Well, well, well. Hey there everyone. It has been a while, right? I haven’t posted a blog in so long that the website didn’t auto-populate my username. CRAZY. But, I decided to take a little bit of a break from social media and blogging for Annie Laura Photography to enjoy the holidays and take time to unwind after a crazy and exciting year so while it may have been a while since I last posted, I was able to enjoy my first married holiday with my husband, Matt, and build lots of new memories with my family and friends, which was invaluable to me.
So for my first post in 2017, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on 2016 – original, right? Yeah, I thought so, too. Good, so you’re with me. I am going to reflect on some of my favorite pictures from each session but also reflect on the year as a whole.
Here it goes.
2016 was quite a year. I feel like I say this every year but 2016 probably takes the cake. I got married, switched careers and launched a new business. It felt like a whirlwind at times but what better way to accelerate your learning, right? (ugh.) As some of you may or may not know already, photography is not my full-time job. In fact, I have a full-time job. At times, this proved to be REAL tough when it came to editing vs. wanting to spend time with my husband after work but fortunately Matt was very understanding and supportive (love that guy).
My full-time job is with an amazing company. A company I just joined this past Fall actually. Yes, 2016 was a year of career change for me - which for those of you who have ever switched careers, my hat is off to you - it's not an easy decision to make. It requires a lot of prayer, thought and courage to say, "this is not what is best for me anymore. What’s next?" It was tough - at least for me. It was very hard for my people-pleasing personality to upset people and to feel like I let people down.
I worked full-time in Marketing since 2012 and absolutely loved it. I learned more from my time at my previous company from those I worked around than I could ever have learned elsewhere. I gained a lot of confidence in my professional abilities through the many challenges I faced daily and I was passionate about something that I could never explain to friends and family. “Wait, what is paid search marketing?” However, at the start of 2016, I started to feel pulled in a different direction. I could write 100 more blogs about this but overall, it was a very difficult couple of months, deciding what my next step would be, but from that, Annie Laura Photography began.
I started this at a time where I was unsure where God would take my career next but I decided that I could trust Him with whatever His next step was. Fortunately, as God always does, he pulled the pieces together for my new career but also allowed Annie Laura Photography to be my creative outlet, post-Marketing career.
Deciding to launch a side photography business was a little hard for me. I constantly battle the thoughts of not being good enough and wondering what others will say. If I wasn’t the best at it, why even try? But I decided to not listen to the negative thoughts. I can't take all the credit though. Most of this is because of my supportive husband who constantly reminds me of what's important in life.
Do you want to know what happened after launch? God showed up during this time.
I've learned so much in these few short months and I know that it will continue. Most importantly, I've learned that I can't concern myself with others thoughts, as those are beyond my control. What I can concern myself with is my personal obligation to learn and grow in something that challenges me.
At the beginning of this, I prayed that God would use each session as a chance for me to connect with a couple, a family or a person. I prayed that I could use each opportunity to encourage someone and to help them see the beauty in each photo of themselves. Ultimately, I know that it will take time and experience in this industry. I just thank God for a great start in 2016. What a year!
10 family sessions, 3 kids sessions, 3 high school senior sessions, 1 maternity session and 1 professional headshot session later, I give you the 2016 rewind.