January has been a quiet month for AVP – partially because I took some time to breath and a bit because I was working on some 2017 goals and plans. So I want to share them here and also share some relatively big news too! Feel free to scroll right to the end if you want to skip my rambling about goals!
One thing to gush about for a second is this: Just over two years ago I wrote down a few goals I had for my business. Going full time, making office hours, hit 20 wedding days booked before the new year, start an actual non-photo based blog. I actually went full time just 6 months after I made these goals and it was an amazing transition. As far as office hours, I most definitely did NOTHING in that regard. ha! I have always been bad with those kinds of boundaries, and the way I work just doesn’t quite jive with set office hours. It is something that I would like to do in some way eventually, but not sure how yet.
I did start my Rambles with Anne travel blog – that has morphed into posts about travel, my personal life, politics and random photos. I don’t think it has much of a following yet, but I am enjoying making it! And just this last year, I had exactly 20 2017 weddings booked going into the new year. So I am pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish!
I also hit a few milestones this last year. 5 years in business, 100th wedding (these were actually only one week apart!), now I am at a total of 110 weddings photographed. While I know this job is NOT about quantity – it is humbling to know this number – that 110 couples trusted me to be a part of their wedding day! And also just to have these experiences (and this much of it) is worth so much more than the number of weddings.
Anyways, I thought that it was about time to update what my goals are. I am sharing some here, and some I won’t. Some are just for me.
Goal #1: In the next year or two, I would love to rent a space, whether it is for an office, a studio, or a studio share. My big announcement will affect this so I won’t attach too many details.
Goal #2: Focus. I am thinking I need to spend the next year focusing on my booked weddings. I will still being doing family sessions, but they will be limited. I will no longer be doing grad sessions, and will be severely limited newborn and maternity sessions. I took on a lot of work in 2016 and I spread myself a bit too thin! I will however be doing more headshot sessions – especially if I get a space!
Goal #3: Keep working on the client experience. I want to stay accessible to clients about their wedding photography and also about the planning experience! I love to help with what I can and really, it is a great way to continue to build rapport between myself and my clients!
Goal #4: Keep this traveling going! I want to get more jobs while I am traveling and for my blog – and just because there is SO much of the world that I still need to see, so much out there that I want to experience. This one is already looking promising as I am in DC currently about to head off on a 2,200 mile solo road trip, I am just a few weeks out from a 5 week stint in Europe, and planning a road trip in June with some friends. I really, really love it.
I have some other personal goals, smaller goals, that I am keeping to myself, but I think I can make these things happen! The one I am the most worried about is focus – I have always had a hard time saying no, but I am working on it.
Which kind of brings me to my news. I say kind of because there really isn’t a natural segue here – or I am unwilling to make one, ha! This is something that has been on my radar for over a year, and actually may help me stop spreading myself too thin. Also, some of you already know this…I’m building this up WAY too much, aren’t I? Anyways, the news!
I am moving to the Twin Cities!
…yeah, I built that up too much. Either way, it is now official! Most, if not all, of my 2017 clients are aware that this was on the table for me but I want to make sure my family clients that I work with every year are in the know. The last two years, I have had many weddings in the cities and it’s looking like in 2017 I will be essentially splitting my time between Duluth and the Twin Cities, so you aren’t really rid of me quite yet.
I am in the process now of signing a May lease for an apartment in South Minneapolis and I am truly excited about it. About the apartment and the move. Chedz couldn’t care less. :)
Some notes from the business side:
• I still have a few openings for the ever popular fall family sessions. In previous years I was able to squeeze people in last minute or on a weekday, I will be unable to do that at all this year.
• The weekends in which I have a wedding in Duluth I will be doing what I can to block off time on the surrounding days for a session or two – only engagement or family sessions. If you want to know what my availability is let me know ASAP!
• I will no longer be doing grad sessions
• If you are one of my clients that lives in the cities – let’s be friends! haha!
• I am potentially looking for a spare bedroom in Duluth to rent (or trade for!) for 2-3 weekends a month from May to October – if you have any leads, let me know!
I can’t end this post without saying how much I adore Duluth. So much about this city has made me who I am – made my business what it is. I am sure there are many nostalgic posts about Duluth in the near future. Most surrounding the people I have met, the memories I have made, and that dang lake that I don’t think I will ever be able to kick.
So yeah, there it is! I think 2017 is going to be a big year. And a good one. I cannot wait to see where everything goes.