Ah 2018. A new year with new dreams. I’ve never been a “resolution” person, but I’m definitely a goal setter — or dare I say, goal achiever. I’m also not one to be modest, so I’m just going to say it: I crushed it in 2017. A lot of punches were thrown my way last year and I rolled with all of them. I’ve had to practice finding comfort in the discomfort…WAY easier said than done. Most importantly, I’ve stopped worrying about what everyone else is doing. This was my biggest lesson. Instead, I’ve been doing things my way. I’m not sure if it has something to do with turning 30 last year, but I feel like I flipped a switch and suddenly am 10x more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. Who knows what’s responsible, but 2018 looks like it may be my best year yet.
I’ve been reminiscing about the goals I’ve set for myself and my business over the years and had a good laugh over how much my direction has changed in a seemingly short period of time. A few years ago, if one of my goals didn’t happen, I would have considered it a failure. But the truth is, if you’ve never failed, then you’ve never really pushed beyond your limits (or so my yoga teacher told me today when I wiped out after attempting a flying frog pose). By that logic, I think any failure can also be seen as a success. Because hey, at least you had the guts to try it anyway. Success be damned.
When I set out to write this blog post, I had an entire other topic in mind. The words weren’t flowing, so I decided to give it a go anyway and write what I was feeling. I was TRYING to write about my recent “expansion” into wall art and how it came to be. You see, when I started out in this crazy industry almost 10 years ago, I created packages and services around what everyone else was doing and what I THOUGHT clients wanted. This largely included the digital files. In the early years of my business, my packages always included the files, and though I offered more, clients rarely ever purchased an album or print through me. I (wrongfully) assumed that this is what they wanted, and that they would handle the rest on their own.
It wasn’t until last year when a past client reached out to me and confessed that she had lost the digital files and regretted that she never made an album or even a single print from her wedding day. Imagine spending all that money on a professional wedding photographer, and then years later not having a single photo to show for it. And she isn’t the only one out there. This conversation honestly made me question if leaving clients with only the files was actually a disservice to them. The short answer to a long story is YES.
What’s the point in hiring some of the Chicago wedding photography industry’s top wedding photographers if your photos only ever sit on your Instagram feed? Why shell out $5-10k if you just print the photos at Walmart? Am I right? This whole concept drives me nuts!
I’ve decided to do my clients one better: My mission in 2018 is to deliver at least one specially framed art piece to each wedding couple and to make myself completely available for everyone’s printing needs. Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this the entire time. I’ve been focusing so hard on albums, that I forgot to help my clients with prints. Thanks to everyone in 2017 who chose to be my “guinea pigs” with this wall art project and for inviting me into your homes to create the perfect pieces for you. It’s reignited a much needed spark into my business and life. I hope you love the pieces as much as I do!
So, yes, you will continue to see behind the scenes posts on Instagram and here on the blog showing off all the work I’ve been doing for my clients. I take pride in it. I have some lofty goals for this new Artistrie adventure, and I plan to give it everything I’ve got. Thanks for all of your support. I seriously have the best clients, family and friends around. Cheers to all of you! Happy 2018.