i've been wanting to write this post for awhile. to reminisce and reflect on God's amazing goodness to me and my business. but haven't had a chance yet, with that little christmas break we've had (ahhhhhh...heavenly!) and the kids home (phewf! what a busy bunch!).
as i look back on 2011, i've got to address my '11 in 2011'... hmmm. let's see how i did. :D
1 - developing and launching a new logo -- yayyyy!! this was complete earlier last year with the help of my friend, carla. she did a great job and i'm THRILLED with my logo. i don't see it changing for quite some time! :D
2 - further enhancing my 'brand' and the experience i offer my clients -- i hope i did well on this. only my clients can answer it, i guess. my goal with each session is to make my clients feel relaxed and treasured; to tell a story by focusing on their relationships and to give the best of my creativity & heart at each and every shoot. :D
3 - launching a new blog & website -- yayyyyyy! this, too, was done at the beginning of last year...thanks, too, to another friend of mine, joel. :D i decided early on to make this a 'BLOGSITE' - both a blog and website - to have everything in one spot! joel has done an amazing job, making the site easy to navigate and easy for me to upkeep! :D thanks so much, carla & joel!!!
4 - reading more and getting even more acquainted with my camera and gear -- i read a BUNCH last year. lots of blogs, forums, books/manuals/magazines.
an invaluable read was 'understanding exposure: how to shoot great photographs with any camera' by bryan peterson. i absolutely gobbled that puppy up.
...and a magazine that came out in late 2011 was jasmine star's 'EXPOSED'. j* is an industry great and i've been a follower of her blog for 3+ years. her first mag is chock full of insights and stories of the falls/tumbles she's had along her photography journey. i LOVE how real she is.
seriously. look how thick it is! sooooo good!
5 - renovating my home 'office', making it inviting as a meeting spot for clients and just making it inviting for me to come to work everyday. ;) -- yeah. this didn't get touched in 2011. boo me. :( hope to get to this in 2012. :D i'm grateful that my couples are just as happy to meet at a coffee shop! :D
6 - investing in a macro lens -- yeah. this didn't get touched either. but i needed this more. :D
7 - investigating the offering of prints to my clients (currently i give clients their images on a DVD) -- nope. didn't touch this.
8 - getting healthy -- well, i WAS doing well with this....by the end of the summer, i had lost 26lbs. :) ...but the holidays were NOT good to me, so i'm back on the train. :) goal for 2012?! i think so!
9 - spending more time with my kids individually -- this will be an ONGOING goal for me. the kids are growing up so fast!!! jacob will be NINE this month!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!
10 - spending more time with joe -- again, an ONGOING goal. didn't necessarily get to the 'date nights' but we DID get away for our anniversary weekend. i think. or was that 2 years ago?! i can't remember. note to self: get out with hubby. ;)
11 - spending more time with the One who created me -- ONGOING, ONGOING, ONGOING.... :D i'm not a reader but i KNOW that this is non-negotiable. spending some 'alone time' with God - praying and reading His Word and getting to know my Saviour, Jesus...better & better!
hmmm... i think i'm ready to talk about 2012 goals. ya ready to hear them?! making it a '12 in 2012'!! here. we. gooooooooo!!!!!
1 - shoot between 10-12 weddings this year and second-shoot for at least one (if time & family allow me to!)
2 - find good...no, AMAZING light for each shoot. and master on- & off-camera flash.
3 - blog more.
4 - improve my workflow and the time in which i give my clients their images.
5 - prioritize family time on weekends. so, i'm really going to stick to this rule: if i'm shooting on a saturday (which, let's face it, happens a LOT during wedding season!), my sunday is completely free for my family...and vice versa. :) my life/work balance needs an overhaul. ;D
6 - do a personal photo project for 2012. i think i'm going to do a '2x12months' of joe & i. :D (thank you to everybody who offered feedback on my Facebook page! stay tuned for january's 2x12 in a future post!)
7 - improve my work space. :) (...with even the smallest improvement/clean-up/purge, i'd be thrilled.)
8 - hire a photog for my own family shoot. this is a MUST for this summer.
10 - invest in a macro lens or (finances permitting!) additional lighting gear.
11 - go for more walks. (i know i should do it but i often don't because i feel i don't have the time. i KNOW i need to make time for some good exercise. the rewards would be great - i'll probably get more work done, have more energy for my family, have fewer headaches & stress...and sleep a whole lot better!)
12 - participate in this at my church and continue my commitment to read my Bible everyday.
as i look back on 2011... i am sooooooooooo incredibly grateful to all the dear folk i got to work with last year!!!!
...to my 'group of 7'. my brides & grooms -- jill & evan, cheryl & justin, jason & emily, julie & dan, lindsey & mike, megan & denis and jen & dennis -- thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for hiring me as your wedding photographer! i count it a privilege to have taken this journey with you. from the consultation to gettin' comfy with each other with the engagement session to walking with you on your wedding day to delivering your images to you... GAHHHH!!! what a year i've had! i'm blessed to call you my friends!!!
...to all my engaged couples from 2012, whom i shot your engagement sessions last year -- awwwwww yeah!!!!! can't wait to shoot your weddings!!! (you have to know... couples are my absolute FAVOURITE and i LOVED each of your sessions so much!! can't wait to shoot your weddings!) :D
...to ALL the amazing people i got to shoot portraits for in 2011. (i just counted... i shot 63 portrait sessions, NOT including weddings!! wowwwww me!!!) thank you so much for entrusting your precious memories to HOLLYHOWEphotography!!! it's my prayer that the moments i captured for you will be treasures in your home for many, many years to come. :)
...to denise, thank you for joining me on this journey; for being such an amazing assistant, cohort and encourager for all my weddings up til now...and especially my 2011 wedding season! i appreciate you so very much!!! may God bless all of your future endeavours and projects!!!
...to my precious family: joe, jacob, robyn & josiah. i love you. thank you for letting mommy pursue this crazy dream of hers. xo.
...to my Saviour & Lord. thank You for making all this possible. may everything i do bring honour and glory to Your name.
...now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!
-- Ephesians 3:20, 21
up next, my favourite wedding images of 2011... :D weeeeeeee!!!!!! (yayyyy! thanks so much for reading!) xo!