New Year’s Reflections!

Happy New Year, friends!!  I cannot believe it’s 2019 already – how did that happen?!

I know Derek and I only returned from our Christmas in Florida on January 1st, but for some reason I just couldn’t wait to post these reflections!  I think I’m really anticipating this year ahead, and this year already feels fresh and new.

Last year I started praying about a word for the year – something that God puts on my heart for the year ahead.  This year, I realize that He wants me to be open and receptive to what He has for me, and to fine tune that balance between working hard and detaching my heart from the result.  And then a few days ago, I kept writing the word “Release” and I think it encompasses so many things!  Not just releasing myself from the results of what I am aiming for, but also releasing myself to try something new.  I know God has been calling me to teach more, and to begin writing (a project that has been on my heart for 10 years) and last year I actually started baby steps toward that.  But at the beginning of this year, I want to release myself to do not just what comes easy and natural to me, like shooting weddings, but to be bold enough to explore these new realms because of all the growth I’ve already done.  Phew!!  Good stuff!

Another tradition in reflection I started several years ago was to analyze what worked & what didn’t work in the previous year, and writing goals for the coming year (thanks to my mentor Katelyn James who started blogging her list!)  So I’m going to continue in this tradition as it really helps me focus my energy as a business owner and personally (as those always go hand in hand!)

GET EXCITED FRIENDS!

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WHAT WORKED in 2018

  • My husband Derek second shooting many of my weddings with me – he’s seriously a rockstar!!  I am so blessed!
  • Editing my own photographs – I had been outsourcing for years all but editing for my blog post and culling the photos, but I took on the extra 10+ hours of work per wedding.  And I actually think I’m finding a rhythm with it and starting to get it done faster!  So YAY.
  • Leading Tuesdays Together for another year – our group has been so responsive here in Syracuse and we’ve had a lot of fun, from photo shoots to outdoor parties to going to a lot of different venues for our meetings.
  • Having Erin Paglia intern for me another year – she did so wonderfully as usual and really helped me this past summer with editing and creating my new ShowIt5 website!!
  • Structured work environment – I started working at Soleil Cafe for 3 hour chunks during my busy season to stay focused and it’s helped so much!  I am definitely going to keep my office traditions in tact this coming year!
  • Working out – During my stressful season I started going to a Barre 3 class and it has helped my body so much!  Not only in strength training which helps as a wedding photographer but to help de-stress and do something good for myself when life felt imbalanced!
  • Funny Design Software – it’s helped me so much in creating album designs, not only saving a ton of money in business expenses but also helping me to have fun in the process!
  • Blogging weddings & engagements – despite being more busy with editing I have pretty much been able to blog every shoot I have done in CNY within 1 month of doing it – huge accomplishment!!
  • Creating an online community for Education – Kerri Lynne Photography Community on Facebook – and I’ve loved seeing all the response and support everyone has given each other!
  • My first Lighting & Posing Workshop – it was everything I dreamed it would be and I think all the participants not only learned a lot, but had fun on location with our amazing models!
  • I launched my first writing Instagram account @kerricolewrites, where I am starting to work toward my dream of becoming a writer as well!
  • Second shooting – In my first season in CNY I worked with 2 companies to assist in shooting weddings and it was so much fun and I actually enjoyed being able to work with less pressure during wedding season.
  • Bookings in CNY – for my first season here I booked WAY more than I thought I would and am already almost booked in 2019!  Such a blessing, I’m so thankful!

 

WHAT DIDN’T WORK in 2018

  • Increased image turnaround time – I had to increase my turnaround time for the images to my clients a little bit because I am now editing all the images myself, WHILE keeping to my strict blog schedule which remains so important for my business.  I am getting used to it now and giving myself grace since it’s still so reasonable!
  • Quickbooks – as soon as wedding season picked up it became very hard for me to keep up with my accounting monthly – and have had to catch up with big chunks at a time.  I hope I can be more intentional this year to do that differently!
  • Invoicing software – the cost of my software went up and I need to find another solution for invoicing my clients.
  • Squarespace commerce – Selling my educational courses online using one type of commerce was hard when my courses aren’t constant over the year and I only use the commerce at certain times.  I need to analyze what I can do differently this coming year.
  • Launching my Chasing Light courses – I had high hopes to completely “JUMP IN” as a teacher and teach more intense and costly courses up front.  I realized that it would be more beneficial to teach less intense and less costly workshops as I’m building my reputation as an educator.
  • Launching my Newsletter – in wedding season I didn’t attempt to start using Mailchimp as it was so much easier to focus on weddings and in education on off season.  Hopefully I will find a better balance this coming year, or even prep better for education in my off season!

 

GOALS FOR 2019

  • Transition to using Honeybook for client invoicing and workflow!  (This will be a big undertaking but long overdue!!  My husband is right!)
  • Teach 1-2 NEW COURSES in 2019!  (I can’t spill the beans yet on what I’m hatching!)
  • Launch my first newsletter for Photographers / entrepreneurs
  • Sell my first set of educational products (PDF’s)
  • Continue writing regularly and begin writing my book with more structure this winter
  • Photograph more seasonal landscape – especially in the fall when I tend to be booked with weddings – create space in my schedule for some landscape action!

 

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT IN 2019

  • Traveling to see family (in Colorado and Florida!)
  • Photographing a family wedding in Key West
  • Being a Speaker and Teacher at the Delight Retreat in Washington State in April!
  • Teaching at PPSCNY and launching more of my own courses
  • Continuing to be a YoungLife leader with my husband and getting to know those kids even better
  • Taking care of my body more (Barre 3, Yoga, and our new family membership to the Y!)
  • Bible study starting up again (The Daily Grace Co and this group of ladies is changing my life!)
  • Family coming to visit us in NY this coming summer – I’m so excited to have them here
  • Derek and I’s second year of marriage – if our first one was that sweet I just know the second will be even sweeter!

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Thank you so much as always for being a part of the journey!  Feel free to comment and tell me what YOUR goals are, your hopes, or any responses to mine!

Here’s to a beautiful 2019, friends!  Here’s to giving ourselves grace to change gradually, to take risks, and to accept what God gives with gratitude!!

The best is yet to come…

 

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