2017 Year in Review

2017 was a year of firsts—like holy cow. We can’t begin to count how many! We started the year transitioning Alyssa to working the photography business full-time by the Summer. This was TERRIFYING, but God has affirmed us over and over through small and large blessings that it was the best decision we could’ve made for the business and our family! Here are some of those blessings:

Client Experience

We LOVE our clients, so we’ve worked extra hard to make having photos taken a fun experience! Here’s how:

  • We’ve taken the guess work out of deciding what to wear, how to make a session unique, how to prepare kids (or men, ha!) for a session, and more, through our Style Guide.
  • We’ve adopted a posing system to take the awkwardness and guess work out of posing too!
  • We’ve made booking a breeze through Honeybook. Clients have shared that it takes them less than 10 minutes to go through the whole process! Yay! 🙂 Not to mention, it provides us with an amazing workflow system that makes this Type-A team extra happy, ha!

 

Because of our client experience, we’ve had multiple repeat clients who have even become dear friends. What a blessing that is!!

Business Growth

Being relatively new to the Chattanooga area, we’re super proud to share that despite feeling like the new kid in town, we were blessed tophotograph many firsts, like:

  • Engagement Session
  • Newborn Session
  • Maternity Sessions (x4!!!)
  • Family Sessions
  • High School Senior Session
  • Christmas minis
  • Single models
  • Real Estate Session

 

We had a 90% booking rate with first time inquirers! (One of the beautiful statistics that Honeybook runs for us [shameless plug].) 🙂

Education

We’ve invested about $2,000 into business, posing, lighting, and photo editing education (we’re like sponges over here!). FedEx knows Alyssa by name for all the manual and booklet print order’s she’s submitted, ha! We’re so thankful for those that have gone before us that have generously shared their learnings. Because of them, we’ve been able to deliver photo galleries with our defined, consistent style in under a month after each session! Hooray!!

Partnerships

Like we mentioned earlier, this year we felt like the new kid in town, but we put ourselves out there and got to know venues, make-up artists, hair stylists, clothing boutiques, and more so that we can better serve our clients! One of our most exciting partnerships is with Art Warehouse, a local printing and custom framing company—who we LOVE for their variety of quality products and fast service!!!

Blogging

Towards the latter part of the year, we began blogging each of our sessions so that our clients would receive a handful of previews prior to their full gallery delivery, in addition to their initial sneak peek. Fun!! We also use blog posts to share tips about wedding planning, preparing for a photo session, stylizing sessions, updates on our family and more!

Technical Growth

We began shooting completely manual—meaning the camera does absolutely no work. Nothing’s on auto—not even white balance. We’ll save you from all the gibberish and techy terms, but we couldn’t help to mention this, because it’s a big deal!

Personal Growth

We’ve learned tons about work/life balance. Have you ever tried to work from home? It’s got some ah-mazing perks (like working in bed), and some areas that require A LOT of discipline, ha! 🙂 It’s easy for us to get distracted by household chores, sleeping in, cuddling too long with #tillyandtessa. Alyssa’s learned that her “magic hours” are usually second shift hours. So, instead of trying to force a “normal” 8a-5p schedule, she’s focused on doing her best work during the magic hours!

Navigating owning a business with a spouse has been humbling. Lots to learn there folks, ha! It’s easy to talk shop and lose track of time and get caught up in the pressure of being small business owners. Having dedicated “photography time” and dedicated quality, fun time has been helpful, but we could still use some more discipline in this area #overachievers. 🙂

We’re so thankful to all of those who have supported our 2017 journey whether it was booking a session, engaging on social media, referring friends to us, praying over our business, or listening to us brainstorm for what was probably far too many hours, ha! 🙂

Here’s to another year of celebrating life and walking alongside each other while we live it to our fullest!!

A&J

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