I always love reading “Year In Review” blogs. It is especially good for me to write my own Year In Review blog. It’s a time to be thankful for the wonderful blessings and highlights of the year, but it’s also a time to recognize the areas that need improvement. I hope to always post a year in review blog and to always go back and re-read previous years to see how far I’ve come.
Today I want to talk about 2016 and some of the highlights, challenges, and the areas that need some improvement. I’ve never been a “New Years Resolution” person, but I do feel a strong urge to have goals for 2017, so I will be blogging about those tomorrow.
It can be easy to look back on a year and see all of the things I didn’t do well… all of the things I didn’t accomplish. And while I believe it is good for me to recognize the areas I didn’t do so well in so that I can work to improve, I want to start this blog and end this blog by focusing on the good things. So I’m starting with my Business/Erin Lindsey Images Highlights, then the things I didn’t do so well, then I’ll finish with my personal highlights — I definitely want to end this blog on a happy note! :)
BUSINESS/ERIN LINDSEY IMAGES HIGHLIGHTS IN 2016:
– We did our first bridal shows ever at the start of the year! We had a lot of fun meeting new brides and hanging out with some of our favorite wedding vendor friends!
– I’ve had the incredible honor of mentoring some wonderful ladies as well as blessing some couples with photoshoots as my gift to them. What a joy it is to be able to be a blessing to others with my job! I am so thankful!
– I photographed a proposal in Nashville! I love proposals!! (See that blog post by clicking HERE) Oh and that lovely couple just got married on Saturday! Congratulations, Ryan and Hannah!
– We traveled to several new cities for weddings, including Nashville and Auburn!
– We got to travel outside of the Huntsville area to North Carolina, Nashville, Birmingham, and Atlanta for engagement sessions and we had so much fun every time!
– I launched my exclusive Wedding Experience magazine for my brides! After many months of designing and tweaking, it was such a relief to finally complete that big project!
– I officially dove in and hired some help with editing! While I’m still very hands-on with editing and I always do the final edits, it has been so great having some help with the initial, basic edits.
– I have also officially hired an album designer! It has only been about 3 months, but I am already seeing the huge benefits both me and my brides are receiving as a result! Hooray!
– I taught 4 Manual Photography Basics Workshops (Find more information about my current workshops taking place on January 14th by clicking HERE. As of right now, there are only a couple of spots left!!)
– Erin Lindsey Images brides and grooms were featured in more magazines and on more blogs in 2016! It never gets old and we never take those features for granted!
– We photographed 23 weddings for 23 spectacular couples!
– We’ve formed beautiful friendships with several of our former clients in 2016. It’s a wonderful perk that comes with my job ;-) We get to meet and become friends with so many amazing couples!!
– Erin Lindsey Images had it’s most profitable year ever in 2016!
– I had the incredible honor of photographing a pregnancy announcement for some dear friends of mine, Wes and his wife Michelle, who also happens to be the extremely talented cake designer behind Just Crumbs. They are now the proud parents of the sweetest little boy, Gage Reed. He is truly an answer to so many prayers. Read more about their story on their blog by clicking HERE)
THINGS I DIDN’T DO WELL / THINGS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT:
– Like most of us do, I set a goal for 2016 to cut down on my social media addiction (yes, I’m going to call it what it is… it’s an addiction). While I had days or even weeks of improvement, ultimately I did not do this very well.
– I had the goal of working out several times a week in 2016 and I definitely did not do that… even after I bought yoga pants and moved my elliptical machine into my office ;-) Most weeks, my only exercise was going up and down my stairs in my house (and running around like a mad woman on wedding days)
– I also had a goal to eat healthier, drink a healthy smoothie every morning, etc… Yeah. Did not stick with that for very long. These past 2 months have been especially bad. #weeatoutwaytoomuch
– I also made a goal to take new headshots every quarter. I did not accomplish this either. I did get 2 rounds of headshots taken in 2016 though, so I give myself a B- there.
– I’ve noticed that I have a very real struggle with spending far too much time overthinking and trying to “perfect” things. Whether that be an email, editing, a blog post, etc. I’ve wasted alot of valuable time on this struggle and it needs to stop.
– Creating a rough weekly schedule and sticking to it! I had every intention of sticking to my schedule, and while I did do well with certain parts of the schedule, I would only give myself a C+ in this department. It needs some improvement.
– I had planned on replying to every comment I received on my Instagram and on my Facebook page. I did well for a season, but once life got a little bit busier, that goal fell to the wayside.
– Having people over to our house. This is something that I wish we had done more of in 2016. We fell in love with our house floor plan and backyard for the purpose of having people over and spending quality time with friends. While we did have several big hangouts and several smaller dinner parties, I would like to prioritize this a little more in 2017.
– At the start of 2016, I made a goal to update the photos in my galleries on my website at least every quarter. I did not do that. I think I may have updated those photos maybe once this year. Yikes!
– I wanted to cook more real dinners at home. Unfortunately, in 2016 we had alot more BLTs and Mexican take out that I’d like to admit.
– At the start of the year, Will decided he wanted to learn Spanish. I decided I would join along with him! While he stuck with it and practiced pretty much every single day in 2016, I only lasted 3 days :-/
PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS IN 2016:
– I traveled to New York City with two of my sisters for my 29th birthday and saw my favorite musical, Les Miserables, on Broadway! While we were in NYC, a historic blizzard hit the northeast and we got snowed in! It was truly a trip to remember! (Read more about that trip HERE)
…Oh and we got to attend a taping of The Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon definitely shook my hand and made. my. day!! :)
– Will and I celebrated 7 years of marriage!
– I got a new nephew and a new niece!
– We went on a cruise to Grand Cayman and the Bahamas! (Read more about that trip by clicking HERE)
– I set a goal to read 15 books in 2016. As of Friday night, I completed my 15th book PLUS I listened to 3 more audiobooks! Yay! Goal reached!
– We went on our first real vacation with all of Will’s side of the family! It was so much fun!
– We’ve grown closer with our friends. This in and of itself is always a very good thing. We are so thankful for the friendships and the people God has placed in our lives.
– We planned a last minute, dream fulfilling trip out West to visit Mount Rushmore (lifelong childhood dream come true!!) and to spend some time in the Badlands and in Colorado. (Read more about that trip by clicking HERE)
– While we were in Colorado, we had our very own photoshoot with one of my favorite photographers, Anna Shackleford Photography! (See our photos from that shoot by clicking HERE)
– We built a new shelving system in my office and I am in love!
– I got to travel down to Seaside, FL with my best friend of 15 years for a little “Best Friends Weekend” in early December. It was so wonderful! In the 15 years we’ve been friends, we have never gotten away just the two of us. It was about time! ;-)
– Will planned a surprise Christmas trip out to the mountains and to see The Biltmore Estate! I’ve been wanting to visit the Biltmore for years and years! It was amazing! While we were in the mountains, we revisited the place we went on our honeymoon 7 years ago and recreated a photo we took back then :)
– Will’s company, Echols, Lindsey & Moore, celebrated it’s 1st anniversary in September!
– Will’s company also not only met the goals they set for their first year, but they far exceeded them! Because of the overwhelming (in a good way) amount of work they have on their plates, they hired not one, but two new employees!
– We traveled to northern Virginia to spend Christmas with my side of the family. Everyone was there (all 25 of us) and that was a miracle! We also had a little fun with our Family Photo ;-)
(Side Note: It’s interesting how many of the highlights of 2016 involve traveling in some shape or form. That is because traveling is a HUGE love of mine. I always want to travel any chance I can. 2016 was a wonderful year of travel for us, both for business and for pleasure, and I am so thankful!)
What a year 2016 was! While many seem to have negative views of 2016 and were desperate for 2016 to be over, I look at it as being a good year with challenges, as most years are. Even though there were many very challenging moments, days, weeks, and even months, I loved 2016 and I am so thankful for the growth, joy, challenges, adventure, success, and even the missteps we experienced in 2016.
But now it’s time to move forward and get excited about the year ahead! 2017, I’m so excited about you! :)
Tomorrow I’ll be blogging my Goals For 2017!