Ok. Alright, I confess. I’ve sat back and watched 100s of photographers deliver their “Best Of 2012” posts. I’ve seen some amazing ones; posts which have left me thinking “Holy crap…this is what’s out there. This is the world I’m leaping in to. These are the ranks I am looking to join, looking to work with, looking to learn from.” I haven’t done a “Best Of 2012” post, because if I’m honest, I’ve been too distracted by 2013 already. Yes, I know it’s barely the end of January, but bear with me.
For the most of last year, I pretty much had no fear, because I spent so much time in the shadows; 2nd shooting, watching, learning, understanding, studying, building portfolio. I knew what I wanted, and pretty much spent the whole of last year learning how to get it. Learning more of my craft. I have many personal goals set in place for 2013, many of which I haven’t shared with anyone as yet. This year, I pretty much have no fear, but this time it’s because my ambition is revving at full throttle and raring to go. I am BURSTING with energy and ideas. I am BITING at new opportunities being presented to me, almost frustrated that they aren’t happening RIGHT THIS MINUTE. RIGHT. NOW.
One of the things that I can’t get my head around, is potentially how awesome this year is looking. I run a business. It’s not just a hobby, or something I do for fun, though I am VERY freaking lucky that I love my job to bits. And in understanding this, developing it, developing my brand and style, I’ve become even more stupidly excited by how 2013 is looking for me. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not been easy trying to hit targets. I’ve come close to meeting some targets, and then fallen away again (for whatever reason), only to renew my efforts to get to where I want to be. But that’s what I thrive on. Always aiming higher, to be better than I was before.
Most of clients this year are very different to last year, I think, in many ways. Style, personality, attitude to photography, more. Shooting at the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza opened my eyes to a style of alternative weddings I knew existed, I just wasn’t sure where those clients actually were. And to be invited back to work again with such kick-ass people, well. That’s the stuff I’m talking about. Other, different things have also helped me find those clients, to understand that I work best with them, to know that I am comfortable in that little niche, if you will.
Creativity, individuality, identity; those are words which my clients for 2013 have been throwing around. Even those who are going down the traditional route still plan on stamping their style on things somehow. Do I look back on 2012 clients with a sense of regret or disproval? Not at all! If nothing else, they, combined with the many photographers I have been in contact with, have taught me FAR MORE about who I want to be. And what I want to do. And what I can offer. And how I can do my absolute best work for my clients and for myself.
And you know what? It’s not just about the client, after all. Sure, at the end of the day, I could take a booking, go shoot the wedding, bish bash bosh, job done. But if there’s no connection if I’m not right for them (and they’re not right for me), it’s safe to say I probably won’t do the Best Job Ever. The client ideally needs to feel what I do, understand my enthusiasm and passion for photographing weddings; realise how important wedding photography is to me and (should be) to them. Honestly, it feels like when the day is done, we’ve made a new set of friends because we all “totally get each other”. (Dude.)
No, we don’t need to start speaking on the phone every night and the rest of it, but y’know, there needs to be some kind of connection and understanding.
It’s all too easy for a wedding tog to turn up, go through the motions (or check list) and move on. “Conveyor Belt Wedding”, in my mind. I don’t do that. I couldn’t do that if I tried; it’s not my style. And that’s how I know I’m On The Cusp. That’s how I know and understand that, in 2013, not only do I my clients (new friends) expect more from me in terms of the service I offer, but I expect my standards to be raised in terms of everything relating to my business, my photography, me.
I’ve set some goals. I can see new heights. I have battles to fight (and win). I have things to achieve. I have places I want to be, people I want to see, weddings I want to be a part of. I haven’t included any photos in this post, because to be quite honest with you, I wouldn’t even know where to start. My blog, my site, my Flickr and my Facebook page have a load of stuff on there. I’m pinning more of what I like to see in my clients on Pinterest. But honestly, I’m already head first into 2013, counting down the days til I start shooting (15 to be exact, and I think it’s going to be a fricking AWESOME first shoot).
2013 is going to be a mahoosive step forward. I’m sure of it.