As 2009 is coming to a close, it's that time to get reflective and motivated to make changes!  I'm not typically a New Year's resolution kind of guy, but I do try to spend some time reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to what  a new year will bring.  This is part one of a short series of posts geared towards reflection and goal-setting for 2010.  This post will be the 2009 wrap-up in words.  Soon I'll post the 2009 wrap-up in pictures.  Then I'll post my goals for 2010.  I'm doing this mostly for my benefit, but I thought that our three regular readers might enjoy reading what we've been up to this year! Here's a quick recap of 2009 in terms of our photography business...

This year could have been an extremely difficult year for us as we began 2009 with only one wedding booked in Charlotte, NC and we faced the challenge of starting all over again in a new city - Charlottesville, Virginia.  Well, we were blessed beyond belief and ended up shooting nine weddings and about twelve portrait sessions!  We consider that a huge blessing since we don't really pay anything for advertising!  As soon as we decided to move, we changed all of our website information to read Charlottesville (sometime in May).   We quickly booked three October weddings in Virginia!  A few more followed suit and we found ourselves experiencing our busiest Fall ever!  We were blessed with the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles in June to shoot a wedding together (and were able to have some kid-free vacation time things to Sarah's parents!) and I was able to fly to Miami in November to photograph a wedding as well!

I feel like this has also been a banner year in the development of our style.  By no means have we "arrived" as photographers.  The more we learn, the more we seek ways to push our creative limits and try new things, and I am more excited about the work we have recently produced than ever.  This year, we also bought a new camera, new lenses, a new computer, and new software.  We've added off-camera lighting and the photo booth to our wedding receptions and we've heard some amazing compliments from our clients.  We hosted our first Beyond the Snapshot workshop and it was so much fun!  We have streamlined our workflow and we're getting sneak peeks of the weddings we shoot online within 2 days and our clients are getting all of their images very quickly.  We switched to an amazing new online proofing site and professional printing company so that the ordering process is easier, more affordable, and more fun!  We hosted our first wedding photography auction where we are donating everything we make to the Unembraced and we get to photograph that wedding on New Year's Eve in Washington, D.C. in a few weeks!  We're so excited and we feel so blessed to be able to make giving a cornerstone of our business.  We love our new "PS" tree logo and we created a Facebook page for our photography and have connected with many new people.  I couldn't be happier and I couldn't feel more blessed to be able to do this job!

Wow!  After reading all of that, I can begin to see why it has felt like we're running at a million miles per hour especially considering that I teach during the day, Sarah teaches childbirth classes and is a doula and I feel like I'm leaving something else out...oh yeah!  We also have two wonderful daughters with our third child on the way! :)  It has truly been a busy year, and there are times when we feel like we're running too hard, but we're chasing dreams and that's not supposed to be an easy thing to do, right?  I am so incredibly thankful to have learned and experienced all that I have this year.  But I am most thankful for all of the amazing people we have met and worked with along the way.  That is what this business is all about and it is my favorite part!

Stay tuned for 2009 recap (part 2)!