It’s that time of year…when we stop for a moment and reflect back on what we did, and how the time flew by while we did it.
For me, 2013 was a really great year. I went into the year with just a few business goals as I had convinced myself that competition might just have gotten to the point that my own little piece of the world was getting too small to be viable. You see, competition is not just the other professional photographers, but the entire state of photography – and with folks all using camera phones and hobbyists taking their “hobby” to extremes on the weekends, any and all professional photographers are struggling to find a way to stay afloat these days. Even many of the big box stores closed up shop on their portrait studios – and they were running them as loss leaders, not even as profit centers!
I decided to take it all on – and keep plodding away at the business philosophies I’d developed, and the strategies I’d been working on – because I believed in them. Over the first four years in business I had to go through a number of iterations of what I was trying to do in my business model to get the right balance, but I believe by the end of 2012 I had finally figured out how to make MY photography business work – and work in a way others would resonate with it.
So I took my little photography business and I put it out there with all I’d figured out and learned from experience. And on a wing a prayer – and yes, a bit of a leap off a proverbial cliff – I worked my butt off in 2013 to get my name out there and do what I do best – while still making sure I kept my eye on the bottom line. Because 2013 was a big decision maker year for me, and I had to give it everything before I could finally make a judgement.
As we finish out 2013 I can say I have a healthy business. I will not get rich on this – and I couldn’t afford to have done this to date without the support (literally) of my husband and family. And I will not be paying the mortgage on the house with this business, but I have finally found a way to carve a little bit out while not compromising on quality to my clients, and while still giving them a product and experience they enjoy. And best of all, I am free to continue to find ways to improve the experience for my clients and still hopefully grow the business to the next level too.
I know that I’m not a genius by any means, and I stumble and fall and have to get up and shake the dirt off my knees all the time. And I believe I’ll have more of that in the future for sure! But to find a way to do what I love, and make it support itself so it can be viable in today’s market – AND to find a way to bring the clients what they want, and need, for a reasonable price that allows them to stay viable – well, that’s the balance I wanted.
So for me, 2013 was a wonderful year. I look forward to what I will learn in 2014 and how I can further tweak and twist to stay on top of the challenges that are being thrown at me everyday to survive in this business. And I look forward to meeting even more amazing people like the ones I’ve met this year.
I close out the year with the following from 2013:
2 new Wedding couples I get to follow and watch as they grow their families and hopefully have wonderful lives together! (Wedding Photography services – small scale, but mighty good offerings if I do say so myself!)
8 new corporations & businesses that I can watch grow and use my images to help them show off their talent pool! (On site Business Portraits, Office Candids & Group Photography for Executives – for when you are too big or too busy to come to the studio – I come to you!)
over 40 new individual business people that sought new images for themselves and allowed me to help them find ones they love and will use to “face” the world! (Individual Business Portraits both in studio or on location – your way to find a new image, time to relax and find your comfort level with the camera!)
15 new families that can proudly hang family portraits on their walls to show off and mark this year for themselves too! (Family Portraits both indoor studio and outdoor studio – or even at your own favorite location – they are priceless in the end and so worth the whining and cajoling it takes to get everyone in one place at one time to have them done!)
OVER 60 new high school seniors who allowed me to be a part of the senior experience with them – and to help them find ways to show off to the world too – and move on to college or work or service while giving mom and dad a way to see them everyday. (High School Senior Portraits offered in the indoor studio, my own outdoor studio Portrait Park, a location of your choosing, or a combination of all of these!)
Wow…it was a busy year! I wonder what 2014 will bring …. I might have something up my sleeve for YOU and ME both…so stay tuned to hear all about how I’m working to give you and EVEN BETTER experience…