2013 year in review

It seems I’ve started an annual tradition where I recap my year personally and professionally, to see where I’ve been and where I’m going. See the past years: 2010, 2011, 2012… and now 2013…


  • Paid off 2 large debts while following the Davey Ramsey, debt snowball idea.
  • Bought my first house with Rebecca (her second house)
  • Completed numerous renovation projects with Rebecca: installed laminate, crown molding, light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and painted an infinity of white walls.


  • Focused on learning about and creating landscape photos. This included long-exposure, focus stacking and HDR techniques. Check out my best 13 landscape photos.
  • Learned a whole lot about HDR editing techniques from Trey Ratcliff (via his video course) – i.e. this photo
  • Began placing my best photos on my new 500px profile – as a result, one of my photos made it to the 500px ‘Upcoming’ page. This page is where photos that are voted/favorited in a high percentage are placed.
  • Finally got some good fireworks photos (after a few years of failed attempts)
  • Started doing photography as part of my freelance work, rather than solely for personal enjoyment and iStockPhoto.
  • Contributed 67 photos and raster illustrations to iStockPhoto (two times more than 2012) – where they can be licensed by people worldwide.
  • Increased my iStockPhoto sales by 50% from 2012

Check out some of the photos I contributed to iStock this year:

landscape photos Arizona  Austin, TX

Web Design

  • Created many responsive (mobile-friendly) websites while continually learning about creating better responsive websites
  • Attended my first web design conference, An Event Apart. I gained a lot of clarity about what I need to learn next. I blogged about each and every talk from the conference here.
  • Started building WordPress websites that utilize custom fields and custom post types. This allows the client to very easily edit their website content, in a failproof manner
    • This technique landed the largest web design client I’ve had to-date!

Creative Improv, my freelance business

  • Implemented the very first redesign of CreativeImprov.com – the new website is mobile-friendly and reflects my current skills.
  • Worked with 27 clients to create meaningful websites, print campaigns and logos. 10 of which were new relationships and 17 were returning clients.
  • Grew Creative Improv by 36% from 2012 – all while creating higher quality work than ever before.

What I ‘shipped’ in 2013

In 2010, Seth Godin challenged his readers to think about what they ‘shipped’ the previous year. Here is what I shipped in 2013:

  • Crushed 2 large debts
  • Contributed 67 stock photos to iStockPhoto
  • Crafted 11 websites
  • Crafted 11 HTML Emails
  • Designed 2 logos
  • Designed 6 print pieces (billboard, business cards, etc)

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