So Long 2013, Hello 2014

I love writing these reflective year posts (you can view part 1, Best of 2013 here, and last years’ reflection here.) I think it’s so important to look back at where you’ve come from, and take the time to celebrate it, before looking forward again.

Highlights of 2013

  • Bigger and better publications. So awed to see my name and images on blogs and print editorials like Wedding Chicks, SLR Lounge, Inspired by This, Neiman Marcus Spring Lookbook, and Emmaline Bride. You can see all this goodness and more on the Publications Page
  • Seeing my work in print. It was a dream come true when I ordered May’s issue of EMMA Magazine and saw a whole spread of my images on their pages. It was an even bigger honor to land the cover of the October issue.
  • Flying to Idaho for Sean & Kelly’s rural wedding. Knowing we’d want to start a family soon, I was hoping for the opportunity to travel out-of-state at least one more time this year. What an honor!
  • Seeing the stats of this photo on pinterest. Amazing to have inspired over 1,000 repins from brides all over the internet.
  • Starting the Simple Things blog series as a way to bring more of my brand to life and as an outlet for my love of writing.
  • Reaching the  1,000 likes benchmark on facebook.
  • Hearing from other artists who were inspired by me. I’ve written so many of those kinds of e-mails and messages, and when I started getting admirers writing me, I was beyond honored. I’m so thankful for such a supportive and encouraging industry to be a part of.
  • Reading E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Fail and What to Do About it. I’m semi-embarrassed it took me most of the year to read through it (it even made it’s way in and out of the Grand Canyon with me), but I can tell you this one little book is revolutionizing the way I see my business. One result of it? Starting an official manual for CMP.
  • Working with a whole new array of brides and couples. I have loved the brides of 2013. 2014, you have some big shoes to fill!!
  • Speaking at Redemption Tempe (our home church) about my love and passion for photography. Public speaking isn’t my thing, but somebody once told me that when you find something important enough to talk about, you’ll find reason to like it. So true.

What I’ve Learned:

  • Be nice, and you’ll have lots of rewarding relationships. It is SO easy in an artistic industry to look at others only as competition, and lets be real, a lot of us do. But what I learned this year is that taking the time to invest, encourage, and support others reaps so many more rewards than choosing a competitive mindset. 
  • You can only accomplish as much as how big you dream. So, dream bigger.
  • Success is a delicate balance between what you do (and how hard you work) and God’s hand of provision.
  • Not everyone will be attracted to your work, and that’s ok. The point isn’t to win everyone, it’s to win the right ones.

What I’m Looking forward to:

  • Systemizing more of my business to maximize client experience and my own time. Yup, you guessed it, a concept inspired by the E-Myth.
  • BABY! :)
  • Dreaming bigger. Seeing as I accomplished all of my seemingly impossible (at the time) goals last year, I’m challenging myself to go deeper this year.
  • Collaborating with inspiring individuals to create even more beauty as a team than we could separately. No details yet, but a couple exciting projects are in the works ;).
  • Exploring more of the editorial world and getting more work in print.
  • Reading more business books. How has this become a new hobby? I don’t know, but I’m totally loving it.

On New Year’s Day, Andy and Ispent hours at a favorite local coffeeshop reflecting, talking and writing about dreams for the next year.  The early years of my business have been about a lot of sweat and blood, putting in alot and receiving…well, I’ll admit, a little less, and certainly not as fast, as I had dreamed it. There have been times of humbling, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and learning to keep walking forward even in discouragement. This year, every success was like gold–something to be looked into and admired from every angle. Every victory sweet and precious; to be soaked up and relished in. Truly, it humbled me. Because every success was no longer about what I had done to make it happen or how talented or wise I was, but rather, how good and generous God was to bring those things about.

Cheers to a new year!

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