Disclaimer: None of these photos are mine. Credit & links at bottom of post.
Dear December… where the heck did you come from?! I swear every year seems to fly by quicker and quicker and I can’t believe it’s time to start planning for 2024!
I normally don’t start dreaming, scheming, and planning for the coming year until closer to Christmas and New Years. But the other night I got on Pinterest and everything just came together and I felt so much clarity. I popped open Canva and voila! The board you see above appeared! Vision boards are something newer for me. Last year, I stumbled upon a board I made in 2016/2017 after I was assaulted and I had come to the realization that Piano Performance wasn’t going to be an option as a career for me. It was full of different career ideas, things I wanted to be a part of my twenties, and a few pipe dreams thrown in for kicks and giggles.
But almost everything on that board… I’ve done.
I get to work from home most days. But I also get to travel (and that was allllll over that board). I have a little blue convertible now. I have the sweetest mini schnauzer. I’ve read a bunch of the books that were pinned about personal development AND I have a therapist who has helped me grow SO much. I haven’t moved out of my parents house yet, but I have made my spaces in their home my own. I’m loving my single life (something I was trying to learn to love back then). It’s just SO CRAZY!
I know sometimes when people talk about manifestation and vision boarding other people can look at them like they’re a little *weewoo*. But the more I read and research manifestation and vision boarding work. Because when you think about it- manifesting and vision boards are just practicing positive thinking and focusing on all the good things that could/can happen VS. spending all your time worrying and thinking about what bad thing could happen next to me.
“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” – Newt Scamander
This is probably my favorite thing I added to my end of the year planning and goal setting last year. I didn’t share my vision board in last years blog post, but looking back- I accomplished almost everything that was on my vision board- even if it wasn’t in the way I thought I would accomplish it! I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this! Here are just a few of the goals/dreams that are represented on my 2024 vision board!
You guys already know that New England has my heart. I go every single opportunity I have and I never get sick of it. This year I’d like to go for another month during the summer and a couple weeks in the fall as well! This will be my first time roadtripping up with Knightley and I cannot wait to share this place with him! I’m hoping he’ll love the beach as much as I do! I’m not going to do as elaborate of a trip as I did this year- I made so many stops last year on the way up… it was super fun, but this time I only want to stop in a couple places on the way and just focus on getting back to Manomet!
Diving Deeper Into the Artistry of Photography and Weddings:
I’ve felt like I’m in a bit of a rut artistically recently. I’ve been doing a deep dive into my work, other photographer’s work that I LOVE, and also focusing on finding inspiration outside of the wedding world. This year, I’m wanting to really have fun with reception images, continue incorporating film into my business, maaaayyybbeee get my drone pilot license, test out a few new pieces of equipment that I’ve been eyeing for a while.
I’ve been feeling this tug towards a more documentary style approach to weddings, but I like to call it a storytelling approach. I want to focus more on the little details in portraits (the placement of your hubby’s hands as he hugs you, the little details on your wedding dress, the way your veil flows around you in the wind as you walk), photographing details in a smidge more organic way (still love my flatlays with all the flowers! Don’t you worry those aren’t going anywhere!), and getting unique/creative angles at different points during the day (Ceremonies, reception images, even portraits). I don’t know exactly what will change or how my work will look at the end of 2024, but I’m excited for the journey!
“All work and no play makes jack a very dull boy.” I don’t know if I’m dull… but I definitely think all work and no play makes your burnt out. No matter how much you love your job. This year I need to take better care of myself, 2023 was a wild ride and I loved it, but I cannot continue at the same pace. I’m holding firm to not booking more than 15-20 weddings this year and I would also love to stick more to my home markets for portrait work. I LOVE to travel, I LOVE to photograph people in places that are special to them, and I absolutely want to continue doing that- but in 2023 I was spending 10-20 hours in my car every week. I was frequently beating myself up because I felt like editing was getting behind and I was just so tired all the time, but when I realized that I was spending sometimes half (more than half honestly) of my work week in the car it all made sense.
I’m going to make myself take 2 days off every week (like what most normal people get!), have stricter office hours, try when possible to schedule portrait sessions that are outside of Columbia closer together- that way I can make just one drive somewhere (even if that means I spend the night) and I don’t make 9 trips to the same place in one month! I want to create a more restful morning routine that doesn’t start with me immediately looking at social media or my email, block off days of the week for batch work, plan fun nights out with friends a couple times a month, and exercise in some way every day (so excited for evening walks with Knightley!).
I Need a Hobby:
Closely related to needing to practice self-care better, but I need something fun and creative I do that is just for me! I have a bunch of things I’d like to try this year and I’m just going to slowly work my way through the list and see what I fall in love with! I also signed up for a Masterclass subscription instead of renewing HBO for another year… so I’m going to try to watch a BUNCH of different classes there!
- Honing My at Home Barista Skills (Love Starbucks, but so tired of giving them all my money)
- Flower arranging (Been dying to take a class at Fern Studio Flowers!)
A New Home Market… Splitting My Time Between Two Places?:
This is a big dream that feels kind of scary to share… but by the end of 2024 I would love to be splitting my time between SC and MA.
I have thought about just flat out moving to MA, but I do love my life here in SC. I have other dreams/goals that I’m not going to share now, but they seem most likely to happen only if I maintain my residency in SC. So I’m not looking to leave anytime soon, but I would like to spend more time in New England.
For the past couple of years, going up to New England has just been something fun I do for myself and I work as a second or associate photographer while I’m there so that I can write the trip off on my taxes as a business expense (there are some great perks to owning a business!). But every time I go up to New England I just fall more and more in love with it. That being said I would LOVE to book a few weddings of my own up in New England and I’m going to be considering both SC & MA as my “home” markets. I’m still figuring out what exactly this will look like, but I’m dreaming big this year and you’ll be seeing even more treks up to Plymouth from me!
Venues I’m Dying to Book a Wedding at:
One of my favorite parts of moving Columbia last year was how many more wedding venues there are here!! I know a lot of people would still consider the Columbia wedding market to be small, but it still feels so big to me! I’m constantly seeing new (to me) venues pop up on instagram, meeting new photographers and planners (everyone here is SO STINKIN NICE.), and finding the most ridiculously talented people! So grateful to be here and be part of it all! There’s several venues here that I am just dying to book a wedding at! There’s also a couple up in New England that I would love to book a wedding at… just sayin!
- Wavering Place
- Magnolia Way
- The Coonamessett
- Bourne Farm
- Mt. Hope Farm
- The Lace House
- Seibel House and Gardens
- The Farm at Ridgeway
I cannot wait for 2024. Forever grateful for each and everyone one of you that were a part of my 2023!
Photo credit from Vision Board:
Dahlia Garden Wallpaper: Boråstapeter
Couple Hugging: Rachel Solomon Photography
Dahila Photo: Janne Ford
Duck Art: Cath Kidston
Wavering Place Reception Photo: Michael and Carina
Camera Flatlay : Jenna Kutcher
Outfit Photo: Julia Berolzheimer
Bedroom Interior: Couldn’t find who took the photo, I just kept getting redirected to tumblr blogs. Found via Pinterest.
Wedding Dress on Chair: Lauren Fair
Wedding Invitation/Details: Kaity Brawley Photography
Girl on Couch: Demi Mabry Photography
Green Door Watercolor: Couldn’t find the artist. Image was uploaded to Pinterest.
Hands Photo: Kati Rosado Photography
Dog & Girl on Beach: Zee Dog (Not sure if it’s their content, but that’s where I was redirected to from Pinterest.)
Dog in the Dunes: Couldn’t find who took the photo. Found via Pinterest.