I haven’t really made it public this past year, but a year and a half ago Emily and I made the decision to move in with her parents. It was two weeks after I quit my engineering position and we were on a mission to start saving money. Emily’s parents were gracious enough to open their basement up to us, and that is exactly where I have been running the business out of for the last year!
I’ll say, it was a little embarrassing to admit we lived in a basement… In her parents house! However, we have big dreams, and sometimes you have to rough it out to make it happen! It wasn’t easy, and often times I found myself down about where we were at in our lives. I went from living in a large, bright, and open apartment to a dim, cool, and significantly smaller space. This is the reason the local Starbucks had become my second home!
I’ve traveled up and down the east coast countless times. From New York, to the Carolinas, to Florida, New Orleans, the Mid-West and East coast is home, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t traveled out west as much as I’d like. BUT…I’m making progress! Last year around this time I pushed further west with my trip to Vegas for WPPI. Then last October Emily and I flew out to Scottsdale, AZ for the United retreat!
We had a blast traveling to those places, but one destination seemed to keep eluding my wishlist of travel destinations…California. I have so many photographer friends that live there, but yet never visited! When I booked a wedding for this year and found that the couple lived in LA I decide it was time to get out of Ohio and finally cross California off my wishlist!
Right after the Rising Tide Society leadership retreat in Charleston, SC I boarded a plane headed for the west coast! This time it was truly the west coast! My flight landed in LA around 7:30pm, I picked up my sweet rental from Sixt Rentals, and I was on my way to explore!
I absolutely love design. Especially when it’s mimimal…That’s why when looking for a stand for my Apple Watch it started becoming impossible to find one that fit my style. I had almost given up hope until one day on Facebook I stumbled across an ad for a company called Native Union. Finally an ad that turned out to be beneficial!!
As I browsesd their website I began to notice that they not only sold Apple Watch stands, but ones for your iPhone, as well as beautifully designed phone cases. FINALLY some nicely designed products that meshed with my style!
Without hesitation I order an Apple Watch and Phone dock (seperate items), and a phone case. Within a few days all items arrived on the doorstep, and without wasting time quickly rushed to open the box. It seriously felt like Christmas.
March has been quite the month! Early on in the month I got to travel to Charleston, LA, AND Vegas! What a month! My trip to LA was my first ever to California and I completely fell in love! (More about my visit in my next post) Vegas was pretty great as well with WPPI!
In addition to all the traveling March has really been a month of self reflection and improvement. I’ve recently started listening to podcasts more frequently, reading books more often, and really focusing on creating a personal routine that helps set me up for success.
It wasn’t more than a few days ago that I was two miles in on the treadmill listening to “The Suitcase Entrepreneur” podcast. In this particular episode the host Natalie Sisson discussed turning your dreams into reality. Referencing Cameron Herald’s book Double Double, she discussed what he calls your “Vivid Vision”.
Essentially what your Vivid Vision is is a detailed view of what your life will be in three years from now. It’s narrated in the present test to give you a sense of what your life would be like if you were living it at this very moment.
Early last year a couple pretty awesome girls out of Annopolis Maryland started a group (turned movement) called the Rising Tide Society. Their mission; to educate and empower creatives through the spirit of community over competition. They began local groups called Tuesdays Togethers, and as of last August I’ve had the incredible honor to lead our very own area Tuesdays Together group.
Open to all, we meet once a month to network and talk/educte eachother about certain aspects of our businesses. It has truly been incredible to see so many people come together to help eachother out. People who look past competing with eachother, and instead help lift eachother up.
Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing year in 2015, and I wish you all the best for 2016! As with each new year I like to reflect on the previous and set my goals for upcoming, and today I’m doing just that! Last year my goals ranged from business to fitness, and this year is no different! I want to continue what I started in 2015, and use what I learned to make 2016 even better! I couldn’t be happier looking back, and in 2016 I want to focus mainly on two things; education and serving. When I talk about serving I’m talking about it in two sense of the word. Serving my clients the best I can, and volunteering. My clients are especially important to me. I would not be able to do what I love for a living without them, and in 2016 I want to work on giving them an exceptional wedding experience. On the other end I want to take the time to start volunteering more. Volunteering has always been important to me, and I’ve always wished I could do more of it. So next year it’s on!
Wow…How fast a year has gone!! Today marks exactly ONE year since I took the jump into persuing photography full-time, and what an incredible year it’s been! I’m beyond blessed to do what I love and make a living doing it. This past year has presented me with so many amazing opporunities, and freedom that I never had working as an engineer full time. I’ve been able to put an emense amount of energy into my business, and it’s been a thrill to watch it grow! I truly have the most amazing couples who believe in what I do!
This past year has given me the time I need to discover myself. Discover my strenghts, what makes me tick, what motivates me, and what challenges me to better myself. It’s been a year of traveling, learning, teaching, leading, and meeting so many new friends! The bar is set high for this upcoming year, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store! I’m working on so many projects for my business it’s ridulously fun (and busy), and I can’t wait to share them with you!
So with all that’s been said I want to share with you some things I’ve learned during this past year. Things I believe can help you no matter where you’re at with your business.
I’ve now been a full time photographer for 7 months, and during the transition I have come to learn how to prioritize and run an efficient business! The key word: PRIORITIZE. This doesn’t necessarily even mean prioritizing in my business! Over the last few months I have learned how to prioritize other areas of my life. My health, fitness, finances, relationships, etc. Believe it or not my business is one of my last priorities!
You may think I’m crazy for doing that, but this doesn’t mean that all my time is dedicated to other things other than my business, and that I don’t care about it. I spend quite a lot of time on it, but significantly less time than I use to. You might think that by spending less time working I’ve negatively impacted the business, but it hasn’t one bit! It’s growing faster than ever, and I couldn’t be more excited!
It should come to no surprise that Emily and I LOVE to get photos taken of the two of us. We want the story of our relationship told over time, and that requires every now and then having certain moments captured in time. When we traveled to Charleston last summer we had the very talented Katie Capo take some photos of us. We can now look back at those photos and remember how amazing our time in Charleston was.
Before we left for WPPI in Vegas I knew that it would be the perfect time and location for another round of photos. It was going to be the perfect opportunity to get some because, um okay a thousand photographers were going to be there…It was a no brainer! Despite having quite the selection the choice of which photographer we wanted to capture our Vegas adventure was also a no brainer. Without hesitation I reached out to Matt Kennedy! I’ve been following Matt for a couple years now, and had the incredible opporunity to mentor with him last year!