2015 Resolutions

2015 is officially here and like everyone else, I'm building a list of resolutions to complete in the new year. I never intended to write this post, but as I sit here in my office reflecting on the amazing year that was 2014, I am reminded of a few projects that I had intended to start, but never found the time. Going forward, I want 2015 to be a year of progress and growth...both personally and professionally. While the outcome is still a mystery to me, I figure that these simple resolutions should help start me on the right path and hopefully lead me to something greater.

More Photographs of Sophie It was just the other day when I looked at my daughter and realized that she's no longer a baby...she's a little girl now. It's unbelievable to me because she's almost three, yet she looks so much older. She's using full sentences, singing the alphabet and even working on using the potty. While I'm extremely proud, it's also made me sad that we're already at this point. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. All this has made me realize that she's growing up much faster than I anticipated and I need to make more of a conscious effort to photograph her before these times pass by completely.

Personal Work I'm a big advocate of personal work. Unfortunately, due to my heavy workload, I rarely get the opportunity to create any. I want to change that in 2015 and pursue more personal projects/shoots centered around things that I am passionate about. I think when you engage in more personal work you not only get to express yourself and share ideas, but you can also hone your photographic vision and make your other work stronger.

Build a Stronger Online Presence I find that as my business continues to grow, so must my online presence in order to sustain it. In the past, I've been pretty bad about this and it's one thing I've always wanted to work on. As I think about it now, taking a more proactive role in increasing my online footprint could help get more eyes on my work, build a bigger client base, and also open doors to potentially greater opportunities down the road. Going forward, I'm planning to work on blogging more — as many as 3 times a week to help keep things fresh and keep people coming back. I'm also going to be more proactive in submitting my work to other blogs in hopes that it will get picked up for features to elevate my site's native traffic. Finally, my social media presence is going to be getting an upgrade as well so that I can regularly interact with others and exchange more/better ideas through some online networking.

Explore Different Genres As it's abundantly clear by my website, I specialize in weddings and engagements. They're my bread and butter. However, this fall I decided to try my hand at shooting a senior session and I have to say, the experience really opened my eyes and made me want to try different genres of photography. I'm not sure which I'll pursue at this point, but there's a few on my radar such as seniors, lifestyle, editorial, and creative portraiture. I might throw in some film work as well to keep things interesting. Variety is the spice of life and I think dabbling in some other genres might increase my overall skill-set ten-fold.

Write More I've always enjoyed writing...even when I was a lot younger. I would always write to entertain myself and create short stories about things I was interested in or passionate about. Along the way, I put writing aside, but never lost the passion. In the past few months, I've been making a conscious effort to get back into writing and, to an extent, it's made me a lot happier. I find my thought process clearer and the feedback I've received has been truly rewarding. I really want to continue this trend and build on it a lot more in 2015. I want to write more about my couples, share their stories, write personal posts, opinions, and even helpful articles for couples. I've got a lot of great ideas and I can't wait to start composing some articles in the near future.

Streamline Business This year, I was busier and shot more than I had in any previous year. In actuality, I got my ass-kicked. It was a humbling experience. While I did survive, it made my very aware of some chinks in the armor of my business. Going forward, I plan to address these and revise my workflow to streamline the steps I take to complete each shoot. What does this mean for my clients? My hope is that this means a better experience and a better product delivered much faster. Overall, I'm looking to open my schedule up a bit more so I can have more time to manage my business better, put more information out there, and most importantly...spend more time with my family.

Learn New Photo Methods Never stop learning. It was one thing that was beaten into my head when I was younger. You can never know too much because, as they say, if you think you're the smartest person in the room....you're in the wrong room. Don't get me wrong, I know quite a bit about photography, but as I look back on my work and look at the work of my peers, I see lots of areas for improvement. I think it's important to take a step back, analyze yourself, and see where you can improve to take your creative game to the next level. One of my goals for 2015 is to do just that. I'm on a quest for knowledge to learn new photography methods, better client interaction, newer styles of editing, and as I mentioned above, new genres of photography.

Get Healthy I think this one is on everyone's list, but it's probably one of the most important. Your health is something that keeps all things possible. Taking care of yourself will keep you physically and mentally sharper so you can perform better and stay in the game longer. I've always struggled with my weight and have bounced back and forth for years and quite frankly, I'm ready to make a change. 2015 will be my year. I've never liked the term diet because, to me, it implies something temporary. I'm not out to change my diet, I'm out to change my eating habits. I want to permanently put myself on a path of eating healthier, more nutritious foods. In addition to changing what I put into my body, I also want to work on what I can get out of it in the form of rigorous exercise or physical activity. Ultimately, I'm hoping to drop at least 40lbs and keep it off.

So, that's my list. I realize now that it looks like a lot and I'm not even sure if I will finish. Honestly, I don't think that's the point. Many people get caught up in trying to finish their resolutions and, if they fail, it makes them depressed and pushes them down. I think the real purpose of resolutions is to propel ourselves upwards. By creating a list of shortcomings and working on them, it becomes less about completing the list and more about improving ourselves or moving in the right direction. If I could complete just one or two items on this list, I would be happy. Completing just a couple items would come out of 2015 with more than I went in. That's progress.

So, what's on your list?