It’s hard to believe that we’re one week down in 2019 but here we are. To be honest, it took me a moment to really get things in gear. The last few weeks of December were great but a little draining, so I dragged across the New Year line lol. It was worth it, though. Work and blogging got put on the back-burner, and I was able to spend more time with friends & family, and also took care of a few things around my apartment. It was a much needed break because I was able to also take some time out to just THINK. Think about what I want to do with photography, with this space, and just life in general.
2018 was a year of intention for me. I streamlined how much time I spent running around for both work and play. I had some amazing highs (I traveled for photography work twice!) and also experienced some scary lows (nothing like an extended slow period with work to make you wonder if you’re in the right profession) but in the end, I really wouldn’t change a lot. The way that things worked out throughout the year DID help me with goal setting for the new year. I don’t do resolutions, but I do believe in working towards goals in order to continuously grow as a person, and to also get better at what I do. With that being said, here are a few goals I’m working on in the new year.
Get back to consistent blogging
Last year I was so busy with helping others get what they needed for their businesses and blogs that I slacked big time over here. I never took huge breaks, but as someone that has been blogging for 8 years, I know the importance of being consistent. Hell, it’s one of the main things I teach in my workshops! Consistency is your number 1 traffic builder, and this blog is why I’ve been able to do so many of the great things I get to do. If I don’t blog, I don’t get opportunities to work with brands or have other cool experiences (in addition to my normal content), so I have to get back on track. At one point I was posting twice a day, 5 days a week, and while I won’t go back to that (I was trying to keep a schedule that was in line with much bigger platforms (with contributors no less) and it was just too much), I will get back to 3-5 posts week. More personal style + beauty posts will be coming, in addition to more focus on local creatives, spaces and things. I took stock of what people responded to best last year, and a lot of you guys really enjoy when I share content that shows a different side of Memphis (we’re more than just BBQ + Elvis) so I’m working on increasing that. I’m also going to share more blogging tips as well.
Streamline my photography business
Bloggers have been my main clientele the last 2 years, but as much as I love working with them… many are very inconsistent with wanting to shoot and/or aren’t using their platforms to go beyond a creative outlet (and that’s totally fine!). Not all bloggers want to blog full-time, nor do they have the budget to put a blogger on retainer, but for the photographer (me), if you don’t work, you don’t eat (or pay bills), lol. If I were in a larger market where blogging was a big thing then this wouldn’t be an issue, but the community here is still relatively small, and I need more clients that are willing and able to invest in a photographer that they work with consistently-it’s the only way that we both can grow creatively and that I can sustain my business. It doesn’t mean that I’ll stop shooting bloggers, but it DOES mean that my focus has shifted to obtaining more work with small businesses + brands vs. mostly bloggers. I never wanted to be that photographer that shot any and everything, so in order to do that, I have to streamline a few things. No more specials + discounts trying to entice new and regular clients to book me, and I have discontinued a few of the packages that I offer. I feel that at this point, my normal rates are pretty reasonable and enough people have seen my work to know I’m good at what I do and if they want to work with me. I know what having consistent, cohesive visuals can do for a blogger, business + brand, so I want more clients that are capable of doing campaigns and doing extended sessions that allow us to batch create lifestyle content for their platform. It’s scary, but I know it’s the right thing to do if I want to keep doing this. My targeted clientele is still fashion, beauty + lifestyle focused, but I just have to work smarter this year.
Finish decorating my apartment
I made some great strides the last quarter of 2018, but I really need to finish up my apartment. I feel like not having my home like I want it affects my creative process because I’m always thinking about what I need, what I want to change, and what I can create while I’m at home. I spend a good amount of time here, so I really need to have it designed how I want and need it to be so that I can get more done. I’d say it’s about 75% completed, but there are a few large pieces that I need, plus some smaller decor items that I want to get it finished up. My goal is get to it all done by Spring.
Get more active
I made being “busy” my excuse for slacking off with working out regularly, but I’ve got to get my booty back on track. I hate the gym so I’m not even going to waste my time getting a membership. Walking and doing my workout dvds are just fine-I just have to get back into the routine. At one point I was working out 3-5 days a week so my goal is to change my sleeping pattern again (I’m normally a night owl) so that I can kick my day off with morning workouts. I love how it made me feel and I was a lot more efficient with everything throughout the day. I have new cute workout clothes + shoes too so there’s no excuse!
Get back to a healthier diet and more wellness (me) time
I didn’t completely fall off last year, but I did indulge a lot, lol. I ate out more often and had a few too many sweets, so I need to get back to “everything in moderation”. Meal prep and healthy snack planning is what kept me on track before, so I’m going to work on trying new recipes and doing a bit more planning with my grocery shopping so that even if I have a busy week of events and dinners, I can at least keep it balanced during the rest of the day. Also, you won’t see me out at everything. I got burned out last year with blogger and media events, so if it doesn’t make sense in the bigger scheme of things, you won’t see me there. I enjoy going out for sure, but I also enjoy reading a good book, going to the movies by myself, and vegging out on the couch doing my nails. Those things help me relax so for the sake of “self-care”, slowing it down will remain a priority for me.
Create a travel budget (both big and small)
I value experiences over everything, so a goal for this year is to better budget for travel, even if it’s only for a quick weekend getaway. I don’t impulse shop as much as I used to, but I still have a few changes that I can make so that I can save up to travel regularly. Beach trips are a priority (I honestly just want to sit by the water and listen to the waves) but I’m game to go any and everywhere.
I have some other goals that I’m working on, but these are the main ones; if I get these things in order, they will be the catalyst for everything else to shift as well. Even though I had a slow start to the year, I’ve already had some meetings and projects come up to help kick things in motion so I’m excited to see what 2019 brings.