Looking Back at 2016 | A year in review
You guys! 2016 was simply insane! Last year marked my first FULL YEAR as full time status, and truthfully - I started off the year with the mindset of okay, maybe this will work, and maybe it won't - and I'm going to be happy no matter what. Or, at least I was going to try! Then, somehow without warning, things snowballed so quickly as I realized that yeah...this is gonna work, this is more than gonna work!!
I'll compare it to the first time you ride your bicycle down a gigantic hill. You're anxious, nervous + excited as you start to go down, you gain momentum.....more than you anticipated, maybe more than you thought you were ready for...There's a slight panic, maybe you lose your footing for a second, but then suddenly...you just soak in the feeling of the wind in your hair and before you know it, you've reached the bottom, and you're coasting along just fine, unscathed.
That's how 2016 felt.
Apparently I like making weird analogies.
Needless to say, and I kinda hate admitting this - but, 2016 was a year of so much growth for me that I fell behind on many aspects of running this business. Probably one of the biggest aspects I fell behind on was blogging. Guysssss, that is sooo important. And I wasn't able to find time to blog for basically anything I shot the entire year. If you look back, you'll find that ONE wedding of 2016 was blogged. ONE!! That's just bananas. I also never got around to blogging basically anything else - like tips and tricks, sharing behind the scenes of running a business, etc. It's nice to have sooo much content now at the beginning of 2017 to push out, but man it would've been really nice to blog more consistently last year.
Despite those handful of "failures" - there were also many successes! I think my biggest success was one that doesn't bring in income, but something that is SO important to the success of a small business. 2016 brought about complacency + gratitude for the NOW. For the first time everrrr since opening up ELP, I was able to compartmentalize the act of comparing myself to others. I was able to say okay cool, she's there and I'm here, and that's okay! Their success is NOT my failure! I'm going to be happy with where I am and stop feeling like everybody around me is better or more advanced than I am. If you're reading this and thinking gosh I wish I could do that, feel free to send me a message so I can be a cheerleader for you - because that mindset IS attainable, friends!
I've been setting goals for 2017 since probably middle of last year, and yowza that list is long. There are a ton of things I want to learn, and do. Create and design. Update and invest in. The to-do list of a business owner never seems to get smaller. But, I really wouldn't have it any other way!
2016 was also full of so much goodness, and magical moments between couples, and families, graduating seniors, and newborn sweet babies. I lost count pretty early on of just how many times I cried at weddings. Or how many times I choked up on the drive home from an engagement or family session. Yes I'm a sap - I think by now you guys get that. But I'm also so overwhelmingly blessed by the people who let me into their lives with my camera in hand, and it means the absolute world to me.
When deciding to write a review on how last year went, it seemed only natural to include some highlights in images, and favorite shots of mine over the course of last year. I thought it'd be easy enough - only to realize my "highlights/favorites" folder had just over 500 images in it. YIKES. I certainly couldn't blog THAT many at once - or else y'all would be scrolling for days! Am I right!? So I had to take on the daunting task of narrowing it down. And narrowing it down again..........and again. It was not easy!! The number is now much more manageable, and I'm excited to share those with you!!! The only ridiculous part is that some of these images - you've never even seen!! haha don't worry guys, the full blogposts + stories behind the images for all of these are coming!!
Y'all ready?? I never say "cheers".... but gosh dang you guys - CHEERS to 2016!