I can’t believe I’m writing this post already. 2012 is almost over and soon 2013 will be here. A whole new year. It’s always a little nerve-wrecking to dig in and see what I did and didn’t do during the year. I mean I kind of have an idea since I kept up with my goals (originally published here) quarterly (here, here, and here), but this year just went by so fast and I feel like so much has changed in a year. For starters, this was my first year being completely full-time, out of college, on my own, 100%. It was also my first full year working here in South Carolina (I moved down from Maryland in June of 2011 after graduation), so I literally started from scratch at the beginning of the year. At the end of last year my horses came from Maryland to live with me, Dustin and I bought a farm (or basically a big project haha), he left to work in Oklahoma from March to August, and we got married in September. I traveled to Maryland 6 or 7 times, went to Wisconsin for a wedding, and put a LOT of miles on my car driving to Charleston, Savannah, and various parts of Georgia for work. It was a crazy year, to say the least. But regardless of how I did or didn’t do with my goals, I’m really proud I at least set them, shared them, and kept myself accountable. It’s been exciting brainstorming my 2013 goals and I hope to share them sometime in January.
So here’s how the year looked for business goals…
1. Have a home office that inspires and motivates me: I thought I had this taken care of about the middle of the year, but then I rearranged my office and everything kind of got all discombobulated. I’m trying to get Dustin to finish building me some closet shelving and then I think things will be a lot more organized and inspiring. So sort of done, but definitely a work in progress.
2. Learn to shoot film and actively use it for personal work: Excited to say I accomplished this. I only shot 5 rolls of film this year due to time and cost, but I’ve definitely enjoyed it although I really don’t know what I’m doing. I will definitely be shooting more film in 2013.
3. Book and successfully shoot 4-5 weddings of my own: Done. I had eight amazing couples this year who I am endlessly grateful for.
4. Actively second shoot as often as the opportunity arises: I am so thankful for the photographers who let me shoot alongside them this year. I’ll be doing a separate post on this (and some things I learned this year as a second shooter), but I think when it was all said and done I second shot 14 weddings this year
5. Take part in a styled shoot: Sadly did not accomplish this, but it will get passed on to my 2013 goals
6. Continue to volunteer for shelters and pets in need: Done
7. Donate portrait photography for a good cause for people: Not done 🙁
8. Put money aside all year for WPPI 2013: Didn’t have the means to accomplish this goal for 2012, but I certainly hope to be able to attend WPPI 2014
9. Do a 52 weeks of Riley and Lexi Project: Not done. Got a little over halfway and had to let this project go.
10. Have each wedding I book and shoot of my own featured on a wedding blog: Still a work in progress…some were published, some not yet. I hope to have all 8 published by 2013.
11. Have a pet session featured on a popular pet blog: Done. Proud to have had my work featured on Hair of the Dog Blog, Dog Milk, The Daily Dog Tag, and to have been listed among many other talented photographers on The Pet Anthology’s 30 Inspirational Pet Photographers Part II
12. Upgrade lenses a little: Unfortunately I had to keep on keepin’ on with what I currently had this year
13. Make more local photographer friends: Done! Too many new friends to count 🙂
14. Photograph more horses and cats: Photographed a few cats and one one horsey client!
15. Photograph a terminally ill pet: Did not accomplish this
16. Work with 20 new clients and make 20 new friends: Done!
17. Establish a quarterly online newsletter: Done but not really done. I did well the first half of the year then let it slack the second half. Definitely something to work on in 2013.
18. Get a new backup body: Done
19. Have one “review day” at the end of each month: Again, was doing this at the beginning of the year, then slacked off at the end.
20. Better learn on-camera flash and completely learn off-camera flash: Done, but definitely still have a LOT to learn about OCF!
21. Plan a calendar for next year: Did not accomplish this, sadly, since it was something that was important to me 🙁 I will HAVE to prioritize it for next year.
22. Finally find a B&W action I like, or develop my own: Done. Color images, meet desaturate. Easy peasy.
And for personal/lifestyle goals…
23. Come up with a consistent schedule for my weeks and daily plans: I have a “daily schedule” taped to my wall that sits over my computer, but I can’t say I stick to it every day. Definitely a work in progress.
24. Read one book a month: Didn’t quite accomplish this BUT with my downtime this winter I will probably read enough to make up for what I didn’t read earlier this year 🙂
25. Date night out with Dustin once a month: Well obviously this didn’t happen considering once again we lived in separate states for almost 6 months out of the year
26. Shop for birthdays/Christmas throughout the year: Defffffffffffinitely did not do this. BUT, I did shop early enough in November/December to not have to be out at the last minute this year.
27. Ride my horses at least 4 times a month each: Nope. Didn’t do this. But I rode 4 times last week, which is kind of a miracle!
28. Work one day every two weeks on wedding stuff: Done
29. Foster at least 2 labs for the Lowcountry Lab Rescue: Done
30. Be at least 1/3 of the way through renovating the main house on our property: We actually decided to completely tear the house down and build new in the next 2-3 years, so this goal is no longer relevant but we did save a lot this year for our new house
31. Run a 10K: Nope. Not done.
32. Compile a Croft Family book for each year: Also not done. Tried to do this in time for Christmas to be able to give it to Landon this year but I’m completely overwhelmed by the idea of designing said book with now 4 years worth of pictures of us. Geeze.
33. Create at least 10 ideas off of my Pinterest Creative Ideas board: I did a few but definitely not 10. You can call this one a definite fail.
So out of all 35 of my goals (the last 2 were financial goals I kept to myself), I accomplished 17 of them (including the 2 financial goals). That’s not a very good percentage, but it honestly doesn’t matter that much to me. I think 2012 was an awesome year in ways that can’t be quantified by that list up there. More than anything, what I’ll remember about this year are so many of the memories I made with my family and how we’ve made our not-so-fancy temporary little house into a home, the amazing times I had with my friends (and the new friends I made), all of the cool places I worked and visited, my dogs and how grateful I am to have them to keep me company, and the fact that I did a lot of things with my business that I never thought I would or could. I’ll definitely keep that in mind as I build my 2013 goals, because something I’ve taken away from this is that it’s definitely so much more about that quality than the quantity. It doesn’t matter how many goals I did or didn’t accomplish, but about the quality of my experiences and work throughout 2012. 2012 was a good year, and I hope to make 2013 an even better and more fulfilling year both personally and in my business.