2017 Goals and check in

At the end of 2016, I wrote up a detailed business plan setting some goals for my photography business and myself for 2017. To keep myself on track, at the end of every month I also write monthly goals to focus on over the next 4 weeks. Doing this forces me to evaluate my plan and see where I am making progress and what I need to work on. Since we’re about ½ way through 2017 (can you believe it!), I thought I’d share what some of these aspirations are and tell you how it’s going.

One of my main goals for this year was to redo and update my website. If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know I worked on that while I was in Florida. I have a few more small changes to make, but overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out. While designing my new site, I also worked on my SEO. This has helped my page consistently show up on the first page in a search for pet photographers in State College as well as Southwest Florida.

Another goal of mine was to start offering coffee table albums for my clients. While I’m a big believer in creating wall art to showcase in my client’s homes, not everyone has the space nor the desire to hang a canvas or metal wall piece in their house. And some of my clients have a hard time narrowing their choice for which image to have framed. So a coffee table album is the perfect option for them. They are available in two sizes, 8x8 and 10x10. The smaller album includes up to 20 images in a 10 spread book, the larger album includes up to 35 images over 10 spreads. I am also offering a smaller companion album. Making a great gift, this cute 5x5 book includes 10 images in a five spread album. I ordered samples this winter and they are even better when seen in person.  

Earlier this year, I donated two sessions for silent auctions at two wonderful charities. It was the first time I worked with either of these charities and I was a little nervous at how well my donation would be received. While I’ve been shooting for a while, I’m still getting word out about my business. But that was all for nothing. I’m super excited to share that both auction items sold, earning almost $1000 for the causes. I can’t wait to meet the families who won the bids and photograph their fur-kids!

One goal I haven’t done very well with is booking paid client sessions. I’ve had several inquiries, but since I’ve been back in PA, I haven’t photographed a single client session. I’ve been keeping busy with other projects including working on my marketing plan so hopefully I can turn things around for the second half of the year.

I wrote in my business plan that I wanted to blog 3x/week this year. While blogging takes a lot of time and energy, it’s something I find I really enjoy. I was pretty good about blogging during my mini sabbatical in Florida over the winter, but after my return home, I didn’t write anything for almost two months.  At the end of April, I told myself it was time to stop slacking and start writing. Since then I’ve posted a blog twice a week and have found this is my happy place. Follow along with me! I'll be posting every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

And finally, I made it a goal to be more active on social media this year. I'm finding Facebook's reach so inconsistent these days, so I share more on Instagram. I've been posting regularly, but sometimes I'll go a few weeks and not post anything. So I've made a plan to post 5 times a week for the rest of the year. If you're not following me, click HERE and then click "follow". While I post on Facebook, I find the same thing, sometimes I'll post several days or weeks in a row, then go stretches where I don't share anything. My new goal is to post 4 times a week. Twice a week I'll be sharing my most recent blog post. If you want to follow along, be sure you "like" my page. If you haven't you can click HERE

As always, thanks for reading!

Change is in the air!

While my photography journey began when I was in high school, my journey to starting a photography business has only just gotten started. After attending the Paw Prints Divas workshop in Chicago last fall, I realized what it was going to take to open a business and more importantly, that I was ready to do this. Opening a photography business is more than just picking up a camera and photographing pets. There's the legal aspect like registering a business name and filing taxes. There's the marketing side - getting my name out there and promoting my business. And you can't forget the technical aspect of having a thorough knowledge of camera gear and post-processing. In fact, I've seen charts of how photographers who are in business spend their time and photographing is only a small part of what they do.

I've been working diligently behind the scenes the past several months on the business part of my photography business. So you're going to see a lot of changes over the next couple of months. But it's all very exciting! I'll be blogging more and starting another project (in addition to the project 52 I'm currently doing). There will be some model calls, special promotions and perhaps even a giveaway! So be sure to check back often! And share with your friends! You never know, maybe you or someone you know has just what I'm looking for in my model calls! 

I’ve always had a love affair with photography, and the thought of having a photography business seemed so far out of reach. I’ve had so much fun so far. I can’t wait to see where my journey takes me!

And of course, I'll keep the photos coming! Speaking of which, I can't sign off without sharing a photo or two or three! I saw these purple wildflowers along the side of the road a couple of days ago. I don't know what they are, but I've always loved them. Maybe in part because they bloom right around my birthday. Anyway, I knew I needed to take Izzy there and photograph her among them. Enjoy!