Why boredom was my goal
Last year, 2015, was our biggest year yet. What I mean by biggest is, our highest grossing and our most shoots. It was a calm first part of the year full of boating on Lake Sammamish with our kids and enjoying the most incredible weather Seattle has ever had to offer and then August hit and September was the same and there was no slowing down for October through January which is always full of big, involved, expensive and emotionally draining wedding expos then February with the Valentines Day deadlines. It’s a good thing we are parents with 12+ years experience because all of the back-to-school paper work and clothes and school supplies and signing up for clubs and sports and dance lessons and deposits and uniforms and orientations can overwhelms the less experienced parents but we charged through all of that with a gusto. We were still fired up and running strong with out business keeping us energized and on full alert.
The longer we are in business the more referrals we get completely out of the blue and for not just weddings but everything under the sun. It’s fun. We do refer some shoots on but the headshots, family shoots, corporate events, Halloween and New Years parties we keep. I have the best time as the photographer in a photo booth setting getting creative with clients who want to look good in front of my backdrop and with out great lights. People are high fiving me and getting excited about their photos. I get a natural high and know that I’m the luckiest party “guest” because I have a purpose and get to run around the whole party getting candid shots and having an excuse to meet everyone there. My camera is my pass to everywhere. I never know who I’m going to meet with it or what shoot I’ll be running off to next.
Ok, so moving on now to 2016 we have different goals than last year. It’s fun to look back at our business and see what our goals have been throughout the years. I often reflect on these so I can remember them when I teach classes to other photographers. I want to be careful to give the correct advice which is appropriate for the experience level of the photographer asking my advice. For example, I can’t tell a brand new person to do anything they’re not ready for. We all have to go through the steps to get to where we want to be. I can’t say:
Yes, go ahead and charge $5,000 for a wedding, it can be done. Or yes, offer a wide variety of products (which are hard to order, price and deliver), or use off-camera lighting or anything else that overwhelms and takes them out of their comfort zone. Our business is a crazy mix of art and business it’s a bit like mixing business with pleasure. It’s a balancing act of being sensitive and creative and being tough and book smart.
Ok, where was I? So, our year ended in 2015 and started in a whirl wind. Now for 2016 it’s all about the quality of experience and the art. We have taken time off lately and boy does it feel good. For a time I didn’t want to do an-y-thing. I binged on Downton Abbey and Outlander. People would try to encourage me to join fun event that were free and nearby and that was just too much to consider. I’ve been slowly rejuvenating by sleeping, cleaning, walking my dog. Just last week I was walking my dog. We found a new dog park that was empty with not a person in sight. In fact, I searched the horizon often searching for bears to make sure we were safe. That’s how far out and how new this park was surrounded by a forest of tall fir trees. I stood there admiring his shiny coat in the bright sunshine and thought to myself, I am bored. I repeated it to myself ‘I am bored’. Woah, YES! finally! I AM BORED! I was so excited by the though that I raced my sweet Blackie boy out of the park and back up the hill to the car, ruffled his fur and said, “let’s go buddy!”
Being bored meant I had finally recouped and was ready to create again. Brandon and I are lucky to be on the same track. He’s just now starting to feel like creating again and we couldn’t be more excited to see what 2016 has in store.
About this photo: My mom dog sat Blackie this weekend for us while we were in Portland. She has this quirky sense of humor and decided to put the bottom of a cauliflower on his head for this photo. When I asked her what prompted her to put a vegetable on his head she said, “Well, I was making dinner and her was right there.” Lol, how many people are encouraged to do random, creative things for no reason at all, so funny. Her shy dog, Brad, is in the background wondering what is going on. Every time I look at this I crack up. It just shows how easy going Blackie is and how curious Brad is. I titled this “My poor little carnivore” Thank goodness for Blackie for bringing me peace and being with me in moments of adventure and boredom.
my big, sweet dog