There's always something special about starting a new year. Many people carry so much hope, joy, and excitement for the coming year. A time of growth and anticipation for new things! Like many people, I used to set goals for the year; start eating healthier, working out often, and becoming more organized. And just like many other "new year, new me"-er's, those goals tended to become unfulfilled. Last year when I decided I wanted to put in full effort to make photography a job, rather than a hobby, I tried to set a few goals. Never did I think I would book over 30 sessions throughout the year. I didn't think I would be at the level of professionalism or style I have achieved. I did reach my like goal on my Facebook page, which is now over 250 likes, pushing 300! Looking back on this, I would like to publicly announce some of the ambitions I have for this coming year!
1. Grow as an artist, not just a shutter clicker.
I really, really enjoy the fine art photographers have the ability of creating. A common remark that many people make when a photographer mentions their job is "anyone can take a picture", well I want to expand my horizons and create an image that your average "joe" cant emulate. I also want to LEARN LEARN LEARN. There's no greater feeling than looking back on the past images you have created and seeing the overall improvement you have made!
-Side note, if you have noticed, there's a new awesome website up. Yet again, I got bored with the last design and changed it. But the newest and most exciting change that you may have noticed is my site no longer says Little North Mountain Photography, but Photography & Arts. This is because I want to open my business into all sorts of new and exciting artsy things that I will get to later on.
2. Book at least 5 weddings.
Its pretty obvious there's already an abundance of wedding photographers out there. Just a simple google search will show that. But wedding photography is what started this overall passion and I still love the lasting essence it provides. The thought of capturing a wedding gives me the same feeling I had before a track meet race, that risk of failure and the chance of great success: just enough to get your heart pounding. It makes me want to be a greater photographer and improve so that I'm on top of my game when I'm capturing that special day. Also I get to meet up and build a relationship with a super awesome couple and that makes me all happy and warm inside. Sadly, I dont have any actual recent wedding portraits that represent my style well but I do have some from the "pre-wedding"!
3. Flourish in confidence.
This applies to me as a person as well as a business. Sometimes I have my doubts about my abilities. I want to stop those doubts and replace them with growth. I also want to become more of a people person and work on my people skills, which pertains a lot to my confidence. I always tell other people that they should be their best self, and I would to start taking my own advice.
CHANGES AND IDEAS
1. Prices, Contracts, and Bookings.
You live and you learn. What many people don't realize is that creative entrepreneurs plan their day around their clients. When you set up that booking with them they have to plan the rest of their life to help fit you in and get your piece of art. Canceled bookings really suck, especially when you don't ever get a response back.
That being said, I am implementing contracts and non-refundable retainer fees (%25 of book cost)! Until that bad puppy is paid, your session date could be taken by someone who is ready to put that money down. It's no hard feelings of course, this lady has a family to support and spend time with, I cant pay a babysitter to watch my son for no reason! Also I have experienced a lot of growth this past year and I am upping my prices! Id still love to chat with you if you still cant manage the prices (which are still crazy budget-friendly), we can make something work for you and the price you have to offer.
See pricing guide here:
2. Creative Expansion
For those of you who didn't know me well as a kid, my siblings, friends and I used to make YouTube videos as a fun past time. Ill spare you the cringyness and not link it here, if you do happen to find it... I'm sorry. But, that in mind, I loved editing videos, recording and making a story. This is something I would like to try and venture into.
Possible YouTube videos sharing my growing knowledge, behind the scenes videos (because those are so fun to watch especially for amateurs - heck, even pros - learning new things), and just anything and everything photography related. I also want to provide other art forms as a part of my business whole. I used to paint and sell landscapes and I want to be able to show that art form as well, hence the expansion of "art" into the business name.
Another important thing I want to try and do with all of my sessions is to write a blog about each! I think it adds personality and shows future clients what kind of experience they could be having when they come hang out with me and my camera (and if you come out to my home, you might get to see my stinking cute 9 month old who will most likely give you a toothy smile :D ). This session was soooo blog worthy, I totally missed out on that one. Literally one of the most fun sessions ever!!
Because what cuter than a candid hot chocolate portrait. And it kept them warm as the sun faded.
I think this year is going to be a really great year for growth in this business and I hope that my clientele will be there to help me along the way. I really want to build more of a clientele and become best friends with all of you, because this girl needs more of you beautiful people as friends. I hope everyone reaches their expectations for this coming year and continue to follow the amazing plan that God has made for them in 2018!
-Love and Blessings
Little North Mountain