Oh 2020. A lot of people have a lot of grief with you. I’m not going to sugarcoat it and ooze positivity out in a way that would hurt so many people, but I am going to focus on things added, things learned and things loved in this really, really interesting year. Today, I want to share my 2020 Recap with you!
I love learning new things. It’s why I never stop taking classes, workshops and educating myself. I never want to hit the spot where I think I know everything.
This year, I focused on the behind-the-scenes of my business and ways to take care of my clients.
I had a one-on-one mentorship with Amanda Hedgepeth that immediately saw me taking better care of my clients in so many ways. I edit faster, turn photos around quicker and make my clients better educated and loved. My average photo session turnaround in 2020 is 24 hours from start of session, through editing, uploading gallery and delivering to the client. Woohoo!
I purchased a course to better edit clients with darker skin tones from my friend and incredibly-talented photographer Tyrenda Pentecost — I want all of my clients to feel safe, appreciated and special.
This winter, I’m working on learning some American Sign Language phrases that I can use with the handful of Deaf clients that I have gained. They deserve to feel included, too.
The most important thing I learned this year? Confidence and belief in myself and my abilities. I stuck to my guns when others were trying to impose thoughts on my pricing, my structure, everything. I found the real me and the real photographer my clients need.
I’m always trying new things, too. I don’t want to get too complacent in my work or my life so it’s fun to shake things up a bit here and there.
This year, I found new locations for my clients and insisted on only using the absolute most flattering times of day for the best light in our sessions together.
I also added a new scheduling link to eliminate back-and-forth emails in trying to put something on the calendar and to guarantee I keep a balance of my work and personal time.
I also started mini sessions for the first time! My holiday front porch mini sessions were a HUGE hit and I have so many requests to continue them next year! I loved giving a quick, easy and safe way to capture a few images for new and returning clients and their families this winter. I am already thinking of new themed mini sessions I can add next year!
Honestly, some days this year it was all about survival mode. Just getting through a day was a feat in itself.
But among the fear, worry, nerves, distance, change in routine, loss of physical connections, interruption in schedules and everything else … I found some incredible pockets of joy.
My kids are closer to each other than I ever could have hoped and really, truly, they are happy this year. They spent more time outside than they ever could otherwise. They each gained independence and responsibility and we had so very many adventures. And the time I spent with them, while at times moderately suffocating was so powerfully beautiful. These extra minutes and hours and days are something I’ll cherish when my house is quieter several years down the line.
I worked through personal issues and struggles in a more dedicated way than ever before. Through therapy and medication, meditation and giving myself grace, I conquered a lot of old demons and recognized some newer ones. I’m a better person for doing these things for myself.
And there is an appreciate for the little things that definitely got overlooked before — this year I slowed down. Really slowed down. I spent so much glorious time outside and among nature. Honestly, I miss my hikes terribly but I gained gardening and sunshine in other ways. I heard birds chirping, noticed new buds, felt raindrops and snowflakes. Finally, I took notice of the warmth of my coffee mug and no longer mind the “sparkle” popping up in my hair or the lines around my eyes. It sounds incredibly cheesy but it was so therapeutic.
I know this year has been so terribly hard. And, I know it won’t all go away on January 1st. But, I hope you feel loved, know you are important and give yourself grace. I hope we see a glimmer of hope and light in 2021. Believe.