I love fresh starts. New beginnings. Changes. (If you don’t believe me, Michael can vouch that it’s the truth as he witnesses me firsthand decorating and redecorating the house each season….or each time I have a brilliant new idea for our living room!) 😉 So as December 31st of 2016 ended and 2017 began there was something riveting about it. But in the thrill of something new, I’ve been reminding myself to look back at this last year. The people that I’ve gotten to encounter, work with, get to know and love. The brides that became friends. The incredible growth of my business only because of the incredible faithfulness of the Lord. I looked back at the goals that I set about this time last year and see the ones that weren’t quite met alongside the ones that were blown out of the water. It’s amazing.
This last year marked the first year I officially made more money doing photography than I did when I worked full time at the medical supply company! As I flipped through numbers and met with my CPA at the end of the year, I realized I made three times more than the year before! I was shocked and humbled and overwhelmed and thrilled and thankful! (Yes, lots of emotions…) In the midst of it all I was also quickly reminded that all the prayers that were lifted up throughout the year were more than faithfully answered by the Lord! It was a year of remembering the saying my dad spoke often to us kids growing up, “Work hard. Pray hard.”
2016 held an engagement session in the ocean and travels to a California beach wedding.
It held bright colors and bright personalities.
It was hard and overwhelming at times. It was a season of incredible growth. Of learning to set boundaries between work and life. And maybe even just learning in general.
It held memories of friendships being made, of joy in knowing that there are those around me I can trust and turn to. Of friends in the industry to grab coffee with, bounce ideas off of and connect to. They are special to me.
It was a time of investing into my craft. Of traveling to conferences and learning from the best.
It was a year of developing systems and workflows. It was monthly, daily, hourly reminders that Michael believed in this dream of mine just as much as I did. It was his advice, his encouragement, his prayers, his excitement, his ideas, his support that kept me going some days.
2016 was a year of buying a new house and decorating an office space to be creative in. It was in that space where I rebranded my business, rebuilt my website and refocused on the direction I hoped to go.
It was work. It was tears. It was jumping into the air when someone booked another session (I don’t think that last one will change no matter how many years I’m in business). It was exploring new locations, buying new lenses, new cameras and new computers.
It was a Fall season that booked the busiest yet. It was exhaustion and an editing list that never seemed to end. (Hint: It did). It was weddings of couples that were beautiful and kind and caring. It was road trips to Saint Louis and sessions that filled my time there. It was joy in using my craft to capture the time and new life my own family.
It was beautiful Colorado.
And snowy Kansas.
It was downtown.
And tucked within the arms of nature.
It was sunsets and sunrises.
It was laughter.
And new life.
It was reading business books….but not as many as I set goals for. It was failure of types but remembering that’s okay and how you learn.
2016 was beautiful.
And the people, the memories, the goals, the ideas, the moments within it were a blessing to my heart.