2018 // reflecting back on the past year in business
Oh 2018, where do I even begin with you?? It was such a good, hard, interesting year… I think that sums it up. Business wise, things were good and though I shot 5 less weddings in 2018 than I did in 2017 - I somehow felt just as swamped, at times overwhelmed, and just as busy. It was weird!
I remember when I wrote my 2017 Year in Review post around this time last year, I mentioned that one of the biggest changes my business had seen was the growth of my editing style! I feel like that has continued to morph and sprout new leaves through the year of 2018. It’s funny how something like that can be an ever-evolving thing. Where my editing style currently stands is a spot I really, really love, feel drawn to, and get inspired by! And lucky for me, my awesome couples and clients love it too!
I early into 2018 came up with a blogging system, and a goal of blogging at minimum - twice per week! My blogging days were typically Wednesday, and Thursday…and I am oh so flippin’ proud to say that minus a few times here and there…when life got busy, work swamped me, or it was a holiday.. I kept up with that consistent blogging schedule!! You can absolutely expect more of that in the new year!!
Outside of editing and blogging, I’m not sure my business saw a ton of change behind the scenes! It was a year of consistency and a year of steadiness, which let me tell ya - are so so good. Nothing beats that feeling of contentedness and comfort, especially as a business owner!
Now you’re probably wondering…. will 2019 be all steady, consistent and such? Maybe, I mean, hopefully of course, pending on what you mean, or what category we are referring to. But, I DO plan on implementing some new stuff this year. A few things 2019 has in store are -
A website overhaul!
- Aren’t these never-ending? I mean really!!
Finishing the design of my home office!
- Ask me how long I’ve been saying that haha.
Taking my client experience up a few notches!
-I’m all about non-stiff posing, and the highest compliment I’m fortunate to receive often is how natural my couples look in their photos. But for 2019, I want to take that up a notch!!!
Offering educational stuff to other photographers, and possibly mentoring!
- This is a big one, and it’s one I’m SUPER excited about. The number of times I’m asked if I offer this has done nothing but reveal time and time again to me, that I need to, and the more I think about it, the more I want to!! Details coming soon!
- Remember when I said I came pretty close to hitting the mark of consistently blogging twice per week, each week? I’ll be continuing that this year with the weddings and shoots of course, but also more educational stuff for the bride, and for the creative/photographer!
More on all that will be coming soon! I might even do up a blog post about the 2019 goals and plans, and go into more detail on them!!
Let’s talk more about 2018 though!! There were a total 18 beautiful weddings, and man alive, I lost count of how many cases of goosebumps I got… how many times I welled up with tears, and how many endless times I laughed like crazy! My couples, their families and friends, the thought and detail they put into creating their wedding days, the joy of it all - I love it so so so so so soooooo much.
I say it every chance I get and I’ll continue to do the same - couples sessions…..engagement, anniversary, etc… THEY GIVE ME LIFE. Weddings are the obvious favorite - but engagement/anniversary sessions? That’s 2 hours of uninterrupted FUN TIMES with couples I adore, and it’s seriously the best!! 2018 housed 24 of these sessions!
Just like last year, while my primary focus is couples and weddings - I still always take on a few lifestyle and family type sessions per year! I suppose that’s a difference worth mentioning actually! Beginning in 2018 - and likely to stay this way… I only accepted this type of session for existing/prior clients, as well as my couples themselves who went from engaged, married,…and now starting a family! I learned that in order to give my very best to my couples and to the weddings I take on each year, I had to limit the other sessions that I do. No big deal whatsoever of course, but I do enjoy the few I do, and definitely enjoyed the few I did in 2018! Minus a few lifestyle based headshot sessions, I did 10 other sessions ranging from families to baby bumps, to just-because shoots!
LET’S TALK STYLED SHOOTS!!!! 2018 was like, THE year for those for me!! I could go on and on and ON about styled shoots - They are SUCH a unique opportunity to collab with other industry gurus and plan these amazing elaborate, and/or beautifully simple shoots!! It is SUCH a joy! Over the course of 2018, I got to be a part of 3 big styled shoots, and 1 small and simple one and wowwwwwzers, just look at this beauty before your eyeballs!
First up came a huge collaboration with venue, The Barn at Riverbend! Along with the impeccable style and taste of Heather with Heart + Soul Floral Design Studio - this dreammmm styled shoot was a GO! Other vendors who made this shoot all that it was include: Emily Hart Bridal, Hello Lovely, Ultrapom, BBJ Linen, and McLain’s Bakery!
Below are a few of my favorites to give you an idea of it all, but if you want to see more, just check out this link! - A Modern Woodland Wedding Inspiration.
Shortly after that dream of a day, I partnered up with another outrageously unreal and breathtaking venue for another styled shoot! Wildcliff Weddings & Events is….. well, a D R E A M. Their property is simply umatched!! And when you combine it with the makings and stylings and sheer-masterminded(ness) of vendors like A1 Party and Event Rental, Pretty Little Things, The Ink Cafe, Walt & Lo, Peachtree Catering and Ironhorse Hotel and Restaurant, Tiger Garden Floral, Belle Mairee Bridal Boutique, Molly’s Jewelry Design, and Once Upon a Bride (whew that was a mouthful!) - you know for certain that this day is going to shinnnneeeee.
And shine it did!!! (after a MASSIVE storm and downpour…hahaha). Below are a few of my favorites from this awesome day, to see more, go here! - Honey Themed Stylized Wedding at Wildcliff Event Space.
My last big styled shoot for 2018 came after a lot of brainstorming with the lead coordinator of 1890 Events! Chelsea and I had been dreaming up this shoot for a while, and we wanted it to happen at none other than 1890’s SECOND property (what what!) - Oh yes… This exquisite and highly sought after venue now has two spots where you can get married and both are equally breathtaking!
For this Old Italian themed wedding, we did so at 1890’s, The Fields. A spot so perfect you’ll struggle to lift your jaw off the floor! This location combined with the pros who made it a home run are - Chelsea Kelly Glassware and Rentals, Village Gardens, Fabulous Frocks, Bella Bridesmaids, White Carpet Bride, and PhotoBuzz.
Below are a few of my favorites from this gorgeous day, and like before, if you want to see even more, just follow this link! - Blue & White, Old Italian Stylized Wedding.
When someone like Nellie Sparkman - a well known and genius Kansas City wedding planner asks you if you’d like to shoot a “blooming apple orchard tablescape and details design” - you A: stop listening after only a few words because you already know your answer. And B: blurt out a YES real fast. This is basically what I did when Nellie Sparkman did in fact ask me that very question!!
This little shoot was as simple as simple gets considering that it was myself, Nellie, the awesome Ashlie of Blue Bouquet Floral & Event Design with Nellie’s stylizing and stationary, Ashlie’s floral and design skills, a few props from the fabulous, Ultrapom … all out in a BEAUTIFUL field of blooming apple trees at one of my favorite places - Weston Red Barn Farm. That was it. And that as all that was needed!!! This little inspiration shoot turned out to be one of my favorite, and most memorable things I’ve ever photographed!!
Also…….when one of the sweetest souls you know, a person who is without a doubt a very, very dear friend, like Miss Mary with Cardinal Cake Co asks if you’d be willing to come spend an afternoon with her as she stylizes an in-house Afternoon Tea Experience, and have you shoot said tea… You don’t hesitate. You AGREE! I’m so so so glad I could go out to Mary’s beautiful wedding showroom and document this gorgeousness! Mary is a methodical genius - as in, she pours everything into everything she does. This Afternoon Tea Experience is no different!! These can be booked y’all, for a gal pal afternoon, for a small party, for anything!
How about one more little something that I quickly said YES to this past year and am oh so glad I did!? Little miss Amy with Victorian Gardens Floral Design hosts this incredible workshops a few times each year where you can sign up and go learn how to make a wreath, or a bouquet, or a centerpiece etc. And let me tell you something - you’re sitting there learning from one of the absolute best in the business! This centerpiece workshop was held at a new local venue! The Delaware Event Space (ummm can we say best of both worlds - urban, gorgeous, industrial…with NO headache of city traffic or parking issues!?) When Amy asked if I’d tag along and shoot one of her workshops, I had to say yes! This was SUCH a fun experience!!
Two more random, but OH SO FUN things from 2018 were that among my many venue visits I try to do each and every year - some updated property photos came out of two stops! The Barn at Riverbend and The Journey Home - two equally unique venues around this beautiful slice of country we live in!
The Barn at Riverbend….. it’s nooks and crannies that will delight the most curious, it’s vast fields, cute little buildings, crazy-gorgeous barn and so much more! This venue is so awesome!
Andddddddd The Journey Home! A place I’d live…. in a heartbeat. From the rustic white barn, to the stately two-story home (that oh I don’t know…you can get ready in, tie the knot in, get married in the front yard of, sleep overnight at, sit on the 3-seasons back porch of, and so much more!!). This place just keeps the inspiration a-flowing!
To end this recap of my year in business for 2018, I gotta tell you guys a story. It’s seriously, in my mind, the most perfect way to wrap up this post, but also it was at that time - the perfect end to this season of business!
Imagine - there I stood, at the far end of the beautiful barn at Backwoods Venue 222 - cameras ready - myself ready - all for the processional to begin; for each bridesmaid on the arm of each groomsmen to start making their way down those old wooden floors. It was my LAST wedding of 2018 - my cup was full, and so was my heart!
The insiders - me, the DJ that day, Chris, and the venue owner, Aimee - we all gave our subtle head nods to signify we were ready to go and then Chris reached over to start the song. And within seconds I had goosebumps from head to toe. If you know me, you know I LOVE music….I believe nearly every moment in life has a soundtrack, and when perfect music with a pivotal moment get combined…..ohhh it’s euphoric.
That can’t be said strongly enough for that moment you guys. If ever there was a more unexpected yet unexpectedly perfect song for a bridal party to come down an aisle to and for me to feel the culmination of every wedding I shot in all of this past year - it was this song right here.
I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you enjoyed this post!! Look out 2019 - I’M COMING FOR YA!