So it’s my last wedding of the 2017 season this Saturday and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Last year as I booked up I got a little nervous. Twenty weddings was always my goal, but it was the most I shot in one season. Was I going to get burnt out? Were my delivery times going to drop? Was I going to be able to keep up with everything? These were all things that I became nervous about. That's the problem with being self employed (& in charge of your to-do list). It's easy to bite off more then you can chew. When the bite gets too big, you start sacrificing the things that make your business yours. There were things (like delivery time, email responses, etc) that I didn't want to sway from. That skeleton mode that I blogged about this May is/was no joke.
BUT I can confidently sit here & type this saying I could easily have shot 10 more weddings. But why? I shot 15 in 2016 & by the end I was DONE. Craving slow season & wanting to kick my feet up and relax. I was tired, feeling run down, I was dragging on editing, & I didn't feel good. So what was the difference between these last few seasons? Why was 2016 so much different from this year? I've been mulling it over the last few days & I think I've gotten it figured out.
I consistently hit the gym. In January of 2016 I found Pure Barre but it took me about 8 months to feel like I was getting the most out of it. It also took a bit to build those muscles of mine. I still walk out of class feeling rejuvenated & strong. I also added a bit more cardio to the regime!
I cut back on eating like crap. I'll be honest, I eat like a 13 year old most weeks. My diet isn't the most stable portion of my life. But by diet, I don't mean restricting what I eat.. I mean, living 30 seconds from pretty much every restaurant you could imagine isn't easy. This year I dove a little more into cooking at home & eating what was in my cupboards aka cheese quesadillas. It's a work in progress, okay?
I took more "me" time. No one functions well when they're in the trenches. Realizing that a hike at Devils Lake (even with a long to-do list at home) made me more productive that evening & the next day verses powering through. Fresh air is magical.
Establishing good systems. I found a few things that really motivate me when editing. I'll never shy away from the fact that I almost like editing more then shooting. There is just something about tweaking and working on images that brings me life. However, learning to not tweak too much or become obsessive about one image is important. A consumer isn't going to notice that the greens are up by +1 on ONE image.
I invested in my education. I took a posing course by Katelyn James (still one of my favorite togs) & you guys. It CHANGED me. It made me infinitely more confident. It made me produce more images in a shorter amount of time. It made me more excited about my work (if that was possible). That course was hands down, one of the BEST investments I've ever made.
Looking at all things things together makes me realize just why this season was so easy on me. Not only that, I had some of the BEST weddings of my career this year. I can't WAIT to dive into my top favorite blog posts & my personal favorite.. The love letter to my 2017 b&g's! Happy end of season my fellow photographer friends, we did it!! (insert gif of Elle Woods at the end of Legally Blonde).