2015 has been quite the year for me both personally & professionally. I started my business in January of 2014, and in 2015 it quadrupled in size. Literally. I am just completely shocked, but incredibly thankful (and then shocked again) for the growth I have had in the two years I’ve been in business. I have met the nicest families, snuggled the sweetest newborns, and chased around the cutest toddlers in Georgia (& even a few in North Carolina, DC, Virginia and Ohio). Brooke Whitney Photography has grown in ways I really never thought possible. I don’t think that I could ever put in words just how grateful I am for all of the amazing clients I have had the pleasure of photographing over the past two years. 99% of my business is word of mouth (the very best compliment I can get), and I am forever thankful for that.
However, with that growth comes growing pains, and I have certainly felt them. Running business is no easy task. I’m the assistant, accountant, IT support, editor, writer, blogger, oh yeah – and photographer behind this one-woman circus. I’ve made so many mistakes, I’m so slow at answering emails, and the turnaround time for my galleries is so much longer than I want them to be.
Now I know I am doing this to myself, because I just never say no. I absolutely LOVE my job (lovelovelovelovelovelove times 10), so I always say, “I would LOVE to capture your newborn session!” (because I really would!). However, I think that if I scale back I can really offer my clients a better service and product, as well as spend more time with my family. Two of the things I care most about.
I mentioned that it has been a big year for me personally as well. My husband and I bought our first home, and welcomed our second baby. We also have a 2.5 year old little girl, and a 5 year old yellow lab, and I want to spend more time with them. As you all know, this time with the babies just passes too quickly.
I tell you all this, not to complain, but just to try and explain & be open as to why I am making the changes that I am in 2016. The biggest change is that I am going to be cutting WAY back on the amount of sessions that I am doing a month. I’m also going to be changing the pricing structure that I currently have. I am telling you this now so you have a good heads up, and plenty of time to book with me at my current pricing. I’m also no longer going to be offering mini sessions, with the exception of my fall mini sessions (and possibly spring).
I am going to 2 different photography workshop/retreats in the new year. I am so excited for both of them, and have high hopes of learning a ton from the incredible photographers that will be teaching. I think that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the business, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Whenever I got in trouble as a kid my mom would say to me, “What is my job as your mommy?” and I would say “To make me the best person I can be”. I’ve made mistakes this past year, and with each one I’ve taken it as a learning opportunity to try and be the best person I can be. And that person is a wife, mother, daughter, and photographer. And I want to be the best I can be at all of them.
I have a feeling 2016 is going to be an amazing year. I think that cutting back will make me a better photographer (and mommy!). It will give me more time to learn, practice, blog, edit, and enjoy my job. Oh yeah, and time with my family, because really, that’s what it’s all about.
Our family pictures are done by the incredibly talented Ali Caudill Photography