I think that, for as long as I live, I will always look back on 2014 as one of the most pivotal years in my life. Especially with regards to photography. I accomplished more last year than I could have ever imagined possible. Mid-way through the year, I traveled abroad to the Shetland Islands in Scotland (posts about this coming very soon!) and got to photograph wonderful people who are keeping traditions alive while also photographing the nature and wildlife in the area. It was such a wonderful experience. When I got back in early July, the rest of the year flew by in the blink of a moment. Being a full-time employee who also does photography part time means one thing: I never have free time and I rarely sleep. It was a challenging 6 months, but it was half a year I wouldn’t trade for the world. But it’s 2015 now, and it’s a new year and a good time to focus on the future and all the new things that will be happening with my business and my life in 2015.
Digital Downloading – Made Easier!
I received a lot of feedback from people regarding smugmug as a way for my clients to download all the photos from their sessions. The problem with smugmut is that they only allow a 2-week window to download before you have to send the link again. I, too, was not a fan of this process but found very little in the way of additional options. However, I made the switch mid-way through the year to dropbox. I think it’s a much more user-friendly way of downloading…but it’s still not perfect. I am in the process of implementing a new way for downloads that should be available in the coming months. It’s fully incorporated into my website and offers secure client landing pages. I think it’s exactly the solution I’ve been looking for and I am really excited about it! I want to make the digital download process as easy as possible for you!
If I had a time machine, I would go back in time to when I bought my last computer–when I debated whether or not to get a Mac or a PC–and I would slap myself in the face for choosing PC. It was a huge, costly mistake. I had my computer crash on me more times this year than ever in my life. It’s hard when each individual image I take from my camera is over 40MB each. I made the decision mid-way through my insane busy season to buy a MacBook Pro. It was, without question, the best decision I have ever made. Unfortunately, I had tried for so long to draw out my old computer which ran so slowly that it put me so massively behind with photo editing for far too long. It took me awhile to get caught up…but if I hand’t made the switch, I would still be editing photos from October right now! The good news here is that I am able to work through my process in a fraction of the time it took me before!
The Day Job
I feel incredibly fortunate to work for a fantastic company for my full-time gig. They are innovative and constantly thinking outside the box and using people’s assets to help them advance in their careers. For the last 6+ years I have been working as a marketing coordinator, but this year I am transitioning into a new role focused on corporate photography. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe it’s even happening because I love photography so much and often can’t believe people want to pay me to do something so fun and rewarding. And the fact that I am now doing photography full-time at a company excites me beyond belief. This also means that I will be traveling a lot during the summer/early fall months so my ability to do weekday evenings will be limited. But the good news here is that my focus will be 100% on photography in all aspects of my life! I cannot tell you how happy it is and how lucky I feel to be doing what I love. It’s an incredible, motivating feeling.
AND FINALLY/MOST IMPORTANTLY:
Home Sweet Home
For the past few years, I have been living in my parents basement saving up money to purchase all the photography equipment I need to successfully run my business. Some people think it’s super depressing to live with your parents or think it’s pathetic or a sign of some sort of failure–but my parents are truly two of the coolest people on the planet and I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent living with them here for all the world. I think it has been the wisest financial decision I have ever made in my life. This year, I finally felt like I had purchased everything I needed to feel comfortable in the stability of my business. So, on Thursday, I will become a home owner. I cannot tell you how exciting this is for me. But, more than anything, it means I will have proper storage for my photo equipment which could easily fill a small room! It will also provide me with office space so I can spread out and not feel cramped–I’ll even have a window to look out of instead of a basement wall! 🙂