2011. TWENTY-ELEVEN. This year was epic in so many ways… and over in a flash. I worked like a crazy person, traveled constantly, made many new friends, and grew so much as an artist. And now it’s time to reevaluate things and figure out where I stand as 2012 comes speeding toward us. I’m going to break my 2011 round up into three posts… the good things (what was working for me); the not so good (what wasn’t working); and my favorite images from the year. So let’s get the bad out of the way real quick, so we can move onto the good…

So what do I need to work on for 2012…?

  • My work/life balance first and foremost. (How many times have I blogged about this struggle this year?! About a billion times, I think. It’s a problem.)
  • And on that note, I hope to be a better friend in 2012. I have absolutely not been a good friend at all – work has always come first, and I know I have often neglected the people I care so much about. I am so sorry for that, and will absolutely make more time to be a better friend in 2012.
  • My schedule. Working until 3am (or 6am on more than one occasion) is not acceptable. It’s not okay to work 18 hours in a row without a break. In 2012 I have to close the computer and walk away at 6:30pm every night; I have to take breaks; I have to remember to eat, go to yoga, take my vitamins. If I don’t take care of these things… get sleep… have a normal schedule… ultimately my business will suffer. (Along with my health.)
  • My workflow. I feel like there are a few kinks in the system, and everything needs to be a lot more streamlined. I’d love to get my turnaround time down to two or three weeks this year instead of six to eight, but I have to figure out how to make that happen.
  • Constantly going to the post office. (Well… the UPS Store.) I need to have set days for things – post production on Mondays, errands on Tuesdays… etc. for example. This thing I do where an order comes in, and I run out to mail it… and then the next day another order comes in, and off I go to mail it. That’s a little crazy and time consuming. I realized I am in there three or four times a week, and every single person at the UPS Store knows my name. That’s not normal.
  • My bookkeeping system. My books are so scary. Although I just switched from StudioCloud to Quickbooks, so I think that’s going to make a huge difference. (Especially since I no longer have to deal with StudioCloud crashing every time I try to print a receipt.) This is something I’ve been working on this week, actually… and I think everything will be 1000 times more manageable next year now that I’ve put new systems in place.
  • Taking more creative wedding party photographs. While I love to get creative with my couples portraits, I pretty much always do the standard wedding party line up. A lot of that is because of time constraints, but I’d really like to challenge myself a little more with wedding party photographs. I think I can come up with some really creative, non-cheesy wedding party photographs, and I want to work harder on that.
  • Emails. I know every single person reading this post just collectively yelled “FINALLY!” at me. I know. Believe me… I know. My inbox is frightening, and I constantly let it overwhelm me. I have a new system for getting to emails more quickly, and I think it will make us all a lot happier. You know it’s not that I’m ever ignoring you… it’s just the volume of emails I get. But that will change. I promise! Thanks for your patience.
  • Eating on wedding days. I am so bad about eating breakfast or snacks, and by the end of the day I am totally exhausted and ravenous. I see a huge difference in myself on days I eat breakfast and days I don’t. I’m always reminding my clients to eat and drink water… I need to take my own advice.

Next up… the good stuff! All the things that made this an incredible year!