Five years. 2015 will mark my fifth year as a small business owner, my fifth year as a 'working' photographer, my fifth year just trying to figure everything out. As a small business owner, i never really have it all figured out. I make mistakes, learn from them and grow everyday. As a photographer, there are times when I feel uninspired, stuck, or like I'm making no progress. I've written briefly about my feelings of insecurity and anxiety before. When I wrote that post a few months back, A time when I was feeling really low about my business and my photography, My dad - who has owned his own business for 20 plus years - reminded me of a few things about running a business. You can't make everyone happy, you will always have competition, and you can't take business personally. Though he was right, sometime business is business (and sometimes it sucks), I have to take it all personally. I take it personally not only because it's a business I've worked hard to grow over the past 5 years, but because it's my passion. When my photography stops becoming personal, stops being my passion, it will just be a job. I never want it to just be a job.
Looking ahead to this coming year, I am choosing to leave the icky feelings of comparisons, insecurities, self doubting and anxieties behind me. I'm sure they will always be there in the back of my mind, because I think part of being a photographer and putting myself out there means feeling a little scared and insecure sometimes, but 2015 will mean giving the negative feelings much less power. This new year means focusing on the personal, keeping my photography genuine and continuing to push myself. It can be scary to admit that - yeah, running my business is hard sometimes, and it's emotional for me, and sometimes I feel defeated. I never want to come across as whiny or unappreciative, but in order to stay truthful and connected with my clients and myself, I think it's important to write about my struggles and weaknesses once in a while - even if it means showing the non-sugar coated, not-so-pretty side of things. Regardless of the negative feelings I've dealt with this year, 2014 was still a year of growth for me, bringing me closer to the direction I want my business and photography to go. Even with the struggles, as each year passes, I fall more and more in love with my 'job' and feel hugely grateful to the beautiful individuals that choose me to photograph them.
Does this all feel very dramatic and self proclaiming? My bad. Putting my emotional issues aside (ha), some of my business plans/goals for 2015 include the following:
a few more styled mini sessions throughout the year, a couple of Facebook session giveaways (something I haven't done in the past), working toward quicker turn around times for images, and making time for personal photo projects and artistic portraits throughout the year.
Thank you all so much for growing with me, accepting my neurotic tendencies, and allowing me to photograph your amazing souls. I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store!
What are some of your goals for 2015?
(a few snowy portraits of my sweet friend, Emily)