I may have completely dropped the ball on blogging this year (BIG oops!), but I couldn’t let the year come to a close without writing one last post! If you’re here reading this, lemme just say that you’re a trooper! It’s been months since I’ve published a blog post and it truly means a lot that I still have people interested in what I have to share.
I had every intention of blogging more, consistently sharing content, and staying on top of my game. But this year did not go as anticipated – in good ways, mostly – and I had to make some tough decisions in regards to my work-life-business balance. Many of you know that in addition to operating this business, I also work in sales at IKEA full-time. The last few months have been spent floundering around a bit, trying to figure out something that resembles balance in all aspects of my life. It’s been tough. Enjoyable, but tough. I’ve had to chose wisely how I spend what little free time I have left and to be completely honest, 90% of the time, I choose to stay home and cuddle with my dog, Clark. Around editing sessions and weddings, of course!
I know that I have SO much to catch you up on and in an effort to make this an easy read, I’ll be reverting to list-form from here. Not that that’s hard or anything – you all know how much I enjoy lists!
1. I Photographed 10 Weddings This Year
Specifically, from June through November. This is nowhere near as many as I’d hoped to shoot, but 2017 was definitely a growing year for my business! Growth can be measured in more than numbers and that’s what I’m focusing on. I am incredibly happy and proud to say that the quality of work I produced at the 11 weddings I photographed at this year is leaps and bounds ahead of where I was this time last year and it will only continue to skyrocket because of the work I’m putting in on the back end.
2. I Photographed 5 Engagement Sessions, 1 Proposal and lots of Portrait Sessions!
I also photographed so many cute doggos which made me decide to create a new hashtag on Instagram: #stephparkerpups. And just in case you’ve missed it, you should probably also check out #tacoswithsteph, because who doesn’t love tacos?!
3. I Learned OCF
Otherwise known as off-camera flash. Not only did I learn how to use OCF at weddings, I also incorporated it into every single wedding this year, excluding just one! Huge thanks to my friend, Elle Reed of Brett Loves Elle Photography for showing me the ropes and giving me encouragement to further my business. Thanks to OCF, I am so much more confident in capturing reception moments and events. I’m also incredibly excited to be attending an OCF workshop next month in Cleveland!
4. I Currently Have 6 Weddings Booked For 2018!
Which is around twice the number of weddings I had booked for 2017 at this time last year. I’m still filling my calendar for 2018 and have opened my calendar to start booking for 2019!
5. I’m Continuing to Focus on Growth For My Business in 2018
I currently have two workshops on my calendar to attend in early 2018 and I’m in the starting stages on working on a complete rebrand! It’s time to focus on improving on ALL aspects on business!
6. Styled Shoots and Blog Features!
I photographed at three styled shoots this year and one of them I planned and organized at High Line Car House (Industrial Romance). The Industrial Romance styled shoot has since been featured on two different wedding blogs! Find the links to those posts here and here.
7. Let’s Get Personal!
- I started working at IKEA around Memorial Day weekend and received a mini promotion in August. I really enjoy working at IKEA and getting to help even more people in ways I cannot through my photography business. Need a couch or closet, anyone? 😉 But seriously, come say hello when you’re at IKEA Columbus – I’d love to see you!
- I began focusing on my health and well-being and have lost 25 pounds since April. I’m still an incredibly long way from achieving my goals and I can’t lie and say that this journey has been easy. But I’m ready to get back to the place where I feel like myself again – it’s just the beginning!
- Speaking of changes, I made a MAJOR change to my appearance in October: I chopped off over 12 inches of my hair and donated it. My hair is the shortest it’s ever been and I finally feel like my hair represents who I am as a person – fun and sassy! It’s also a huge weight off of my shoulders (literally and figuratively). I’m no longer allowed to use my hair as a crutch. No more hiding!
- Clark is still the cutest little dude around town and I’m loving our little life together! Other than officially being told he needs to diet, life is good for us. One of my two cats actually likes him now, so that makes life even more interesting!
- I started planning to redecorate my home office a couple of months ago and I’ve finally been making a bit of progress on getting that executed. Can’t wait to share the final product 🙂
To wrap this up, 2017 was the year of beautiful weddings, growth in my business, fun doggos and puppers, delicious tacos, and great shoes. I’m not really sure what can possibly happen to make 2018 better than that, but I’m looking forward to finding out! See you again, next year!
Wanna check out last year’s end-of-year wrap-up? Check it out here: 2016 Wrap-Up