Woah woah woah! 2016 was ...a whole lot of things. Crazy, yes, but also beautiful, hopeful, and overall, a wonderful year. THANK YOU to all of my incredible clients that trusted me to enter your lives for a little while to preserve some memories of this season of your life. Whether it was your wedding day, your beautiful pregnancy, or your sweet babies, I hope that when you grow old and wrinkly, your photos will bring you right back to that day and those moments with the ones you love most.
To reflect on 2016, I've put together some of my very best images from the year – a handful of favorites from each session. I had 44 sessions this year: 3 weddings, 5 engagements, 2 seniors, 4 mamas-to-be, 9 newborns, and 23 families. I think that was the perfect amount for this work at home mama. Next year, I have six weddings on my calendar, and I am thrilled for each and every one! I love photographing couples, and I think engagements are my absolute favorite. It was a big year for learning too, so I thought I'd share a bit more.
5 things I learned about myself in 2016
1 // Balance is a unicorn and everyone is still searching for it. I'm constantly striving for some semblance of a work/life balance, and I've come to realize it doesn't exist. Even if the stars align and everything seems balanced, it doesn't stick around for long. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do – this little biz of mine makes my heart sing. But my oh my, I love my sweet Ella more than the world and I am so glad I made the choice to stay home with her, even if she makes me crazy sometimes. Autism is more than challenging some days, but she is improving and learning so quickly, and I want to be home to see every single thing. This year, I've learned it's okay to say no to work that doesn't fill me up. It's okay to ask for help, and to outsource help if I'm overstressed. And it's okay to ask my husband to take over parental duties for a bit so I can have some time away after particularly hard days. Wine helps too. :)
2 // Community over competition. Last spring, I signed up for a photography marketing class with Jenna Kutcher, and it was my best investment all year. I think my biggest takeaway was the relationships formed with other photographers. Having friends with similar businesses and life situations is priceless. For me, this means someone to bounce ideas off of, share triumphs and challenges, and even swap head shots. For my clients, this means if I'm unavailable, I'm happy to recommend another photographer in our area, because I live by the golden rule and I believe a rising tide lifts all boats!
3 // Mini sessions are awesome. Fall colors are the perfect backdrop for family photos, and everyone else thinks so too. Seriously! SO many families wanted photos this fall, that I couldn't possibly fit them all into my available weekends. So I gave mini sessions a try, and fell in love. Parents loved that they only had to keep their kids' attention for 20 minutes, and I loved that I didn't have to turn people away. This year, I'm planning more weekends in summer and fall for minis — let me know if you want to be on my early email list!
4 // I need an off season. To reflect. To work on my business behind the scenes. To get inspired. To relax. To remember what's important and drive my work and my soul in the best direction for the upcoming year. To start and finish home projects. Which leads me to my next point...
5 // Printing is a priority. Truth: I'm terrible at printing photos. I STILL don't have a baby book of photos for Ella, and she's 3 1/2. Every winter I intend to go through my files, choose favorites, edit them, and have them printed into books, but every winter slips by. And now I'm years behind and have literally thousands of photos to dig through. Worse, I had a couple of friends lose months worth of photos from their hard drives this year. Print your photos! Like, right away. I'll be offering print options to my clients this year as a direct result of my own procrastination, hahaha.
Lastly, thank you to all of my clients, friends, family, and anyone else who peeks at my work now and then! I truly love what I do, and am so grateful for the many people I've been lucky to meet along the way. 2017, I'm ready for you!