2013 In Review — Running a Business

2013 In Review — Running a Business

2013 flew past me in the blink of an eye. Back in high school, someone told me that the years go by faster as you get older. I’m not sure if that’s true overall, or if it was just true for 2013, but I felt like the year was gone in the blink of an eye. Starting the business was a big part of my year. It was the source of my most triumphant moments, as well as a player in the lowest moments too. I struggled with finding validation. With understanding that I can’t measure my worth — my personal worth — by whether people want to book me or not (but I can measure the success of my business by that metric), my outlook changed. I feel like, as a whole, my business did well in 2013. But, as always, there’s room for improvement. Late in the year, I confessed that I got a job in retail, only to leave that job a few short months later (which I hadn’t talked about yet), but I learned so much from those short months. However, I’m happy to be only self-employed again. Really. If anything, working for a retail giant confirmed the thought that this business is where I want to concentrate my attention.

Midway through the year, we picked up everything and moved to Spokane on very short notice. The big move could have been a big mistake. I was terrified that we would have moved, only to regret it a few months later. But it’s felt so right. Deep down, I know that this was the right move, not just for the business, but for us. We’ve been so much happier since the move. H loves his new job, I love all the sunshine. We both enjoy the better weather (there are so many seasons here!) and the lack of traffic. I wish there was more snow on the ground (come on, Spokane!), but I’m so thankful to be part of a great photographer and wedding community here. There is a sense of belonging that I never found in Seattle, as much as I loved it there. It just feels right. Although, I think there needs to be an IKEA in the area. I miss cheap meatballs! 😉

I only met about half my 2013 business goals. So last week, I really sat down and looked at them. Some of them were laughable. Totally unreachable. And then I made goals for 2014. This year, I’m not making crazy big goals (that was a problem last year). This year, it’s all about SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, & time-bound. For example, one of my goals? To visit a new Spokane area venue each month. Another is to shoot 5 rolls of film this year, because I miss shooting film. I’m still working on fleshing out the last of my goals, but I hope to have 10 of them for the year. Small goals that are going to be building blocks for a better business.

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe. trust. let go. and see what happens. — Unknown

below the boat photography

I shot this image a couple months ago for a fantastic company, Below the Boat. One of my goals last year was to challenge myself as a photographer. So I’ve been doing some product photography. Below the Boat sells these fantastic charts, and some of my work is already up on their site. I’m more than a little in love with these beauties.

2013 In Review

2013 In Review

2013 was a crazy year. It started with our trip to Germany, where we spent three weeks exploring Munich, Dachau, the Reingau, Bonn, Berlin, & Hamburg. While I didn’t take any photos of cake, trust me, I ate plenty. Once we were back, it was time for weddings! My wedding season started in March last year & ended in October. With tons of portrait sessions and a cross-state move in the middle.

I’ll be posting a little review/my thoughts on my first bridal show later this week and a 2013 business recap next week. [Summary: it was overwhelming but great, and I learned a lot. From both.] If you’ve found your way here after visiting my booth at the show, hi! I talked to so many wonderful ladies and gentlemen, so if you didn’t sign up for the email, but want more info on my bridal show special offer (or signed up and didn’t get the email), send me an email through the contact link above and I’ll get you all sorted out.

And now, the photos! I tried to go through all my photos from this year on my harddrive and pick out my favorites, but it was too hard. So I quickly went through my upload archive for the blog and grabbed them that way. This way I can recap my 2013 before the first month of 2014 is done. And yes, there are a couple I did pull from a portfolio update I did that haven’t been blogged. Next week! Without further ado, the best of 2013.

Cataldo-Mission-wedding-002Berlin Tempelhof Airport FieldUniversity-Chicago-wedding-008Hamburg Germany in WinterCamden-Ranch-wedding-bridal-shoot-20Mazama-Winthrop-wedding-007Fall Spokane Wedding PhotographyThomas Heinrich Peterson Seattle WADachau Camp MuseumCountry Barn Wedding PhotographyKolner Domvolunteer-park-5Destination Wedding PhotographyChicago Boat TourPortland Oregon Portrait PhotographySeattle Wedding PhotographyVilla Vashon WeddingsVashon Island Wedding PhotographySpokane Portrait PhotographyJewish Wedding PhotographyPortland Portrait PhotographyGasworks Park Maternity PhotographyYakima Valley Wedding PhotographyMazama Ranch House Wedding PhotographySeattle Portrait PhotographyJewish Memorial BerlinBridal-Show--slideshow-066Columbia Basin Wedding PhotographyCasual Portrait PhotographerCasual Western Wedding PhotographyEpic Dance Party WeddingsMotorcycle Engagement PhotosWahluke Soccer PhotographyUniversity-Chicago-wedding-006Dachau Camp MuseumEastside Gallery - Berlin WallVilla Vashon Wedding PhotographyColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia River VantageMunich neighborhoods snow


Family History, The Ballard Locks — Seattle, WA

Family History, The Ballard Locks — Seattle, WA

I’m in a strange place right now. This retail job I picked up, it’s driving me crazy. Besides the full load of work I do for the photography (which, at this time of year is less photo-taking and more business-maintaining), and the 20-30+ hours at the retail gig, we’re also house hunting. That doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the job. It’s been a learning experience and I’m gleaning whatever I can from this, as well as working with some pretty fantastic people. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days until I head out. I miss making my own schedule, having time to read a book. Being my own boss.

Back when we went to Seattle in October, I conned H into driving us all the way out to Ballard on Monday morning before we left. We were driving against traffic, so it wasn’t even that bad. I love the locks, for more than one reason. First, because they’re fascinating. Because it’s fun to watch the ships come through the locks. Heading out to sea, coming back in to port. Second, because I feel connected to the locks. If you’ve ever visited the locks and walked all the way across, you might have seen the plaque below. It’s in honor of my great-great-great grandfather (my dad’s mom’s grandpa), Thomas Heinrich Peterson. He was one of the first shipbuilders in the Seattle area, and his shipyard was at Salmon Bay (which is long gone) and he lived in Ballard around the turn of the century. We have a model of one of his ships in my parents’ living room, but we didn’t know about the plaque until recently.

As we look at houses, ones old enough that my great-great-great grandfather could have lived there, I’m reminded that the past is just as important as the present and the future. That we need to remember the little things. This plaque doesn’t tell you that he almost died in a shipwreck once, or that he wrote very long run-on sentences with little-to-no punctuation, or that he had five children, or that his wife outlived him by many, many, years. But it’s there. A testament to a life well lived, to a man who left his mark on Seattle’s history.

Seattle AlkiBallard Locks SeattleThomas Heinrich Peterson Seattle WABallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks SeattleBallard Locks Seattle

Merry Christmas everyone. I’ll hopefully post again before 2014 arrives, but if not, I’ll be back with more in January!

Rafting the Deschutes — Maupin, OR

Rafting the Deschutes — Maupin, OR

In August, we escaped for a weekend away with my family to Eastern Oregon. We drove down to Maupin, and spent a couple days in the area, rafting the Deschutes River and visiting Hood River. We ate lots of good food and soaked up the sunshine. The trip was far too short, and I’m already scheming about when we’ll fit it in next year. On our way home, we swung by the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum just outside the Dalles. The first two photos are from our raft trip, taken with the little waterproof camera. The rest are from the museum, which I’d totally visit again. The museum caught my eye when we drove down to Maupin,so we stopped on our way back. They have some great displays of early native American work, along with a cool interactive exhibit hall depicting early life on the Columbia.

Side note(s): we rafted the Deschutes with Imperial Rafting Company. It’s the second time we’ve rafted the Deschutes (the first time was in 2006), and both times, I’ve loved the service and people at IRC. We also stayed at their hotel and the location can’t be beat. Also, if you’re in Hood River at breakfast time, I highly recommend Egg River Cafe. It’s busy, but good. Neither company has any idea I’m saying nice things about them, but I had to say them all the same.

Rafting the DeschutesRafting the DeschutesColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge MuseumColumbia Gorge Museum

Looking for the Light

Looking for the Light

You guys.

We spent three years in the Seattle area. And shortly after we arrived, I realized I was going to have trouble adapting. It was the light. Gone were the clear blue skies that seemed to go on forever. It was all trees. Lots of gray and rain.

But now, now I’m back in the light. And it calls to me.

We used to drive over the pass — to my parent’s home, to Spokane — and when we’d get to a point, between Easton and Thorp, I’d always tell H to look at the light. I don’t think he understood what I was talking about. Even in the rain, Eastern Washington’s light is different. And in the winter? When it snows and then the sun comes out? So bright it blinds you? That’s something I missed. Blue skies, white powder, flying down the mountains. Oh, yes. That light is right.

It’s soft and elegant. It’s warm and clear. And it’s so right.

Even now, on a crisp fall day, as the leaves are just starting to turn (and I cannot wait for crisp fall leaves), it’s clear and bright.

Yes, I miss Seattle. But this light? Oh this light. I’ve been looking for the light for three years.

It’s good to be home.

Camden Ranch Wedding Photography
Methow Valley Wedding Photography

Top photo: from a shoot I did at the beautiful Camden Ranch in Elk, WA for Applebrides. 10 minutes before that photo, it was pouring. Bottom: Alaine & Dan‘s gorgeous Mazama wedding. I can’t wait to share more from both shoots!

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

I’m leaving town again this weekend, right after publishing this baby. Thankful for the friends who take care of my cat and apartment. The number of weekends we’re home during the next two months is less than the weekends we’re away right now. Between work and family and H’s triathlon’s, we’ve been busy. Here, there, everywhere. It’s not such a bad thing. The photos below are from a couple weeks ago, when we went to visit my family in Mattawa, and H ran a triathlon in Ellensburg. We’re going to be traveling around the state and country during the next few weeks. At the end, there’s a list of three weekends when I have time. Time to meet up for coffee, time to for a shoot, time to just…be. Let’s meet up.Eastern Washington photographyEastern Washington photographyColumbia River PhotographyColumbia River VantageEllensburg Triathlon Budu RacingEastern Washington photography