It’s that time of year again: to see where I’ve been and where I’m going. This has become an annual tradition: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. And now for 2014…
- Completed a 365 day photo project – I set out to learn more about flash and lighting in photography. To do so, I challenged myself to make one photograph a day that utilized lighting.
- Related to the first point, I grew my photography gear by purchasing a second speedlight, my first studio light (AlienBees B800) and many light modifiers (color gels, grids, mini-softbox, etc)
- I learned a bit about pet photography. Wrangling a beagle and a cat, as well as lighting to get a good photo is an interesting challenge
- Among the many things I learned to photograph this year is glass – Things like vases and glass bottles.
- Discovered ‘free-lensing‘ – where you reverse your lens to capture macro photos. It’s amazing what daily curiosity and experimenting will produce!
- Photographed smoke on colored backgrounds, in camera – when previously, I could only produce the same image with lots of Photoshop fakery.
- Honed the ‘white background’ look. It helps when you have more than one light.
- Did my first real photo shoot – a newborn/family shoot with friends. All my lighting experience definitely helped make me feel comfortable with using 1 and 2 lights.
- Paid 2 large debts off while continuing to follow the Dave Ramsey, ‘Debt Snowball’ plan. Since January 2011, we’ve paid off approximately $80,000!
- I read and applied the principles from the book, Getting Things Done by David Allen. He puts forth a simple plan for day to day productivity – mostly centered around to-do lists and calendar usage – and a structure for regular review of your projects/lists/calendars. This is the first ‘productivity’ book I’ve read that has actually changed the way I get things done day to day.
- Decided with my wife to have a baby (New Year’s Eve). She got pregnant 20 days later. Then we met Amelia Rose October 15th, 2014!
- Continued projects on the house: New fencing, Baby room, installed hard wood stairs, renovated half of basement.
- Launched a side project – DesignMyth.com – a project 2 years in the making. The website is the result of years of frustration surrounding the design industry and outsider perception of it.
- Continued to build websites using WordPress and features like custom fields/custom post types. This allows for very custom websites that are very easy to edit for the end client.
- Continued my education of web technologies/software through Lynda.com
- Completed projects in these areas: Websites, HTML emails, training, logos, photo licensing, photoshoots
- Expanded my photography services – including a newborn photo shoot and licensing my Kirksville photos locally.
- Made my business processes more efficient by utilizing lists, how-to’s and canned messages.
- 28% increase in sales from 2013
- Worked with 15 clients: 9 existing clients and 6 new clients
- Completed my most extensive website project to-date: Also the one I’m most proud of since I started building websites in 2005 – That was the new website for Kirksville Tourism.
What I ‘shipped’ in 2014
Seth Godin talks a lot about ‘shipping’ (or launching/putting out into the public). He is a big proponent of, ‘ship early and ship often.’ Meaning – if you have a project that you’re waiting until it is ‘just right’ to launch – push through and launch (or ship) it now. In 2010, Seth Godin challenged his readers to think about what they ‘shipped’ the previous year. I think this is a great way to hold my own feet to the fire and assess what I launched/shipped in the last 12 months. Here is what I shipped in 2014:
- Crushed 2 debts
- Created 365 photos that utilized studio lighting/flash units.
- Contributed 113 photos to iStockPhoto
- Crafted and Launched 19 websites (12 with Creative Improv & 7 with my full-time job)
- Launched a side project – DesignMyth.com
- Crafted 2 HTML emails
- Designed 1 logo