Looking back at 2013

January 1, 2014


Happy New Year! Wow. 2014?! Is it just me or does it seem like everyone was freaking out about Y2K just the other day? (I think I say this every new year.)

A lot has happened this past year, and I have a lot to look forward to…I think it’s only fitting to reflect a bit. I’ve been following James Clear’s blog for the past couple months and find a lot of inspiration in his words. He posted a 2013 Annual Review and, thanks to his encouragement, I am going to write my own, asking the same three questions that he posed to himself:
1. What went well this year?
2. What didn’t go so well this year?
3. What am I working toward?

1. What went well this year?
Photography – In my third “real” year of business (“real” = I bought a business license) I actually feel like I can make this “a thing.” I wake up every morning thinking about photography and how I want to grow my business, take more photos of beautiful people and the world around us, and how I can create and innovate. One of the last things I did this year was a styled shoot with Kelly Sullivan of Botanique, which I can’t wait to share with you all (stay tuned for a big announcement about that!). 2013 shoots by the numbers… 10(!) weddings, (five of my own and five as a second shooter), two engagements, six seniors, six families, three events, two corporate & head shots, one magazine – Kenmore Air in-flight magazine. Here’s the online version of the article, but here’s my post about the experience.
Rebranding – you haven’t seen it yet, but I worked with my pal Kristin McCleerey to create my new brand and logos, and I’m so stoked to reveal them. Waiting for my website redesign to be complete to have that all come out at once. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you, Kristin!
Coaching – Last year I was assistant JV girls basketball coach at my high school, and by the grace of our JV coach becoming the varsity coach, I’m now the varsity assistant. It is an amazing opportunity to mentor young women, plus, I love being around basketball. It’s great to watch them improve each practice and game. ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoyed a week in Mexico with my family in early December…I love sunsets. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. What didn’t go so well?
Blogging regularly – last January I stated my goal to blog once a week. Oy vey. That didn’t happen. I blogged a total of 23 times – better than nothing! – but geez, talk about room to grow… I still have a handful or two of photo shoots and weddings that I have yet to blog, so stay tuned for those, haha.
Bookkeeping – if there was ever something that I was glaringly terrible at, apart from ice skating, it would be bookkeeping. I have the best of intentions – “ooh, I’ll put all my receipts in this basket and reconcile my account every month” – but soon I’m surrounded by small piles of receipts that pop up whenever and wherever I clean my purse. My mom has graciously offered to be my bookkeeper, so I/we just need to come up with a good system to make it happen. It would also be good to do this for my personal life. Baby steps…
Exercise – I play basketball. I run. I lift weights. I do hot yoga…just not consistently. I made it through 10 weeks of P90X until I somehow injured my arm, so that put a damper on things. I also have some knee and ankle ailments that continue to plague me. Needless to say, I need to take care of these things, and work on moving frequently, even if it’s just an afternoon walk.

I hope 2014 brings me the opportunity to take more precious photos of my youngest niece and my brother (they live in Australia).

3. What am I working toward?
Improving upon all of the things from question 2. ๐Ÿ™‚
Building systems – I have plenty of goals; what I need is to design the plans – SYSTEMS – for how I’m going to achieve them. This isn’t really a part of my personality, so it will be a challenge, but one that I welcome and look forward to doing.
Growing my business – becoming a stronger marketer, enhancing and learning new photography skills, cultivating my client relationships, and finding and creating products that my clients want. And more. Lots more. This will be a huge focus of mine this year.
More veggies, less ice cream – I mean, pretty self explanatory. I love my veggies, but I really love my ice cream. I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally when I eat more vegetables and limit my sweets intake. I have a feeling this will involve cooking more and eating out less (speaking of systems).

Overall, I’m quite pleased with 2013. Definitely went through a rough patch personally in the last half, but I was able to maintain the other aspects of my life and become stronger. *Resilience* would be my key word for this time. THANK YOU to everyone who’s been part of my life and my photography journey. I’m grateful to you for loving me, friending me, hiring me, inspiring me, helping me, listening to me, cheering me on, believing in me, and most importantly, letting me be part of your life, too. Here’s to a great 2014 for each and every one of us.

And because I love love love quotes, I’ll leave you with a few about resilience…

โ€œThe greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.โ€ โ€• Nelson Mandela, rest in peace
โ€œLife doesnโ€™t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.โ€ โ€• Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
โ€œWhen we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience.โ€ โ€• Jaeda DeWalt