The leaves are starting to bud on the trees (haha just kidding, it’s northern Michigan which means we still are having blizzards, but a girl can dream, right??!!) But there is a soft, ripe scent in the air that triggers both nerves and excitement in me. This rolling of the seasons means the start of a new wedding photography year, the awakening of my workaholic self, and the emerging idea that I can start fresh with my business and my clients!
I have often compared wedding seasons for us vendor professionals as a feast or famine situation – either you are operating at 200% (pushing the limits of your body and mind more than you thought possible in order to serve with grace, compassion, and humility) or you are having tea parties with your dogs, having sat for 3 days straight in the same pair of leggings (winters in northern Michigan…sigh…amIright?) But this resting time is important. It leaves space in my thoughts to obtain new goals, to give to my clients in new and thoughtful ways, and to focus on improving my relationships with my brides!
This year of 2018 has been a year of reflection, change, and renovations to the ways in which I conduct my business. I am so excited to be rolling out these new ideas throughout the upcoming wedding season!
In order to keep myself focused on what truly matters – giving to my clients and providing an excellent wedding day experience – I have cultivated four intentional goals that revolve around one central idea: creative innovation.
As a Michigan wedding photographer and small business owner, creative innovation means for me, that while I can and will conduct great business, I would like to focus on stilling my hands (the drive to put business first above life, marriage and health) and instead, lead with my heart (focus on creativity and personal connections). I believe that this focus on creative innovation and giving (more than I ever receive) will be the direct tools that I have been searching for, to achieve genuine joy in my business and day-to-day life!
2017 was a very rough year for me (and my avid readers know this already, so I will just give a quick synopsis). But those 365 days of self-induced workaholic attitude resulted in a serious crash and burn at the end of the year. And while I knew deep down that I loved my job and cared for my clients deeply, I couldn’t get myself out of the emotional hole that I had dug for myself. I had placed too much stress on my own shoulders, taken too much responsibility and as such, was not able to serve myself or my clients with the grace and ethos that I so strived to do.
The result from spinning around like a mad woman, trying to do all-the-things, was helping no one, especially myself. So when I fell, I fell hard, and I had no one to blame but myself.
There’s a quote that I love to repeat to myself, “some years are spinning years, and some are twirling years.”
2017 was a spinning year.
2018 I have decided, will be a twirling year.
Friends and family who are closest to me always ask me, “why?”
“Why are you a wedding photographer, when it is so stressful?”
“Why do you work so much?”
My “why” for me, is an easy one.
My marriage to Cory (my husband) was not always center stage in my life. When summer rolls around and wedding season is upon us, date nights and general conversations are put aside for other things like portrait sessions, editing behind a computer screen, eating with my plate balanced on one knee, computer on the other, and late nights sleeping on the couch with only my computer as my companion.
But after my tough business year in 2017, I knew that I had to prioritize what was truly important in my life. And after I had put aside all material things like my success, our bank accounts, and the numbers of what I should achieve in a year, I was left with such infinite gratitude for the one man who stood by me, who held me when I cried, who made me laugh even amongst the stress, and who told me everyday that he loved me (even if I only mumbled it back, as I continued to work.)
Cory is my “why.”
I choose my marriage over more money, more business success, and more clients. I choose nights off with my husband, putting aside our cell phones and computers to spend intentional time together. I choose to love him more than anything else in my life.
Why am I a wedding photographer? Because I believe in marriage. Simply put, I believe in investing time, energy, money, and focus into your spouse so that you can give, give, give more than you ever receive.
This mindset is how I an entering this new season of business in 2018, and I have decided to craft four intentional goals, to help keep me on track and my priorities straight, as I navigate this new stage of life!
I am beyond excited to start out this new wedding year with my photography business. I believe that I am in a new place in my heart and mind, to better serve my clients, myself, and my marriage, and to lead a more balanced life. I am working hard to achieve positive ethos and mental clarity along the way, and am excited to be putting my new theory on creative innovation in the forefront of all of my actions for the weddings in 2018 that I am photographing.
My four goals will help keep me focused and on task, and I cannot wait to see my relationships with my clients and other vendors growing into lasting, meaningful friendships as a result!
Want to check out and see how I’m doing (aka. provide me some accountability??) Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see how focusing on these goals changes and directs my upcoming wedding season for 2018!
Comment below and let me know, what goals are you working on for the 2018 year? And how are they going for you?
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