2021 was a big year for me. At the beginning, it was full of excitement and anticipation as I had just “officially” announced this business a couple months before. Within a couple months, my wedding schedule was filling up and more and more people were contacting me. I was ecstatic – it really was unbelievable. And quickly, I was overwhelmed. Following my resignation from my full-time position in May, things really started to look up. I felt clear on my path forward and I was excited for what this business was to bring. I was finding my people, and my summer proved that to me; I worked with so many beautiful people, saw some gorgeous places, and made new connections that I never thought possible. My editing was improving, my client experience was improving, and the total package was improving. I was motivated.
Thanks to the amazing people I worked with, when the overwhelm struck in about September when I was flooded with editing and shooting a new session nearly nightly, my clients were patient, kind, and generous with their time waiting for their galleries to be perfected. Looking back, I am grateful for that time because it showed me that in those months, my priorities have to be different. I can’t focus so much on the back end of the business, the blogging, or the posting – it was more important to get my clients the galleries they paid for. A lesson well learned in business owning and client relations. That isn’t a negative note, that just is what it is – it is learning, growing, and molding myself to be a better business owner. It is the reality of entrepreneurship.
In entirety, I reflect on 2021 as a year of learning in both business and personal ways. I took a deep dive when I quit my steady paycheck and latched onto photography with all my might. However, deep-down, I knew that was the right decision, whether that thought was conscious at the time or not. I’ve never been one to fit into the 8-5, Monday-Friday mold. Something about it completely repulses me. I tried for years to make myself fit that societal mold, but every time I failed. I never gave my all to anything until I started this. I have appreciated the joke floating around reels and TikTok stating “I didn’t want to work an 8-5, so now I work 24/7!” Isn’t that the fucking truth, haha. I spend all of my “off-time” thinking about my business, how to improve it, what else I can offer my clients. BUT, that is not a bad thing. This is the most passionate I’ve felt (probably) in my adult life. Other times of passion have come and gone, but this has stuck. Photography has stuck, owning a business and working for myself has stuck. This is the first time I hadn’t been planning my way out shortly after the spark of it died. I am happy. And just like I told my mom the other day, maybe I’m the only one who isn’t seeing that I am exactly where I need to be. Maybe my constant wish for more, constant desire to strive for more, for better, for bigger, isn’t always good. Maybe I truly am right where I need to be, doing this for me, and figuring it out. After all, I am the only one who can lose here and although scary, that is exhilarating.
I’m attaching my favorite photos from 2021 just. as. they. are. I’m not re-editing them. I am posting them, weird edits, too-orange edits, weird crops and all. Because when I edited them, they were the best I could do. I was proud of them. And me now has learned to trust past me, no matter how hard a lesson that was in the past. Changing and growing is forever. When I stop growing, I don’t think i’ll be one with this world anymore, and thus I will cherish these images just as they are. For those of you reading this and potentially wanting to book, my edits from August forward reflect my current editing style. I am human and thus getting better is part of the game – I am not ashamed of that.