2021 was a year of so many highs and lows, not just for me but I think for many others. A year of vaccine options, COVID rates rising, dropping, then rising again. Schools opening with so many rules in place. But hey! There’s school again! Cautious holidays where you actually get to see your family. What a rollercoaster.
The winter was brutal, but we had skiing! We enjoyed touring the CT mountains and having SO many friends on the mountain with us. Spring and summer brought re-openings and some more freedoms, but when my hubby lost his job, we got a bit scared. Thankfully it was short lived and we are so grateful for new opportunities in the Fall. The girls were able to re-join their sports of choice and we started a new school year (in person!). This winter brought some new challenges as we had to go through a (no-big-deal….kinda) surgery for my daughter, dealt with new COVID rises which caused new challenges. But the kids got their vaccines (yay!) and we got our boosters. Now to look forward to a winter of skiing!
But enough about me. Let’s get to the point.
Here are 5 things I learned in my photography business in 2021:
- I freakin’ love my clients. And I mean, like, all of them. After building my business and finding my “perfect” clients, I truly feel like I love working with every one of my clients. This year there are many many returning clients that know what to expect from me and trust me. But I’ve also had many new customers who just met me and trusted me 100%. For my fellow business owners who want their perfect client – just keep paying close attention to those “ideal clients.” How did you get them? What worked well with them? Did you do everything you could to make sure they would recommend you to their friends? Most people tend to hang out with the people that are similar to them!
- Having an assistant at my newborn sessions is a must. This is not just for me either! I love being able to tell my clients that they get to sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or just some peace and quiet. We have 2 pairs or hands and 2 pairs of eyes on the baby at all times. After working solo in 2020 and half of 2021, this was truly truly a treat. And if you brought siblings into the studio this year, you know that they immediately fall in love with Lisa. If you’re a newborn photographer (or any photographer honestly!) and you haven’t found your assistant, here’s a few things I’ll share. Spending the time to find someone you “click” with and can train is key. My assistant knows what I want before I can even think of it myself! They become your soundboard, your second set of hands, your support system. If you don’t know where to start looking, ask your local mom friends! Mine is a friend of a friend!
- Boundaries are important. Sleep is important. Weekends with the family without an agenda are important. Working weekends are important. Knowing when to do which is of the uttermost importance. When the hubs lost his job, I took on more than I usually do and it really wore me down. I mean, truly wore me down. It is so important for me to give my clients all that I can, I often leave myself (and if I am to be honest sometimes my family) behind. This winter I worked hard to get everything back on track. Boundaries. Time with the family. Self-care. It’s the hardest battle when you are an entrepreneur but it’s worth it.
- Speaking of boundaries, less time on social media really helps my creative juices flow. I’ve spent a few months with all my social media apps deleted from my phone (so I have to use them on a device in the studio – intentionally). Wow. At first, it’s surprising how addicted I am. But after a couple of weeks I truly forget to jump on all the social. For my fellow creatives, I can’t stress this one enough. Please do not let someone else’s middle be compared to your beginning. Or someone else’ highlights be compared to your real life. Social media is not real. It’s a portfolio of the best they have to offer.
- Less can actually mean more. I’ve started to slow down in my sessions and really really work on nailing each shot to match what is in my heart and head. If you know me, you know slow is not my pace. Less is not my pace. Yet, I’ve been forcing myself to go slower and I’m loving what I can deliver to my clients. I feel like this is advice all of us could take.
I am excited for 2022.
I’m excited for all that it has to offer and what I will get to learn. A little scared? Sure. But mostly excited.