all in a years work - 2017 in review - washington state wedding photographer - destination wedding photographer

Looking back and seeing what I have accomplished this past year only gets me that much more excited for the upcoming year. There is work to be done but just like last year - I see it, feel it & believe it, and with true faith it has come to life.

When you believe in something that much, when you have faith in something that much, when you give that much positive energy to something, it is bound to reciprocate.  Through highlighting my year in business so many other things personally have happened. Alex and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary, Emmy started 2nd grade and turned 8 (which we still cannot believe). We did the things we love to do as a family, enjoyed yummy food and ice cream together, weekend getaways to Idaho, camping & this year we travelled to Eastern Oregon together for one of my weddings!

I love that I can mix my business and family life together at times and that is what I strive to be able to do as this dream is turning to reality, and we all get to live it together, and hopefully travel A LOT in the future together.

Here are the highlights of 2017:

NEW WEBSITE! 

With the help of my amazing website Designer, Emma Rose Company, the launch of my new brand and website took place in the Spring and it was an exciting time! This was my first large step in investing in my brand. As the year moved forward and going into this year, there are some things that have changed and implementing those into my website and brand is one of my goals for 2018. So be on the lookout!

After launching my new website, I started really honing in on my true style, aesthetic and creative voice and after my first wedding season with weddings booked of my own I started putting out into the world what I truly wanted to create.

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TRUE STYLE, AESTHETIC, & CREATIVE VOICE

This is one of the things I am most excited to talk about, because I feel so incredible about it! After my first season of weddings I started to get my groove and really hone my style as a photographer, along with a shift in my editing as well as gaining confidence in my work, and all over workflow, I now am thrilled to edit and deliver every single photo! Because I know that I used my light in session, to capture the best photo, to be able to edit the best way as I see it! I feel like I see a lot of beginners, and as I once was there myself, lost in trying to be or do as another person does EXACTLY. I believe in inspiration, and what you love in others work is probably going to be similar to yours as you hone your style, BUT it is going to be so hard to mimic photographers styles you love, when you don't have your basics down, lighting, settings, posing guidance, back end workflow & understanding of your editing software. It wasn't until I truly dove deep into all of those things that I felt I had my very own creative voice. 

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WEDDINGS GALORE

I walked into 2017 with drive to make that year a year of change. I shot whatever I could, whenever I could, and I feel you need to do that to 1. truly know what you love to photograph, and 2. learn! 2017 summer was my first wedding season I had multiple of my very own weddings booked, and I had my first ever wedding I was traveling outside of the state for - a long drive to Eastern Oregon that my family got to come along on! I love traveling for weddings and I feel so grateful I can bring my family along for weekends away! 

I am SO EXCITED to say I have 3 destination weddings on the books for 2018, 2 in Mexico and 1 in Hawaii! Alex and Emmy will be with me in Hawaii as we will make it a family vacation too! And Alex will most likely tag along with me to Mexico for a little parents getaway! I cannot wait!!

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DREAM CHASERS WORKSHOP

I attended the first ever Dream Chasers Workshop in the summer and as my business was growing, I feel like getting together with these girls I had only known via Facebook group & learning from Emma Rose was a true point of launching forward and confirmation that I can do this! It was a much needed time to stop and have a few days to completely dive into everything business and photography related without having to stop and worry about all of the other lifely things we have going on at home. I plan to make a weekend away solely to focus on business and photography every year - another goal of mine is to get that weekend planned for 2018 ASAP! Also - If you want a workshop to attend in 2018, Emma is having her 2nd annual Dream Chasers workshop this summer! 

 Photo by Emma Rose Company

Photo by Emma Rose Company

 

FAMILY PHOTOS

A first for us, we had never had beautiful, fun family photos taken. We went to one of those walk in studios in the mall once, we all wore black t-shirts, my husband didn't smile whatsoever and although they are pictures we will have to represent that time, they won't be going on the walls. During the summer, a friend and fellow photographer Chelsea Macor Photography was looking for a "model" family to do a shoot. We made our way over to one of my favorite areas in Eastern WA, Cave B Inn Estates and got some family photos that I will cherish forever!

 Photo by Chelsea Macor Photography

Photo by Chelsea Macor Photography

 

RESOURCE SHOP

I launched my resource shop for wedding photographers! I know that I am solely focused on wedding photography and for those who find their niche in wedding photography as well, I wanted to create some resources to up level their business as a wedding photographer! Going into 2018 with these things in place for my business, I know I will stay on track with my emails (with all my email templates), have a workflow in place for each and every couple, and really get to know my clients with my engagement and wedding day questionnaires. I fully believe these items will help whoever is struggling with their workflow systems! If you didn't click any of the links above you can check everything that is available out right here!

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THE FUTURE

I have a few (or many) goals for 2018, some I am on my way to meeting, others are going to be a work in progress but I want to lay them all out here so 1. I can reference back to them, & keep myself accountable and 2. give you some inspiration to make your own list of goals, and make it public. Some of these things I may not accomplish and I will be okay with that if I don't but if I don't make them a goal now, I won't put in the work to at least set the goal in motion.

1. Plan 1 styled shoot & one adventure every month: Each month, I want to plan 1 styled shoot (whether big or small) and plan one day to get out and adventure, with my family, myself, or a friend I want to go on the hikes I have always wanted to go on, I want to snoeshoe to the places I have always wanted to this winter, I want to take a drive and see the beautiful things I have wanted to see for so long, or places I have wanted to visit. These 2 things fuel my fire, as a human, as a creative. Those things let me let loose and enjoy the moments, and be creative without time restraints or schedules of a wedding day etc. 

2. 25 weddings is my goal for 2018, 30 would be awesome to get to, but I am well on my way to 25, with 17 booked, a few in decision mode and with having engagement season happening, I can't wait to meet some more couples!!

3. Write 52 blog posts. (one for each week of the year) Phew this one may be tough. But as the off season continues, I plan to sit and write (this being my first!!) - mostly informative for fellow photographers and brides but also a few personal posts! If you have a topic of choice you would love for me to write about - email me or comment! april@aprilyentasphotography.com I have a ongoing list, but need and would love to hear what others would like to know or read! 

4. Plan a workcation. A weekend away to focus completely on business, planning, photography and relaxation. 

5. Create a mini-mastermind. EEK! I have all these ideas flowing but I think the first step toward all of the things is in creating a mini mastermind to start a small business group to listen, learn and develop as individuals, creatives, & small business owners. There is so much to be put into this, and this is my first time ever speaking of this goal, but I am putting it out there, because if I don't it won't ever be a goal, it will just be floating around in my head like the billion other things. 

Those are my big ones. I hope you have created and shared your goals for the year. It feels pretty dang amazing to look back to what I was doing and where I was last year this time and think, "I never thought I would be where I am now." Now, I can't wait to see what I say about 2018 next year! 

Cheers to a year of good health and true happiness to all of you!