog has been neglected and I know I need to make the time for it again. I haven’t blogged nearly as often as I’d like.
20. Continue to mentor/educate new photographers and answer questions whenever I can – I continue to help others whenever I can by answering emails, writing “For Photographers” blog posts on my pet photography blog, and I’m even starting to offer mentoring/coaching sessions for aspiring pet photographers! I haven’t had time to work out any details on this, but I will use my downtime in the next few months to do that, I promise!
21. Start training Brian to become my second shooter. Yup – I’m hoping to make this a permanent thing for my business and Brian is totally on board! – As I mentioned last time we did this check in, Brian changed his mind about this so he won’t be second shooting with me consistently. Kinda bummed, but also grateful that I’ve found some amazing second shooters to work with here in Charleston.
22. Create strong relationships with a select few wedding vendors/venues that attract the same types of clients I do and add them to my Bride Guide for referrals – I have a Vendor Guide that I send to my brides with a list of vendors I LOVE and I’ve been lucky enough to connect with some amazing vendors who are sending me some AMAZING brides.
23. Have a custom Showit website created for my wedding photography business – This project is currently under way. I have a new wedding photography logo and now I’m waiting on stationery design. The final step is the custom website. I can’t WAIT to see what Ravyn comes up with!
24. Shoot a stylized engagement session – not yet…
25. Work with local rescues/shelters to focus photography efforts on difficult to adopt pets – I photographed some adoptable dogs for the Carolina Coonhound Rescue earlier this year and hope to work with some other rescues in the area soon. I honestly haven’t had much time to devote to volunteering so far this year, but hopefully I’ll find a way to start getting back into it during the second half of the year.
26. Order sample albums and guest books for my wedding clients – DONE!
27. Attend at least one photography workshop (online or in person) – I just signed up for the Justin & Mary Lighting Intensive in Baltimore this September and I can’t wait! I also registered for the Film is Not Dead workshop next year in Charlotte. Although it’s over a year away, this is a huge step towards integrating film into my wedding work and I am SO excited for this workshop next fall!
28. Dedicate one day a week to professional development/education – With wedding season in full swing, it’s been a full-time job just keeping up with editing, blogging + emailing. Since July + August are slow for me, I’ll definitely be carving out some time during these months to dig into the professional development and educational stuff I’ve missed out on recently.
29. Consistently happy clients – always working on creating the ultimate client experience for my couples – I place such high importance on this goal and I think I’ve been able to create a great experience for all of my clients so far this year.
30. Shoot a personal project focused on pit bulls – I haven’t started this yet, but definitely want to!
For being half way through 2013, I’d say I’m pretty impressed with everything I’ve been able to accomplish so far. This year has been so busy, but I know all of the time I’m spending on my business will be worth it in the end. Until next time… adios!