2013 year in review

2013 newborns

Another year has come to pass. And as I bid farewell to 2013, and set my goals for 2014, I stop to reflect on the many ways I’ve grown in the past year. What I’ve learned. Well, 2013 was a whirlwind of new clients, new teqniques, a new camera, and a new studio! Lala Zee has grown so much in the past year, as have I.
I don’t recall ever having learned as much in a single year as I have this past one. Not even back in the good ol school days where they cram as much as they can into you for 5 days a week, 9 months a year. No, I learned something everyday this past year. 365 days. (Or was it a leap year??)
From becoming a confident photographer that knows her camera inside and out, to learning when a newborn is going to smile. Every. Time. I have 2 kids myself, and I never could have been able to say she’s going to smile in a second.. Nope. But after 18 newborn sessions last year, you start to pick up on the little things. Who doesn’t love an image of a 5 day old baby smiling sweetly in their sleep?!
A lot of people might think it’s simple to pick up a camera, and start a business.. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Lets just set aside the constant learning, and practice with your camera, not to mention lighting, posing and editing for a second and look at the BUSINESS side of things. Whoa! There is pricing, promoting, website maintenance, placing orders, packaging orders, book keeping, filing taxes, and also keeping up with daily emails, messages, phone calls, and texts. This was all really manageable when I was only shooting a couple times a week. But once you begin shooting every day, you are editing every night, and where do you fit in all the other stuff that has to be done? It can all get very overwhelming. Not to say I am complaining, because I am not. I am truley, truley blessed to be doing what I love! I could not be more thankful for each and every client that has entrusted me with capturing their memories. I am truly humbled by it. What I am saying though, is that I have learned. I learned that this has grown to be bigger than I can handle alone. And that is a GREAT thing! I don’t think I would have ever made it through the busy season without my husband. I was completely swamped with 20 plus sessions to edit, 10 orders needing placed, unanswered messages and emails, at about 2am with 3 new appointments scheduled for the next day. I was in tears. Completely beside myself in how I was going to keep up. That’s when Roger (my husband) pulled up a chair, and said “teach me”. And so, instead of editing, I taught Roger everything he needed to know about editing. I am happy to say that he is now an awesome editor, and he knows his way around Photoshop like a seasoned pro. He’s even started adding his own flair in his editing, and I think that is great. I am so proud of how quickly he picked up on everything, and how well he has done. I am not very easy to please! So, awesome job Babe, and thank you!
So while I have some editing help when things get tough, I also need someone helping me to keep up with the business side of things. So in 2014, I will be taking on an assistant. And while I won’t put her on spot here just yet, I will introduce her in the near future. She will be helping me with things like mini session events, placing orders, packaging, and scheduling. I am going into 2014 much more aware. Much more prepared. I really could never have dreamed how much Lala Zee was to grow last year. It happened so quickly! So to everyone of you, I thank you so much! I thank you for choosing me, for having patience with me, and for referring me! You all are so amazing! And in all honesty you are the wind in my sails.
Another thank you.. a SPECIAL thank you, is owed to my Mom and Step Father who have given me the space to create my studio. They not only handed their garage over to me, but allowed me (and by me, I mean mostly Roger) to put up walls, seal off doors, lay flooring, paint, ect. And turn it into a studio the perfect studio. So, Mom.. Shawn.. From the bottom of my heart; thank you for everything! And thank you for believing in me!
So as I begin my journey into 2014, I know 2 things. I know where I am going, and I know where I have been. Other than that, I am going to keep my head in the clouds, dreaming up new ideas, my feet firmly planted on the ground, with my camera around my neck. I hope that you all dream; dream BIG! And, may all that you dream, come true in 2014!!
♥ Heather


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