The word of the year is BALANCE. Alongside that comes boundaries, fun, priorities, and so much more.
2022 taught me a lot (as most years do and should). What I liked about my business and what's "best practice" but doesn't resonate with me. I grew so much as an artist and a person. I accomplished some incredible things but also made mistakes along the way.
Each new year is a chance to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. What do we want the future to hold? How are we going to go after it and make it happen? What inner shifts need to happen to help manifest the change we seek in the new year?
As we look ahead to 2023, I have so much in store for you, and for me.
Limited Edition Sessions
More mini sessions throughout the year, making it easier for those who just want a couple digital photos to work with me while maintaining balance and integrity in my business.
These are Limited Edition because they will be themed and only a handful of timeslots will be available for each round. If you're not on the email list, you'll want to be as email VIPs always get first dibs at bookings! You can join here.
Themes I'm considering (but are not yet confirmed) are:
- Bubble Chase
- Cherry Blossoms
- Riverside Picnic
- Ball-pit Bonanza
- Ice Cream Party
- Pumpkin Patch
- Small but Mighty (a special round for small animals/reptiles/etc)
If you see one you like, be sure to let me know!
Something special for senior dogs and cats
A new addition this year, I'll be offering a serious of mini sessions each quarter for senior pets and their people.
Senior sessions are so special to me, and I truly believe all senior pets should be photographed before they have to depart this world.
This is a new alternative to End of Life/Rainbow sessions, and I have a mentor to thank for the suggestion.
What makes these so special is they will be donation based, so cost won't have to hold you back from getting senior dog or cat photos due to veterinary bills or the costs of caring for an older pet. Your donation will also include a handful of digital image files at no additional cost (artwork and additional digital files are of course always available for purchase).
You donation will also go directly to Old Dog Haven in Oak Harbor to help them in their mission to provide loving, safe homes for unadoptable senior dogs in need.
What else is new for 2023?
A couple new products for mini sessions and some level ups for classic products. I've found some new labs who are blowing my mind with the quality of their products, and it's time to step up to the luxury quality (only the absolute best for your dogs).
More events! Last year I attended a handful of in-person events and it was SO. MUCH. FUN! I loved getting a chance to meet with like-minded pet parents who were just as obsessed about their dogs as I always am.
Video add-on? I'll be testing out doing video for dog photography sessions in the hopes of being able to add a videography option in the future. At the very least, there will be more behind the scenes, vlogs and more (my YouTube channel is finally gonna get a face-lift soon).
More storytelling! I love writing and plan to do a ton more blogging this year, sharing stories of the pets I meet as well as tips, insights and more.
With more mini sessions comes more fundraising as well (see business goals below).
And most importantly, more boundaries in business to prioritize family and rest.
The workaholic in me is cringing but the mother in me is excited.
As a people pleaser I spent a lot of last year focusing on others and less on myself and my family. Some months were way worse than others (looking at you August) and they taught me a lot about what I didn't want.
Photographing your dogs is a huge passion of mine and fills my cup more than I ever thought a "job" could. However, I'm only one person and can only do so much. Trying to please/help everyone was my ultimate downfall in 2022.
My business was quite successful, but it didn't FEEL that way. It was too much, too overwhelming, and not enough time for me and my family. As someone who's autistic, I was very overwhelmed and it was my own fault.
Some things will shift in 2023, but all for the better and will result in a beautiful client experience to match the gorgeous artworks you'll have in your home.
What Business Goals Do I Have In 2023?
While I'm still working on putting together a list of personal goals for 2023, business goals came pretty easy.
Raise $20,000 for local rescues
With the help of the calendar contest, mini sessions and other fundraising efforts, my big goal is raising $20k for local western Washington rescues.
Donate 5,000lbs of pet food
The Fall-iday Food Drive last year raised over $1000 but only about 500lbs of food. This year I hope to really push it further to help those in need to feed their fur-babies. There may even be a Spring Food Drive, too.
Photograph as many dogs (and new breeds) as possible
Last year I had the pleasure of photographing a Dalmatian, one of the breeds I'd always wanted to work with! This year I hope to work with even more breeds I've not had the chance to yet (Silken Windhounds are one that come to mind). I'm thinking of putting together a special offer for this, but nothing solid yet.
Photograph more small animals
In 2021 I got to photograph a handful of pets other than cats and dogs and it was SO fun! A nice contrast to my usual work. This summer, I'd like to see how many different species of pets/animals I can work with (the summer is great for our reptile friends).
Attend the Unleashed Style Lab in Iceland
This is a big one for me, and bridges a little bit into personal goals as well. The Unleashed Style Lab is hosted by Craig and Charlotte of Unleashed Education, a membership I'm already a part of and love dearly. The guest instructor is Alicja Zmyslowska, a PHENOMENAL pet photographer who I've admired for a looong time. Learning from the three of them in person would be such an experience and I know a ton of growth will happen.
Pair that with a week long vacation in Iceland to learn from incredible artists/educators and photograph dogs in one of the most beautiful places on Earth that I've been dying to go to, and you've got the recipe for a dream come true!
There's an application process with only 9 spots available and a hefty (but totally worth it) fee, but I've got paws crossed that I get selected to go!
And yes, I will 100% cry if I do get selected! I'm a Pisces, there's no way I wouldn't haha.
2023 is predicted to be a year of change, revolution and new beginnings. Ultimately, I just want to pet all the dogs and have a ton of fun. I'll be using that and my intuition to guide me along the path that is 2023 and see where it takes us.
Here's to an incredible year.