I’ve decided to take a break from my editing cave + reflect on 2022! This is the perfect time to do it anyway, my clients are gracious + want me to enjoy the holidays + time off! I love that about them! Last year I told myself I’d do a blog post like this in January, when I marked everything off my “task list” but as I’m sure you’ve guessed – it didn’t happen. So, I’m reflecting on 2022 while it’s fresh + even though life seems a little more chaotic right now than it should, if this year has taught me anything it’s that there’s never a better time than now!
A Quick Recap – 2022 Theme: Resilience
If you want the TL:DR version – here it is! However you will have to read on if you want deets of these events, metaphors + my plans for 2023, including the word/theme for the upcoming year! Reflecting on 2022:
- 2022 was one of those years that kicked me down + lifted me up only to kick me down again.
- I rebranded – or should I say hella leaned into my brand
- I had the highest grossing year ever, with 2 huge months of 10k+ sales each
- The bungalow I was renting in Downtown Phoenix had multiple attempted break ins + the bug saga continued
- I moved in with the ‘rents a few blocks away in Uptown Phoenix
- Seattle + other surrounding cities are crossed off the bucket list
- We lost my beloved, my fur kid – Ellie Mae at 11 (almost 12) years old
- The blog got lots of love
- I have amazing clients that resonated with my new branding
2022 Crunching the Numbers
Let’s start things off on a hella high note, shall we?! I think we shall! This was the highest grossing year I’ve had in the 15 plus “I-started-this-“business”-when-I-was-18-and-can’t-do-math” years! I know, right?! Cheers to all of my amazing clients for trusting me + my approach to portraiture! If YOU wanna do the math – I’m 36 + I started my business in 2004 at 18 years old.
Now, onto the numbers! I didn’t need to do math to get these because my CRM did all the hard work! Thank you Honeybook (click for 50% off your first year)!!
2 months grossed 10k+ each, which is a goal I have had for years! Manifesting more of those! I’m not going to share my personal finances on the internet – although I’ve thought about it + one day I probably will! BUT, I will share the numbers of weddings, couples sessions, family sessions + more that I was so blessed to photograph!
- 15 family sessions
- 10 weddings
- 7 couples sessions
- 4 branding sessions
- 4 events
- 1 college grad
- 1 magazine cover shoot/6 page spread
Whooohooo! I’m honestly tired, just looking at these numbers. Now, I’m still working on blogging all of these amazing sessions + events so I can share them with you all! Which takes me to another high point of 2022. Read on!
Blogging In 2022
A huuuuge goal of mine for this year was to blog more. Granted I am faaaar behind my goal of blogging every wedding/session/event + also adding tips/helpful article blogs for my amazing nearlyweds, newlyweds + families. BUT I did it. I blogged more this year than in any previous year + probably more than in the last 5 years combined – but I haven’t started tracking this until this year so don’t quote me on that. Haha!
Rebranding, errr Polishing My Brand in 2022
The start of 2022 was fast – I spent it gathering my thoughts, hopes + dreams for my rebrand. So much time was spent writing copy + finding imagery that aligned with the direction I wanted to go. All of my energy went into solidifying my mission + vision for my company at the start of the year + ya know what – it fukken paid off! Big time! Within a few weeks of my launch I was booking sessions + weddings with clients who connected with me!
The polishing of my brand really got my brain thinking in the direction I wanted, manifesting my goals for my company + the types of couples I would attract. KP with Inkpot Creative was truly worth the very large investment for my website. Yeah it’s pretty, but all the work that went into planning for the site was exactly what I needed to continue to manifest my goals + the onboarding process with Inkpot really helped with that! Also, of course, the work was started in 2020 with my business coach Lena, the East Coast’s muthafucking GEM! All the planning + brainstorming + thought dumping – it’s payyiiinggg off babaaayyy, babbayyy!
Seattle – Fucking Finally!
My dream of visiting Seattle was finally realized! I was incredibly blessed to be able to spend a week with bestie for my birthday! We visited incredible parts of Washington near the Seattle area. This trip was everything + I’m excited to spend a summer there soon to get out of the Phoenix heat. I’d also really love to road trip up the coast from LA to Seattle – this has actually been a goal of mine since I was in my teens. I’ll hopefully make it reality in the next few years. Reflecting on 2022, this trip was the ultimate high point!
There were definitely more than 3 high points, but reflecting on 2022 has to include the move! My little bungalow in downtown Phoenix made me into more of a resilient warrior than I ever could have imagined possible. I thought I was done learning resilience in 2020, ha!
Bugs started to arrive again once the weather started to warm up in the spring. Then the attempted break ins. I don’t want to spend too much time on the details, so take heart in knowing that the robbers didn’t steal more than my patio seat cushions + I was safe. But that experience has traumatized me for life. So, my parents + I quickly came to a solution! I would move in with them! They rent a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom condo. That saga continues + I’m not sure where it will take me.
This experience has lit a fire in me for co-living/community living/shared live-work spaces. If anyone has any knowledge of those types of communities please share your resources with me. I’m full of ideas + can’t wait to delve into the realities of running/living/affording that type of lifestyle.
The universe is always shaping me + I wonder if one day I might be a finished, fired + glazed piece – but at the rate I’ve been molded recently, I think I’m still in the early stages of design.
Ellie Mae’s Passing
Reflecting on 2022 would not be complete without the biggest event. Ellie Mae passed away within days of my return from Seattle. It’s been about 6 months, but it’s still hard to think about. Writing this now I’m getting tears in my eyes + a lump in my throat. My Ellie Mae was my world + the BEST dog.
Her health had been declining since 2020 + it was no secret that her vet bills have piled up. My credit card company is very happy with the interest they’re making on me, let’s be real!
I miss her every single day. It’s hard to scroll through photos sometimes + see her cute smushy face – it makes my heart hurt. I don’t see another dog in my life plans. Right now I’m enjoying my parents’ dog, Stella.
Heading Into 2023
I love goal setting, in any form, so early in my adulthood I threw out “New Years Resolutions” + began to think more along the lines of new goals. Over the past few years my goals have been a lot more business related. As we head into 2023, my business + personal life feel highly connected. More than ever before.
Reflecting on 2022, life is not what I thought it would be by this year. All the events you just read about threw lot of my plans for 2022 askew. In the past 6 or so years my life has felt pretty tumultuous + I think there’s been a lot to learn from it. I’ve focused on central themes for each year, like I said most of them have been business related, but it’s all helped me further understand myself. I’ll even go as far as to say that without all the hardships I wouldn’t have my passion, my mission + my values.
2023 Word of the Year: GENTLE
Reflecting on 2022 as it comes to a close, I feel a rush of energy in myself to be gentle + let go. To trust in myself, my instincts + let myself be creative. To release the thinking of what something “should be” + let it be what it is. This translates into all aspects of my life, both in business + my personal life. Since I’ve been in the wedding industry for over 15 years, my training in wedding photography has been about how to structure a day to get all the shots you are “supposed to get” + that doesn’t vibe with me anymore.
Even while calling myself as a non-traditional photographer I was still holding on to some traditional things – especially when it came to the way I structured a wedding day for myself + my team. Well, I’m throwin’ it out! I had a few weddings this year that allowed me to have a loose timeline + be present with my couple + the guests. That’s what every wedding should feel like.
As an ever-recovering perfectionist, the mere act of learning how to run my business has completely pulled all the passion + art from my craft. Making systems + organizing chaos was what the business needed to run well, but it’s not what the art needed. Part of leaning into my authentic self + branding has been to identify parts of my life + business that don’t feel quite right. Then fix them.
2023 is going to be a year of softness, release, gentleness + letting go! “No rules, no pretense… just vibes” is how I like to describe my approach to photographing weddings, but I have still been pushing too much structure. So we’re getting even more loose + honestly it’s scary as fuck. But, I know it’s going to bring me to places I’m wanting to go!
Goals for 2023
Learning to let go + have looseness in my life will co-exist with the structure in my business. My systems will definitely stay in place. I’ll be shifting my focus from creating the structure to creating the art + allowing openings for the unexpected. Here are a few of my actionable goals for 2023, business + personal, it’s all intertwined now babbaayy.
- Travel – I’m spending 2 weeks traveling internationally in February, my first international trip ever! I’m going to Thailand! Hopefully there will be more travel this year, but this is all that’s planned so far.
- Loose wedding day timelines – more time for play + creating, less time for how things “should” look.
- Walks! More time for mental health walks in the morning!
- Experimental photography. I am committing to not always getting “the safe shot”. This means more interesting wedding galleries, more intriguing portraits + more fun!
- Colorful clothing – even shooting weddings. I’ve always wanted to wear more interesting things, but being plus size makes that more difficult. The options aren’t out there. So I’m on the search for interesting + colorful clothes. If I’m photographing your wedding I will not be in all black! It’s my mission this year to create a wardrobe that contains only colors!
- Continue the search for co-living opportunities to create or join.
Thanks for reflecting on 2022 with me! For coming along on this journey + for cheering me on. Thank you to all my incredible clients for leaning into the non-traditional with me! Thank you for trusting me! Cheers to 2023, bitches!
Hugs + Ice Cream,