“But Steph,” you say, “you haven’t written a Viewfinder post since September of last year. I think this just isn’t working out.”
If this is what you’re thinking, then you are definitely not wrong. In fact, I may even humbly concede that you are very right. The Viewfinder series took a bit of a nosedive last fall and never really recovered. Even now, we’re 10 days into a 28-day month and I’m just getting around to recapping my goals from the past five months. (!?) But here is where I pull the “It’s My Blog and I can Post Super Late if I Want To” card. So that’s that.
In all seriousness, in the busyness of the fall and winter seasons of this past year, the Viewfinder was one of the first things to go, but that doesn’t negate it’s importance in holding me accountable in my business. So, since we don’t have a January Viewfinder to look back on, and because I haven’t yet recapped my business goals from 2013, that’s where I’m starting today!
1.) Share my monthly goals on the blog at the start of each month.
Well, we know how this turned out. But the Viewfinder will live on in 2014!
2.) Double the number of weddings that I shoot in 2012.
I am so proud to say that this goal was achieved and then some! I had the honor of shooting 20 wedding in 2013, and I loved every single moment of them!
3.) Create and maintain a blogging calendar.
I blogged more faithfully that in 2013 than in 2012, that much I know. But this goal will definitely be carried over into 2014, too!
4.) Implement a system to track workflow!
Semi-accomplished, but the workflow will continue to be refined throughout this year as well.
5.) Create an office environment that I enjoy working in.
Though my office nook was cozy to put it nicely, it was a great space to start. With my recent move to Alexandria (more on this soon!) I’m also moving into an office that is NOT part of a closet! A reason to celebrate if I’ve ever heard one.
Last year I decided I wanted to invest in more professional equipment with the purchase of the D800, the DB-910 and the 28mm 1.8, all of which are now a happy part of my equipment family! Yeah!
7.) Refine branding.
A project that was started last year and continues into this one. I can barely wait for it to be completed and for Stephanie Dee Photography to have a fresh new look!
8.) Make 2013 the year of the website.
This goes along with #7, but it’s coming, I promise!
9.) Continue to invest in photography education.
Though I still haven’t blogged about my experience, this past September I was able to attend Katelyn James’ workshop experience and so much of what I learned is already being implemented in my business!
10.) Order sample albums, prints, and canvases to show clients the real value of their images.
Check this one off!
11.) Begin faithfully using off-camera lighting during receptions.
Though I am still by no means an expert, I am happy to say that I utilized OCF at almost all of my receptions this year and I’ve loved how it’s transformed my reception images from the documentation of a party to the creation of beautiful images at a party! Here’s one of my absolute favorites from Heather and Chris’s wedding this past September during the father-daughter dance.
12.) Create a budget and stick to it/keep track of monthly expenses and accounting.
As 2014’s tax season descends upon us, I have to admit that I didn’t keep my accounts in order in a way that would save me time this year. It was a decision made in the face of working two jobs and maintaining balance, and I’ll pay for it this month by cutting out a full week to organize my taxes. However, because I am now running my business full-time, I am so excited to be able to actually devote time and systems to keeping better track of my accounts.
13.) Maintain a balance between work, work, and life.
Phew. I’m not even sure how I should recap this goal. 2013 was a whirlwind in so many ways, and I can’t even count the number of days where the hours felt too few. I think I pushed and found my limits in 2013. My time limits, my patience limits, my sleep limits… In all honestly, 2013 left me feeling unbalanced and downright tired, but it’s that reality that pushed me to make the leap into full-time, and I wouldn’t take that back for anything.
– Shoot Heather and David’s Valentine’s Wedding.
My second wedding of the year is this Friday and I am so ready to celebrate with Heather and David at their Valentine’s Day wedding!
– Moving/Settling In.
I mentioned it above, but last month I moved to a new home in Alexandria! In-between the unpacking and making my space feel like home, I’ll be setting up my new office space that will be the new Steph Dee headquarters! Of course the new digs will be featured on the blog one day—when they’re ready!
– Transition all clients on Shoot-Q.
Shoot-Q is a new online booking/contract/payment engine I’ve started utilizing to simplify life for me and my clients, and so far I love it! Almost all of my 2014 clients have been transitioned to it, and if you’re reading this and haven’t been yet, don’t worry, it’s coming soon! :)
– Consistent blogging.
Some things never change. Yes this was a goal in January 2013 and yes, it still is in February 2014! But one of the huge benefits of being full-time is finally having the time to dedicate to daily (or so) blogging, at least four times a week. No more empty weeks!
– Get to the gym.
Adding a little personal goal into the mix this month, it’s time to get back to the gym! Last fall saw a complete lack of fitness, and I’m eager to get back into running shape. Like blogging, I want to run/bike/gym at least four times a week for the rest of this month. Really not too crazy of a goal, but an important one nonetheless.
Bring it on, 2014!