Happy New Year! 2011 was an awesome year for us; a lot of hard work, learning, and growing went into the year, which got me thinking on goals (both personal and business related) for 2012. Keep reading I promise there are pictures and laughter ahead…
Keep cultivating my skills and knowledge.
I don’t think in any business that you ever get to a place where you know everything. There should be a constant learning process, and while the growing pains may get less, I think it is so important to be learning, practicing, and growing as much as you can. Jason will be doing this by taking a photography class to help compliment his second shooting experience that he gained this year. I’ve started using Creative Live as a great resource for learning more about business itself, on top of continuing to get to know my camera as well as I can (cameras are like people…the more time you spend with them, the more you learn and the more they occasionally surprise you lol).
Allow Jason more responsibility.
My husband really stepped up this year as a second shooter. I know husband and wives cannot always work well together, but he has been amazing and our relationship has helped create a better experience for our clients. A second shooter relationship is so important. One of the biggest issues is trust. You can hire a random person to help you out on the wedding day, but can you trust their work, trust that they will represent your company well, trust that they have yours and the couple’s best interest in mind? We have our ebb and flow together when we work, and I can’t imagine wanting to spend 8-12 hours straight with anyone else :) Because he has stepped up his role so well, I really want to spend this year having Jason learn and understand more about the business itself, editing, and client interaction. He already accompanies me at most meetings, and I think it’s important for him to feel invested in what we are doing and where we are headed.
Finish implementing my true style, and stay consistent with it.
Editing is fun. Being artistic is fun. My bachelors is in graphic design, so I when I say that I love (LOVE) editing, I really do. really. Let me preface the next thought with a quick lesson: There are two kinds of editing. One is basic, where you take an image and correct it to look how it should. To go above and beyond this, you can clear up skin, remove distractions (such a bright red trucks in the background), and brighten eyes. Then there is the second kind of editing, where you can play around and add an artistic touch to the image. Some companies sell themselves on creating 70’s style images. Others create a light, whimsical, faded look to their images. The possibilities are endless, and something that I have played around with for the past few years. This type of editing is your “style”. So what have I learned most about the past few years of cultivating my style? (And I’m talking solely about style here – personally I believe that the first type of editing and cleaning up of an image should be standard no matter what) – That I want to look back (and have my clients look back) 5 years from now and not dislike their images because what was popular then looks tacky now. What has this meant for me? Less artistic editing. (Shock!!). Like, a lot less. As in slim to none. What you are seeing more of (and will see LOTS more of this year) are BRIGHT, CLEAN, and CLASSIC imagery that looks awesome because the picture is awesome. Because there weren’t a ton of things that needed to be fixed. Because there wasn’t anything that needed to be covered up. I don’t want to hide behind a style of editing anymore. I want my pictures to speak for themselves, and I want to get it right straight out of the camera. If you look back over my blog and work you’ll see the slow transition I’ve been making of what I including more of these types of images in my blog posts. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:
The image on the left of Katie was a style I had tried out last year…adding a yellow tone to the image that can be nice at times in complimenting skin tones, but personally I think the image on the right is cleaner, brighter, and doesn’t really need all of that yellowy-fuss…same with the image below, I tried the same style on this picture…
And again, looking back I think that the one below is more classic and brighter.
Below is an image showing where I am headed…this picture of Amanda is clear of any artistic actions, and speaks for itself
One last image of what I am talking about is this one of Silvia and David…bright, clean, no distractions, no need for anything artistic to cover up the photo
Learn how to hold and use my camera without a strap.
About a month ago I bulged a disk and sprained my neck simply by looking left. However what led up to this was carrying my camera and flash around my neck for 8-12 hours per wedding for the whole year. I had to totally take off the strap from my camera to take away any temptation of falling back on an old habit, but thus far it has been really freeing! The whole goal? To avoid this:
Yep, that’s me in all my glory with my fine looking neck brace.
Stick to a solid work schedule after each wedding.
This one is not so that I can get work done more quickly. In fact, it’s the opposite. I tend to want to work straight through until everything is totally finished, which leaves my poor family without a mommy or wife for about 3-4 days straight after each wedding. Last year, if a wedding was on a Saturday, I would have everything finished by the following Thursday (if not Wednesday – I’m crazy, I know.) The goal is to extend this out to a week after the wedding. Giving myself 3 extra days to spread out the work. That way, the couple still gets a turnaround time of under 2 weeks, and my family still gets ME. And what do I get? More time with the best people in the whole wide world:
below is daddy and luca on vacation this past august:
my little bear looking at the christmas tree:
sweetest face ever:
mommy and luca on vacation last august:
mommy and luca this past thanksgiving:
my little bear:
the best husband, life, business, and daddy partner a woman could ask for:
who makes me homemade dinner dates like this :)
the whole goal? making more time for this…
Photograph more of the things I love.
It can be really easy when photography becomes a business, to lose time doing what you used to do when it was a hobby: photographing things and people that you LOVE. When I was in college, I would spend hours and hours (and hours), taking pictures of flowers. Like, a whole day of flower-picture-taking. And when my sisters starting having babies (a LOT of them), that was my new obsession and hobby. Capturing every-waking-moment-of-their-lives. Then I had my own baby, and poor Luca has every moment of the first year of his life documented. On camera. Again, all of these things have taken a back seat now that photography is my business and not a hobby. But I don’t want to lose my love for it. So goal #6 is all about photographing more of them:
I love my family!
Get “business” Katie to take a joke.
I figured I would end this post on a high note (translation: poke-fun-at-myself note). There is this lady called business Katie. She only comes out when I’m working, and my family and husband started taking notice of her and naming her, mainly because she is the EXACT OPPOSITE of regular Katie. Me personally? I’m kind of quirky, nerdy, LOUD, honest, can’t keep my mouth shut kinda gal. Business Katie? She’s organized, strict, no jokes or funny business kind of woman (yes, woman) who politely has a blank and confused stare whenever someone tries to joke with her. Mainly because they’re breaking her concentration. This business would not exist without business Katie. That’s why Jason came on board, to be my personality when I’m working :) However, the poor girl (sorry, woman) needs a giggle. I’m hoping this year will be the year!
Happy New Year again, we are so excited to see what 2012 brings!