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2018 // A Review, Looking Forward

Holy s**t! I haven’t posted here since the end of August, which is a testament to how insane the last half of 2018 was for me and this business. Weddings nearly every weekend, and session after session in between. 2018 was my first really full year of shooting weddings, which was a huge learning experience in so many ways. My capacity was stretched and tested more than ever, and at times it didn’t feel great! Especially when you throw a couple of kids, a very patient boyfriend, and declining mental health in the mix - it makes for some pretty crazy months. I’ll admit that there was hardly any balance and that most days in October and November were a struggle on all fronts.

With that being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that 2018 was one of my favorite years, both personally and professionally. I am so proud of the work that me and my incredible sister, Olivia, did. I’m so thrilled with every wedding, client, family, stationery suite, design project, online interaction, and connection made. This year, I had more people reaching out via social media (thanks for introducing stories, Insta!) to talk about my photography, my brand, and to connect with me as the person behind it all - and that felt awesome. It can be really isolating at times, doing all the behind the scenes work alone. So to know that I have a whole crew out there cheering me on… keeps me afloat some days!

One Photo from Every shoot in 2018

So, 2019! I’m ready as HELL for it. I’m ready to put what I’ve learned to the test, and set more boundaries so I can avoid feeling as overwhelmed as I did by the end of 2018. I’m ready to celebrate with my couples and families through some of the happiest days of their lives. I’m ready to bring my absolute best self and incorporate new ideas and creativity into every wedding and shoot. I’m ready to not just capture the things I’m “supposed” to, but to look at everything I do with a fresh set of eyes - as if it’s brand new. 2018 was about hitting my mark, and 2019 is about hitting it but in my own style!

Some updates! I’m no longer accepting stationery clients for 2019. I booked up without even mentioning that side of my business within the last 6 months or so, and I’m planning on keeping stationery a smaller portion of the work I do moving forward. To anyone getting married in 2020 who wants to be on my radar, please send me a message 1 year away from your date so I can get you on my calendar!

Availability - I have some Sundays in June, July, August, and September but for the most part I am booked for 2019. I intentionally left a lot of weekends to take on 1-hour sessions and engagements all summer because I literally forgot about leaving gaps for those in 2018. Please reach out about 2020! I already have several inquiries in every month for that year - which I’m like… in awe of. Ladies who aren’t engaged yet… get your guy and let him know that shits getting serious for most wedding vendors already - yikes!

Finally, I have some SUPER exciting news! I hired an assistant to help with some of the administrative tasks in my business. Her name is Jenna and she will be the one responding to inquiries, helping schedule things, sending files, along with lots of other things! In order to be more creative and exited about everything I take on in 2019, I needed to offload some of the things that bring me down. For now, we’re figuring out how to do all of this together so thanks for your patience! It seems to be pretty seamless right now but it’s definitely tricky to hand over such personal parts of my business to someone else.

So thank you SO much to every person who supported me this year. To my patient family and friends, an EXTRA big thank you for making is as easy as possible to do what I love. To everyone who took care of our kiddos while Dom and I both did what we were passionate about weekend after weekend, thank you for being our village. To Dom, thank you for pulling the wagon along with me, even when the wheels fell off. To my kids, thanks for understanding as much as you possibly can and for loving me even on the crazy days. To my sister, thank you for doing this by my side with love, patience, and sometimes more skill than I have. To my clients, thank you for understanding that I have a million moving parts in my business, and for being patient during this year of insurmountable growth. I hope that you always felt cared for and prioritized!

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2019.

2017, Looking Forward

January went by so fast, guys, and now here we are in the second week of February already! I had a hard time coming up with goals and to-do's for 2017 at the end of 2016 and beginning of this year, but now that I have a better idea of how this year is going to look for me according to my clients and projects, I'm feeling really excited and optimistic about my business! So if you're reading this and wondering what I'm writing about here, the answer is: I don't really know! I'd like to start blogging more of my thoughts and journey as a business owner and creative in the early days of my business, so I'm hoping this is the first of many posts with an inside look at what's going on for me.

I still don't have any major goals for the year, but I do have some ideas that excite me that I'd like to start working on very soon! Here are a few things that have come up for me lately (with a few photos of me that my sister, Olivia, took on New Year's Day):

newyear-28.jpg

I have so many designs that either got tossed in the beginning stages of a project or are a really popular concept right now that I'd like to recycle for future clients. These will be at a reduced rate and will be semi-custom, so only certain aspects of the design can be changed. This line will be made up of designs for baby and bridal showers, adult and childrens' birth parties, and save the date cards. I just photographed some past designs last week so that I can then figure out how I want to list these on my website, figure out pricing and what will be customizable on each design!

Last fall I started designing some vendor outreach packets that would hopefully inspire relationships between me and other wedding professionals in the area. Well, they were never produced or sent out. So I think I might return to that this summer to get them out this fall.

I really want to establish myself in birth photography this year, so I've been shamelessly plugging myself into mom groups and posting on social media to generate some interest. A birth client of mine is due any day now, so I'm really excited to have another chance at experiencing this special session (it sounds so dumb calling birth photography a "session"!)

In the past, I've considered having a collection of semi-custom wedding invitation suites, and it's something I haven't totally ruled out, but as I think about it more now I've decided that I want to keep my wedding stationery mostly custom. I love partaking in styled shoots with other creatives, so I think I'll offer the designs I create for those shoots to only one couple at a reduced rate

I'm planning on taking a look at my pricing and increasing it, but also adding prints to the package and reducing the digital gallery files to only web-resolution. I want to add more value to what I deliver to my clients as well as ensure my work is ending up displayed in their homes. I posted on Instagram about this recently, and ever since then I can't get it off my mind. Now it's just a matter of when! I'll be publicizing this change well in advance, so that anyone who wants to grab a shoot at my current rate has the chance!

So yeah, that's what's happening in my mind right now! Well, not all of it, but some of the main parts. It feels good to have these things written down (and not just in my personal notebook) because now I feel really compelled to set them into action, especially since my client projects are about to ramp up within the next month! I'd like to get all of this in the works before then so that I can focus on my clients and design.

If you made it to the end of this, congrats!! Now go set some goals of your own, share them with the world, and do. the. work. (Insert a hand clap emoji where those periods are)

Xoxo, Emma