Is it REALLY almost 2012?! Is Christmas REALLY already over?! Goodness time is flying!! Aric and I had a great road trip back to West Texas after spending a few days in the DFW area with my family! It was a great trip- with plenty of time to reflect on the past year and discuss our plans moving forward into the new year! I love this time. When we talk about the things that we succeeded in and the things that we failed horribly in- both in our business and just life in general! It always makes me excited for the new year to have a fresh start and to work hard on the things we failed in and strive to be even better in the things we did well this past year! I figured that a countdown was in order to reflect over those things here so we can be held accountable to those things! 🙂
So we will start off with the exciting things that happened in 2011!
10. We got to travel all over Texas to shoot beautiful weddings for our amazing couples! From Lubbock, to Galveston, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Dripping Springs, and even to Albuquerque New Mexico!
9. We overbooked our year which was a good and bad thing, but overall it was a huge blessing to be so busy and get to be a part of so many beautiful couple’s big days!
8. We hired an office manager who has helped us out SO much this year! I literally don’t think we would have made it through the year without her!
7. Aric built a new photobooth so now Four Frames Photobooths has 2 different booths to choose from!
6. We did our first 2 workshops!! (As in we got to teach 2 amazing people everything we have learned in our past few years as Wedding photographer’s and it was SO MUCH FUN!)
5. We got featured in The Knot magazine!
4. We got featured on a few different wedding blogs this year!
3. I started a new division of our business shooting Boudoir and I’m LOVING it!
2. We did our first “styled shoot” on a very small scale and the results were awesome! The shoot got featured on the Style Me Pretty Texas blog!
1. And the number one exciting thing that happened in 2011 was just getting to grow and learn together with my husband! He is really really awesome! And I love him!!
And now onto the things we will be working on in the new year (in no particular order)!
10. Correspondence! – Sadly this got put on the back burner this year and our customer service wasn’t at the top of it’s game! We were so busy most days that I would stare blankly at my inbox, get overwhelmed…and close it saying “I’ll get to that tomorrow!” It was bad, bad bad! And I’m on a mission to be more proactive about our correspondence and schedule this new year! Our couples deserve the best and I’m ready to give it to them!
9. Networking – We had big dreams and aspirations of doing a lot of networking this past year and that was another thing that got pushed aside so we could spend time just trying to keep our heads above water. This year we plan on taking more time to network with the other awesome Wedding vendors in Lubbock and be a source of help for them!
8. Style shoots – Like I said above- we did our first style shoot on a very small scale this past year and it was a success!! So I can only imagine what it could be if we did it bigger and better! We are excited to take time to do more style shoots this year to help our brides with ideas, show them things that they haven’t seen and get our favorite vendors noticed in the meantime!
7. Albums – Aric did a ton of research this year on our albums and he has chosen the best of the best to offer to our couples! With everyone loving digital media so much these days- albums are kind of an afterthought- but really having a tangible record of your wedding day is so much more endearing than trying to look at a ton of pictures on a computer screen! Aric lays out some of the most beautiful album designs I’ve seen (yes I might be biased, but it’s true!) and I think every couple deserves to have an heirloom to share with their families!
6. Pushing 4 Frames Photobooths – Aric was the first to have a photobooth business in Lubbock, and after working a few events I’m in love with the thing! It really is such a fun addition to your wedding! And our booths are the biggest in town! So squeezing 2 people into a picture isn’t a problem! In fact we have had up to 10 people squeeze in for a picture! It is so much fun! And I always recommend getting double prints! Guests love to keep a copy, but it’s so fun for the bride and groom to go back and look at what their guests were up to throughout the night! It’s definitely one of the funnest things you can do!
5. More features – We shot so many weddings this year that we considered feature worthy! But we were so overwhelmed trying to get our couples the final images that we decided we didn’t have time to spend sending out more pictures to blogs to try and get featured! I plan to make this a priority! It’s not only fun for us! But it’s fun for our couples when their wedding gets featured! And it’s great for our network of other wedding vendors! So we want to do this for them as well!
4. Blogging – Yes, I admit it. I was a horrible blogger this year! I didn’t have time to prepare every wedding and every shoot for the blog so I just got lazy and stopped doing it altogether! Bad idea I know! You guys come here to see beautiful images and by golly I want to give that to you! Even if it kills me! My hope is to be a much better blogger for 2012! And establish a better routine for blogging so it doesn’t take up so much of my time that I could otherwise be editing images for our couples!
3. Boudoir – With Je-T’adore finally getting out there more and more- I’m excited to shoot more boudoir sessions for our clients old, current and new! I also want the Je-T’adore blog to be a place where all you girls can go for fun fashion and beauty tips too!
2. More portrait sessions – Last year we pretty much turned away all of our portrait inquiries, because we were so swamped with weddings! This year we will be taking fewer weddings so we can have more time for portrait clients! I’ve come to love portrait sessions and I hope we can shoot more in the new year!
1. Schedule and Routine – This was one of the main things that kept us from excelling in every area this past year! We would get so bogged down, overwhelmed, and whatever else that our schedules were all over the place and there was really no routine to the business! This is crucial for us to keep ourselves sane! And I’m excited that Aric and I both want to make a change in this aspect! We will be setting office hours. Turning computers, phones, and email off at a certain time every day so that work doesn’t become our ENTIRE life! Running a home based business has so many challenges! And boundaries are pretty hard to set! But this year we are going to do it!
In closing I just want to say THANK YOU!! Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck with us through the past year! Our family and friends who are our biggest supporters and to our Clients past and present- we are so thankful for ya’ll! And we know we couldn’t do this thing that we love without each and every one of you!!
This year we will be spending New Year’s eve with a precious couple and their family and friends as they celebrate getting married and then count down to the new year together! I know it is going to be a blast and I’m truly thankful we get to be a part of such a special event for them and their loved ones! If you haven’t spent any time reflecting on the past year and setting new goals for the new year- DO IT! It’s so refreshing! And rejuvenating! And so crucial to making big things happen!
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a wonderful New Year!
Aric + Casey
(And since no post is complete without a picture- here’s my adorable niece at Christmas! 🙂 )