The last time I blogged was exactly one year ago today on my business’s fifth anniversary – that’s an indication of how busy this past year has been! I don’t want to glorify the hustle because I’m exhausted (and I did this to myself), but I do want to take the time to mark this milestone.
Wow. It still feels surreal every time the calendar turns November 3rd. While I never was someone who had a plan or a vision for my life in terms of a profession, I liked art. I liked working with people. I liked being part of a team. I liked a good dance party. So naturally, I now spend every Saturday night on the dance floor making art out of people’s dance parties.
I’m not going to sugar coat it: this past year was a hard one. The pandemic has taken its toll on me. I don’t feel like I’ve stopped hustling since I retreated to Vermont to hunker down in March of 2020. Then, I was working to keep my business alive. I was saying yes to anything that came my way – and some really good things came my way that year. I absolutely fell in love with micro-weddings and alternatives to the “normal” wedding traditions. I started working with some incredible female-run businesses – helping them create images that serve their businesses online. Since the end of May 2020, I have had at least one wedding every month (and during the busy season, I’ve had up to 7 per month). And as I look ahead to the end of 2022, I need a break.
So, what’s to come for ESP? Less. Less is more. This year has taught me a lot – my business has to become more than a one-woman operation. I need support. Being the admin assistant, IT dept, HR dept, photographer, and editor is just not possible any more. And let’s be real, I was never very good at being the IT and HR departments and only mediocre at being an admin assistant. This year I dabbled in expanding beyond myself, and I cannot wait to add more behind-the-scenes people to my team. I want to focus on what I’m good at – taking photos and connecting with my clients – and outsource the tasks that I’m not so great at or don’t utilize my strengths.
I went back and read past anniversary blog posts today. I honestly write these for my future self so I can see how far I’ve come. Simply put, I’m proud of myself. I’ve come a long way…
I’m proud of myself. I’m grateful for the incredible people who trust me to capture their life’s most important memories. I’m exhausted from the busiest wedding season in my lifetime. I’m accepting that I can feel all of those things at once – I can be happy to have a job that I love but to also want time away from my work. As I look ahead, I’m striving to do more by doing less. I want to focus on work that inspires me and sparks my creativity, which is weddings. I want to not fear saying no to a job opportunity that doesn’t feel like it suits me.
In the coming year, I will be taking very purposeful time off ahead of the 2023 wedding season. Time for me. Time with my family and friends. Time to challenge myself to leave my comfort zone. Time to travel. Time to relax.
THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for being along for this ride. Your support and business is something that I never take for granted, and I would not be where I am without you.
Today, I don’t have time to celebrate thanks to about 15,000 photos in my editing queue. But I will when the time is right and my never-ending to-do list isn’t lingering over me (I can dream, right?!) So, I’ll put on Taylor Swift’s Midnights album for the 2874 time and hang out in Lightroom to celebrate reaching #6.
Here’s links to the past anniversary blog posts if you care to stroll down memory lane:
I didn’t write an official “four years” post (whoops) but I did write one when I went full-time.
Sign-up for my mailing list to receive my somewhat monthly newsletter and keep up on the happenings over here at Ellen Sargent Photography