We're a week in to the new year so it's about the time that outrageous new year's resolutions have run their course and realistic goals begin to take shape. For me, I spent the week (when I wasn't working on clients' work) crunching last year's numbers, analyzing what worked and what didn't and especially journaling about the direction I would like my company to go. As this long term vision is starting to take root (I'll keep the details to myself for now, wouldn't want to spoil the fun!) I've narrowed down a few of my goals for 2017 to get me on my way:
Photograph more weddings
Of all the work I did last year, the weddings I captured were some of my most enjoyable shoots. Sure, 12 hours on my feet carrying around 10 pounds of gear may sound tiring, but capturing one of the most important days of a couple's or family's lives and creating a photo album that will tell their story for generations to come is unendingly rewarding. Last year I shot 8 weddings. While I would always want to keep the number low so I can provide my couples the best service possible, this year I would love nothing more than to help more happy couples enjoy and then relive their special moments forever.
Begin photographing elopements or intimate weddings
A mountaintop ceremony with just you, your sweetheart and your officiant; a quiet walk through the woods while making your eternal vows; a weekend spent enjoying the best of Asheville's cultural offerings with close family and a few friends ending the weekend in your lifetime promise - these are just a few of the elopements or intimate weddings that I've dreamed of shooting. As I got married in a garden with all of 16 people to watch, I know just how personal and enjoyable these ceremonies can be and would love to capture sweet moments like these for other couples whether from Asheville or coming here for a destination wedding.
Photograph destination weddings and/or elopements
Speaking of destination weddings, is there really anything more suited for me to shoot? I love to travel (I'm game to go just about anywhere!), I adore small weddings and my photojournalistic style means I can capture not only the ceremony, but your full experience. Think European destination wedding with just your closest family; we do your engagement session while exploring the city, maybe some family portraits at a specifically chosen location, capture the fun and excitement of your trip, capture your beautiful exchange of vows, and of course put it all together into a beautiful wedding album documenting the full experience complete with quotations and written descriptions. (See this album for an example.)
Capture vacation memories
Like a destination wedding, except without the wedding! Wouldn't it be nice to save all your vacation memories to enjoy long after the tan lines have faded without having to constantly stop having fun to take said pictures, or never star in photos because you're always taking them? This is great for Asheville adventures, of course, and I'd love to lend my experience to help plan your trip as well as capturing it, but as I've said, I'm up for a global adventure.
More personal work
In the hustle and bustle of the last couple years, I haven't truly worked on a personal project since my senior show. That body of work helped me explore why I am a photographer and expand my techniques and I think continuing in this vein can help me retain creativity in my professional work to best serve my clients. I don't currently have any ideas, so this one may be a long work in progress.
Keep my apartment cleaner
Ok this might not sound directly related to work, but it is! When I first decorated my living room, I had in the back of my mind that I'd love to meet here with clients and potential clients to look at samples, plan for shoots, see their images on a big screen TV (much better than a small phone screen!) and discuss any questions. With the integration of some new album and gallery design software, I can also help couples and families choose the right prints and products (from the best images to the best sizes) to fit in their homes using virtual designing. This, of course, will involve perpetual tidiness so we'll see how it goes.
Continue teaching photography
When I'm not busy working on my own photography, one of my biggest passions is teaching photography to students. For the past couple years I've been working with the IRL after school program at Asheville Middle teaching primarily alt processes such as cyanotypes and pinhole cameras while exploring visual storytelling methods. I plan to continue this partnership this year as well as finally start working on my internship program plans. When I was in college I did 4 different internships that really helped me narrow down where I wanted to fit in the field of photography. I would love to be able to do the same thing for other students interested in learning about photography and business. I foresee quite a bit more journaling in my future on this one!
As always, thanks so much to everyone who not only took the time to read this post but who push me every day to improve. If you know anyone looking for a photographer, send them my way! ;)