setting goals + exciting changes for LRP!

IMG_8977Well, friends, this is a different sort of post for me!  It’s going to be the wordiest post on the blog to date because it’s not a session post.  It’s a post about setting goals… specifically, me setting goals for myself and this hobby of mine that is legit growing into a small business.  I’m excited about this post, but honestly, I’m also a little nervous about it.  I mean, setting goals for yourself is a scary thing to do.  Setting goals usually means learning new things and making some changes (and/or some sacrifices), and it always demands hard work.  But what’s even scarier than setting goals is opening up and TELLING someone else those goals.  Because then you’re committed!  There’s no going back – you’re accountable to follow through!

As scary as that may be, the reality is that we need goals.  Goals push us out of our comfort zone so we can learn and grow and maybe (if we’re lucky) even surprise ourselves with what we can achieve when we set our minds on something.  Jason and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, and it was SO cool to reflect back on the 1-, 3-, and 5-year goals we had set for ourselves during our first year of marriage – because almost all of them had been realized!  Even some of the ones we’d thought were a stretch!  (Side note, it was also really humbling to think about how much we have been blessed and how much grace has overflowed in our marriage.  The best kind of accomplished goals are the ones that remind us of the faithfulness of our Jesus!  But, I digress.)  So I finally took the scary step of sitting down and contemplating – and recording – goals that I want to pursue for my photography during what’s left of this year.

Now that I’ve got them figuratively “on paper” (literally, saved as a note in my iphone), I’m really excited to share these goals with y’all!  For one thing, sharing them with you will keep me accountable to see them through.  And also, sharing them is just fun because I am really, really excited about them and would love for you to be excited with me!  So without further adieu, my 2015 goals for LRP:

  1. Image Delivery!  My first and most immediate goal for the remainder of 2015 is to improve my clients’ experience by changing the way I deliver finished images.  Instead of having to wait for me to hand-deliver or snail mail a DVD (which can’t be accessed unless you’re in front of your computer, and let’s face it, can get lost or damaged pretty easily), future LRP clients will be able to view, download (to their computer or even their smartphone!), and share their images on social media, AND even order prints of their images – all from one location, an online gallery that they will be able to access as soon as I have the gallery complete!  This is the preferred method of delivery for many (dare I say most?) professional portrait photographers in today’s industry, so I am really, REALLY excited to be able to offer this to my future clients!
  2. Web & Social Media!  There will be a few changes coming to the LRP website and blog, as well an LRP presence on instagram!  I’ve settled for a bit of a no-frills, blank slate look on the LRP website up to this point, and I’m excited about some deliberate changes that will make this tiny slice of the internet a bit more polished and a bit more … “mine.”  I’m sure it will mean some learning and probably a significant time investment for me, but it will all be SO worth it!
  3. Improving my Photography!  I think it’s SUPER important that I keep improving the actual product that I’m delivering to my clients by continuing to learn how to create better portraits.  Kind of a no-brainer, right??  And in my opinion, one of the best ways to improve is to learn from someone who is doing it better than you are!  So I’ve connected with a really talented wedding and portrait photographer in the NRV, and even though we’ve only spent a few hours getting to know each other, she has been SO encouraging to me on a personal level already.  She welcomed me into a local group of creatives who are focused on building an awesome creative community in southwest Virginia, and she has also generously given me the opportunity to assist her on a wedding or two this season so that I can learn firsthand by watching and serving her.  This is SUCH an awesome blessing, not only because it’s an opportunity for me to learn how to better serve my clients, but because I’ve also made a precious new photog friend.  #winning
  4. Booking Sessions!  I’ve set a goal for the number of sessions I’d like to book for this fall.  Before you read any further, know that my heart behind sharing this is definitely NOT to make readers feel pressured in any way to give me business.  I just want to be real with you.  This is easily the scariest goal that I have set for 2015, but the reality is that regardless of whether I meet this goal, I wouldn’t truly be challenging myself if I didn’t set some production goals for myself and for LRP.  I mean, let’s be honest… how can a set of business goals be effective if they don’t include goals directly related to actually growing the business??  We accomplish so much more when we have something definite that we are working towards.  So the way I see it, even if I fall short of “the” number I have set for myself, I will still have accomplished more than if I hadn’t set a goal in the first place.  Can I get an amen??

So, if you’ve stayed with me to this point (I know this post was loooong), thank you so, so much for reading, and GET EXCITED for some changes and improvements to LRP (and of course, some adorable sessions!) in the coming months!  I am SO looking forward to sharing them with you!

Observation: when I get excited I use a lot of caps.  Like, a LOT.  I’m not even ashamed of it.

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