Crystal Lake Photographer // One Year Update

Crystal-Lake-Wedding-Photographer

Oh my goodness! Can you believe it has been a year already (this coming Saturday) since I said goodbye to the corporate world and hello to my dream career as a full-time photographer!? I honestly still have to pinch myself every morning. I’m not sure it has completely hit me yet that I get to do what I love every day for a living!

I feel like I accomplished a lot for my first year of being full-time. But if we’re being honest, I feel like I have a long way to go to get this girl-boss’s business where I have always dreamed it would get to. Here’s an overview of what I’ve accomplished this year and an overview of what you can expect for my second year as a full-time photographer!

My Top 5 Successes After Year One
1|
I survived year one! Slowly but surely I’m getting the hang of this full-time working for myself thing. I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. Cheers to that–am I right?!
2| Maintaining a social life alongside running a business. It’s seriously a struggle.. but I think I’m finally at a great balance! When I worked full-time in the corporate world I was working 9-5 Monday through Friday and photographing almost every weekend which left me with zero time for a social life. Since leaving the corporate world to focus on my own business, I’ve been able to spend more time with friends and family on the weekends that I’m not shooting weddings. (more on this topic below)
3| I’ve finally gotten the hang of Instagram.. or so I think. I’ve been able to post more consistently over on Facebook and Instagram which is wonderful. It’s also given me an opportunity to show more “behind the scenes” of owning a business and working for myself.. so you’re not just seeing posts of me cuddling with my puppies on the couch every ten minutes. (Sorry, I’m not sorry.. but there will always be a plethora of posts with the pups on my social media. They’re just too cute.)
4|
 I’ve gotten better at saying “no”. This has always been a tough one for me because I’m what a lot of people would call a “people pleaser”. In the past I’ve accepted a wide range of projects and since going full-time I’ve kept with my brand and made sure when accepting projects that it fit with my style and that I felt truly connected to the people I would be working with. I never thought I would be able to say no to a project, but I’ve accepted the fact that not every project is right for me. It’s given me more time to focus on what I love–photographing weddings, engagements, families and newborns.
5| Towards the end of my one year full-time anniversary, I really kicked off my blogging. I got to working with this amazing virtual assistant, Laura, who is helping me stay on track with blogging and social media. I’m one of those people that gets tongue-twisted and needs some nudging when it comes to hitting the “post” button. (more on this below as well)

3 Goals / Things You Can Expect to See in Year Two
1| As mentioned above, I’ve been making sure there’s more content on my blog for you all! You’ll be getting more posts with information about sessions, weddings, more about my personal life, and of course recaps from previous sessions and weddings. My new schedule for blogging is: Informational posts on Mondays with a personal post or a previous session/wedding recap on Wednesdays.
2| Attend a workshop for studio newborn photography. One of my ultimate goals is to eventually open a studio and I would love to offer studio newborn photography to my clients. I currently offer Lifestyle newborn photography in my Client’s homes, but I would love to learn more on the studio posing side of things for newborns so I can offer both session types to my clients.
3| You know how I mentioned above that I was getting better at maintaining a social life while running a business and that it’s sometimes a struggle? I learned my lesson half-way through year one when I realized I was so concerned with filling my open dates on weekends, that I had no weekends left again last summer and fall! Which meant, I spent less time with family and friends during those optimal months for hanging outdoors and bbq’ing/chilling by the fire and sipping a cocktail. I made a new rule for myself mid-year, last year, that I would only book weddings on weekends so if I’m not shooting  a wedding on a weekend then I will have the weekend free. I’m also limiting the amount of weddings I accept (both on the second shooting side of things as well as my own). This will give me more time to spend with my Clients and making sure they have the very best experience!

Thank you all for your love and support. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (over and over)–I owe it all to my Clients, Family & Fiance. I wouldn’t be running my own business full-time without all the love and support from you all. THANK YOU! <3

Crystal-Lake-Wedding-PhotographerPhotos taken by my dear friend GiGi at Giadore Photo.

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