| 2013 Year Review | Catalina Jean | | Portland Wedding Photographer |
I honestly cannot believe how 2013 flew by. So much has happened in both my personal and business life that is difficult to believe its all actually a reality. Like, did that really all happen in only a year?!? I left my full-time HR career, moved from sunny SoCal to foresty Portland, and launched a full on wedding photography business. Branded and re-branded, studied, practiced, and then studied and practiced more until my photography skills got to the point where the vision in my head became the reality in my photos. This… this was my life's goal and creative passion.
- Shot some absolutely gorgeous weddings and got to know truly AMAZING couples and their love stories. One of the favorite parts of my job is getting to hear all about how my couples met, the proposal, how he had the ring is his pocket for months just waiting for the right moment to finally ask her to be his forever (Are you kidding me?! Soooo romantic! <3) I am absolutely over the moon with excitement for every couple I get to meet, whether they book me or someone else. I tear up when I hear their stories. I just can't help it (I'm a total super sappy romantic, if it wasn't obvious already). And then when I am asked to shoot their wedding… my heart pretty much flutters straight out of my chest.
- Had my work published not 1…. not 2…. but 3 times! I had the absolute honor of being featured by some of my very favorite wedding inspiration blogs (and already have two more publications set to be featured in 2014!!!)
- Got to know many amazing colleagues in the wedding industry. When I first moved to Portland I didn't know a single soul in the wedding industry. I learned, especially when you work at home all day by yourself, that colleagues in the industry sort of become co-workers. You can bounce ideas of one another, pass on referrals, vent when things get frustrating (maybe even cry a little), and celebrate each other's successes (preferably over wine). And at very least it gave me someone to talk to besides my dog, as good of a listener as he can be. I cannot express my thankfulness enough to my wedding industry network and fellow photographers. I honestly could not do what I do and would not be where I am without them.
2013 PERSONAL STUFF
- Welcomed my little crazy Boston Terrier named Kingsley to the family. Seriously this one was a big one for my husband and I. We had waited years until the right time to bring a puppy into our home. I spend most of my day with this little man. Definitely makes working at home much more entertaining (and sometimes frustrating when a puppy, who is much bigger than he use to be, is convinced he can curl up in my lap when I am trying to edit).
- Spent year 2 with the love of my life. My husband Daniel and I are coming up on our third wedding anniversary and honestly I don't know how life was at all enjoyable before I met him. He literally adds so much joy, adventure, and constant friendship that our life together doesn't feel real sometimes. He was the one that happily took on the full weight of supporting us financially allowing me to launch full force into my dreams. He is honestly my hero. I really did marry my best friend. (P.S. He is cleaning our whole apartment right now including taking down the Christmas decor while I write this post… I mean, who just does that?! Swoon <3)
- Continue to shape my photography style, push myself creatively, and further hone what I want my business look like. I am spending all of January immersing myself completely in my development as a professional. I'll be kicking this off by attending Every Wedding is an Adventure. This is a workshop put on by Ed Peers and Nirav Patel, who take some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen. After that I will be spending the rest of the month working through four new books and watching two online courses while practicing hands-on and drawing up the structure of what my business will look like in 2015.
- Get to know more wedding professionals and do something creative together. I have one styled shoot in the pipeline but have the goal to participate in 2-3 more in 2014. There is nothing quite like getting a group of creative minds together and brainstorming beautiful things.
- Do my accounting. Urg. This is definitely a shortcoming of mine. I love creation, strategy, marketing, studying, practice… but not accounting. I mean, its organized enough but not consistently, which means I have to spend longer chunks of time crunching the numbers. At the end of January I'll be coming up with a system to keep me in check to do the grunge work that comes with owning a business.
- Book lots of awesome gorgeous beautiful weddings! Does "lots" count as a calculable goal? Eh, probably not. Just kidding… I do have some numbers in mind. :) I came up with one realistic goal and one dream goal and I can confidently say at this point that I will reach my dream goal. I hit my realistic goal for bookings this week. Eeeeeeek!!! :))))) (<<< I may be beyond crazy stupid excited about that.)
And now… my absolute favorite images from 2013! Thank you to every bride and groom who trusted me with capturing such an important day in your lives. I wish you many, many happy years of marriage to you best friend. <3
Bring on 2014!!!! xoxoxo -C.