If there was a way I could show everything I learned this year in a series of interesting photos. I can’t. But man I’ll tell you, if I could I certainly would. That’s how much I’ve learned this year. That’s all I can think about. It’s been so much less about technique while actually behind the camera and much more about the work that needs to be done before I pick the camera up and long after I put the camera down. I’m also not going to sit here and pretend that I’m not in love with some of the work I’ve done this year. More this year than in years previous because this year is more about what I’ve done for myself.
I didn’t have an internship to get me into festivals or concerts or really interesting events. I just had me. And the cool thing is I made something from that. I learned from those internships and I used those connections and my name began to start carrying some weight. Making your own way, even if you’re barely making it, is a feeling like no other.
In addition to progressing my personal photography career, I ventured out with a college friend and started a photo/interview series. Beau started as an art project for two college students struggling with creative release and grew (and is still growing. fast) into something so much more. While most of my 2013 portfolio is made up of photos from these shoots, they all felt like they ran together. Again, the sum of what I’ve learned from that experience is far greater than any of the photos I took for the project. Learning how to interact with strangers and within 20 minutes bring out their true selves. Bring out their emotion. Heck, even bring out a smile. Learning how to do all that has been well worth the headache that comes along with starting such an ambitious project.
2013 was also a year of first disappointments. I had never been fired. I had only been reprimanded for messing something up. But working with that sense of invincibility is probably why I lost the client. One thing I learned from this whole thing… is actually probably a lot of things BUT one of the most important things I learned is that the customer is not always right. When a customer asks for something that they don’t realize might ruin what they have in mind, I’ve got to say something. When they ask for something that’s not possible I have to step up and act like the professional and tell them that their idea is a stupid one. Regardless of what I should have done to keep this client who I was really excited to work with, I’ve learned these lessons and that combined with the financial hit I’ve taken for them should prepare me better for the next time that I get told “we just don’t see eye-to-eye”. Disappointments are good thing.
But for every valley there is a booked wedding… or something like that, right? Close enough. After shooting my first two solo weddings in May and September of 2013, I booked four more with 3 more in negotiations. Which is…
alright amazing. A big part of this is knowing that where I am now is not where I want to be in five years. But it’s also necessary that I focus on building my present and not overreaching and try to be what I know what I can be in five years.
All in all, I would say 2013 was ridiculously successful but to me it was only a transition year.
Thank you to all of my amazing clients, ex-clients, future clients, associates, associates of clients, and family for making 2013 an amazing year. Can’t wait to share 2014 with you.