Hello there! Some of you may be confused about this post seeing as it is a WEEK pasted new years already and usually by now everyone has posted their new years resolutions. However, this post has been brewing for about 3-4 weeks now and it wasn’t until just recently that all has come completely clear! I have been reflecting a LOT these past few weeks and several unanswered questions still lingered until about a day or two ago. Well, let me first explain what i have been reflecting on. My whole life, I have been one of those to TAKE ON SO MUCH for as long as I can, then burn out for a quick minute and then pick right back up almost exactly where I left off. I am almost always filling my days to the brim, interested in a million things and on the GO all the time. I really do not know how to live any other way. I almost think i thrive this way. But when I get to the burn out points, i realize that maybe, just maybe, this is not the best way to live. In 2014 I realized that i am more tired than usual, I don’t put myself first because of my long list of “must get done’s”, and I don’t get to do some of the things that I WANT to do (like spend more quality time with my family or go to the gym, for example) because i have to “plan this, make that, edit this, ship that”…. and so on and so on, when in actuality i DONT HAVE to get all those things done. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a small business owner, creating art, making my own schedule and DOING WHAT I LOVE! But i think 2015 is all about scaling it all back. Back to the basics. Back to what I originally started. Back to making it the best it can be! And that of course, I am talking about the photography business, and about taking amazing pictures for amazing clients.
So what does this mean for me? Well, 2014 ROCKED my world, in both great and scary ways. With the birth of our second son, Owen, (in late 2013) he proved that 2 kids is WAY harder than just 1 kid. Owen has tested us in ways that Evan never did, pushed us to limits we didn’t know where there (he has also opened our hearts more than we ever thought they could open, but that is not what has had me asking these deeper questions). YET, with knowing this I still added or kept a ton of things on my plate this past year. SO I asked God to help me find the answers that i have been searching for this past year, to help me or show me how to get the most out of my life, to NOT be tired anymore, to put myself first when it comes to my health and so on. Finally it came to me, directly from Him, the answers i have been seeking. And here they are. It came to be that I NEED to simplify. I NEED to reduce some “work load”. BUT I also NEED to increase my income WHILE reducing my stress. For someone like myself and the way I live my life, this seemed to be an impossible task. But i am ready for the challenge!
How was I to do all of this? I sat on this question for a bit. Nothing really came clear to me. Simplify a busy person? Take away workload from a work-a-holic? Make more money?? For the past year I believed that a lot of my activities and choices would help that last part, the make more money part. In reflection, I have realized that it is actually the opposite. These “extras” are hindering me from making more money, taking up way more of my time, and not generating me any income. WHY AM I DOING THEM? well, thats easy, i enjoy them! BUT sometimes we can enjoy to many things. Sometimes I get carried away because I do enjoy SO MANY THINGS. It goes back to the basic knowledge that you can either be good at a lot of things or be GREAT at one thing. Well, I want to be GREAT at one thing….photography. I am so blessed and thankful for where my business has taken me BUT I want more! I have a lot of visions and ideas that i want for my photography business and I need to have the time to put into growing them! I am super excited about this. But this doesn’t come easy for me as i will have to sacrifice a few things that also bring me joy, but that is just the nature of the beast.
SO here it goes. For 2015, I will be going mostly digital in my photography business and also putting The COOL Click and Two Sides Collide on the back burner (for now). I started the COOL click about 3 years ago! It has been such an AMAZING part of my life and career. I have met SO MANY amazing photographers through this monthly meet up group that I now consider my good friends. I have learned things about myself, my skills, my business and I am so thankful for that! I am most sad about this but it is for the best for me at this present time. I will be able to take the time that I spent location scouting, finding models, and just flat out planning the event and apply that to growing my photography business.
Late last year I come up with a super fun side business called Two Sides Collide. I started creating hand made goodies for little babes and their mama’s. With the BOOM of instagram shops and my new found love for a sewing machine, it seemed like the next best thing to do! I even created a ONE OF A KIND scarf (called it the scarf-dana) that I still fully believe is a fabulous product! If i could patent it, i probably would. And I am not going to lie, I had visions of getting my scarf-dana mass produced and put into local retailers (I did go to college for fashion after all). BUT in actuality it ALSO is just taking too much time from my first passion, photography and taking time away from myself. So instead of shopping local fabric stores, cutting and sewing, then packaging and shipping products, I will invest that time into MYSELF! I will go to the gym, volunteer at my church, and spend more one on one time with my 3 boys (hubby and kiddos). I will finish out the fabrics that I have and create a few more products as I am mid process of my new products AND i have a few gift certificates that were given out at christmas time! But once those are fulfilled, then i will temporarily take down my store front!
Lastly, I am excited to go mostly digital for my photography business! I have decided that I am not quite ready to increase my pricing structure, but I still need to increase my income level. SO i have decided that ONLY full paying sessions will receive a flash drive of images but sessions will no longer includes the 4×6 gift prints that it used to. Also, ALL MINI SESSION or otherwise discounted sessions will only be sent via digital download. No flash drive or disc will be given. I also LOVE packaging my clients images almost as much as i love taking the images and I loved customizing each and every clients order! However by finding a fabulous BUT consistent packaging for ALL clients will reduce costs and also reduce the time it takes to make each clients package.
I fully believe that this will allow me to focus solely on Photos by Angie and Paul, get myself back to my pre-baby, healthy self, more time for me to spend with all of those most important to me, my friends and family, and for me to get out and explore this beautiful state that we live in. I am so pumped for 2015 and what it will bring. I know it will be hard, but it will be worth it. I will be sure to keep you all posted!
And since i am a photographer, i will leave you with some fabulous photos that I was able to capture on our fun family outing over the holidays! THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING, FOR BEING THERE and SUPPORTING ME ALL OF THESE YEARS!