A year in review | 2018 | Birth and Lifestyle Photographer // Bellingham, WA

I started 2018 weighing more than I ever have. Now, I don’t want this post to be about fitness and losing weight. I really wanted 2018 to be the year that I lost weight, got back into shape, and felt better about myself. I do feel a lot healthier, but I certainly am not where I want to be. For right now, I’m happy with that. I feel my overall mental health has improved. I used to be so much more health conscious, and I’m happy that I am getting back on track with that.

In the past few months I’ve been working on my cooking skills. Not necessarily trying anything difficult, but rather picking out new recipes that are more than just soup. Ha. My favorite food is soup, mostly because it so easy to pack full with yummy veggies. Getting back on track with cooking has been such an enjoyable way for me to improve my overall health. I look forward to getting healthy dishes on the table each night.
I’ve been vegetarian for about 7 or 8 years now, and vegan for some of that, off and on. Being that both Nathan and I are lactose intolerant, I cook all vegan meals. Rarely do I eat eggs, but for no particular reason. Some of my favorite websites/cook books are: Minimalist Baker, Cookie + Kate, and Oh She Glows. I’m working on finding more people to follow, and remembering to try out their recipes! I love Instagram for this reason. Following so many great plant-based accounts is amazing.

In addition to making healthier food choices, I’ve also started back at the gym. Last year I canceled my gym membership, because I wasn’t making it there, and decided it would be better to cancel. I’m still not a fan of the 20 minute drive to and from the gym, but it is worth it. I find myself getting anxious and overwhelmed by work, and life, and the gym, as well as yoga/pilates vidoes, has been a nice release. I put on a podcast and tune out all the stress of life. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying the Crime Junkie podcast. I will say, it is depressing that these are REAL stories they’re sharing, and real lives that have been taken, unlike the fiction crime shows I enjoy watching. I’m sorry if that is depressing, but it is a thought-process I have often.

Okay, back to my review of 2018!

In 2018, besides the {major} struggles I had with my self-image, my business experienced some major growth. It was my most successful, and overwhelming year. The word “success” is relative. We all view success differently, and there are many levels of success. I saw a big increase of inquiries from people who found me on google, which is really exciting. I love working on my website, and SEO can be tricky, so it is fun to see it working! I booked more births last year than I have before, which is so so amazing to me. It is overwhelming in the best way, because it is an incredible honor to witness the birth of a baby. I also had so many more lifestyle newborn sessions, yay! When I first started my business, my hope was to focus on birth and newborn photography. It felt like a far-off dream, and something that would take years to accomplish. Now, I look at my portfolio and it is full of babies. I am SO thankful for this.

There were a few changes to my business in 2018. I had to take a serious look at my business as a whole, and make some big decisions. At the beginning of the year, I was cleaning houses on the side. The winter time can be slow, and that is a scary feeling. I was cleaning houses and running my business, and starting to feel like I had less and less time to spend at my desk. I made the decision to stop house cleaning and make some important changes to my business. I made some pretty big leaps in my pricing structure, which is probably the MOST intimidating part of running a photography business. I would be lying if I said it doesn’t effect me when I hear negative things said about my pricing. Photography is undervalued, in my opinion. It doesn’t really make sense, though, seeing as we live in such a big social media influenced society. Does that sentence even make sense? I completely understand that most everyone is on a tight budget, and affording something “extra” is hard. My hope is that photography is considered something valuable and worth budgeting and saving for. It is very hard to price myself low and “affordable” and run a business. Guys, I really hate even talking about this right now. It makes me uncomfortable, and it feels inappropriate. This is why I won’t go into detail, because it isn’t necessary.

I had an amazing year last year, and I remind myself of this when there are hard days and it feels like I’m drowning.

Comparison is the thief of joy”

I don’t think I’ve met a photographer who doesn’t get trapped in the comparison game. I appreciate when photographers voice this, because we all feel it. I am my own worst critic, and it’s a slippery slope.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope to write a more lighthearted post next ;)