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2011 Goals: End-of-Year Review

Emily Hall

One year ago, I made a list of goals for 2011.  I didn't call them resolutions, because I actually wanted to take them seriously (and my resolutions, usually made whilst enjoying too much champagne with good friends, never result in much anyway).

I didn't achieve all of the goals on my list - Ouchy. I accomplished some things that I was barely letting myself dream about a year ago (and thus did not make the 2011 goals list). The list taught me a lot and kept me accountable to myself. Thank you to those who checked in and asked how some of these were coming along - you're awesome.  

I'm actually looking forward to sitting down (with a glass of wine, because that's a responsible list-making drink) and making my list of goals for 2012.  

But first!  ... A review of 2011 

First, the Good News: (completed goals)

  • 2nd shoot (be a second photographer for) a wedding with a photographer whose work I really admire/look up to. 
    Actually, this year (hear my bragging voice?), I've gotten to 2nd shoot for LOTS of amazing photographers: Bunn Salarzon, who was one of the photographers shooting my wedding and Sara Gray, whose work is just gorgeous. I shot 4! weddings with Becca Dryer, who always makes me laugh, and I got to finish out the year with Ashley Sturm, who is far to adorable to be behind a camera (except that she takes such wonderful photos...) - I was actually such a busy 2nd shooter that I'm almost certain I'm forgetting someone.
  • Travel somewhere that requires I pack my passport. 
    I got to shoot a wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic this past May. UNREAL. Lauren & Aaron's wedding was awesome. Their friends and family were so fun, and Steven and I had a great vacation too!  Thanks to Liz, one of the awesome guests, who took the shot below.

  • Improve confidence with on-camera flash bounce. 
    OK, so I admit it. I suck at geometry. But after some great explanations and practice, I think I've got this more figured out.  
  • Network with 1 new local high school.
    I have senior reps from 4 new high schools this year. Oh, and I'm speaking at Albany Public Schools about being a photographer - it's scarier than it sounds. Apparently, rooms full of students ARE kind of intimidating, when you aren't one of the students.   
  • And, don't forget to Jump in Mud Puddles! 
    Really, do you even have to ask? :)  I love splashes. I can't help it.   

Below: Lauren and Aaron are the awesome people getting married.  I'm the person swimming & Kayaking. And that hot, but goofy lookin' guy I'm kayaking with - that's Steven. :)

  • Widen shooting stance. 
    Oooh, I don't think I can comment on this one without making a dirty joke.  Let's just go with - keep up the good work. ;)

  • Shoot at least 7 weddings. Do better than my best. Do at least one creatively, pre-planned/unexpected image per event. Come home with images to be super-proud of. Then remember to rest...and be proud. 
    I shot 21 weddings this year.  21.  Holy wow. I counted because a potential wedding client asked me. I'm in shock with the total.  Guess I under-goaled myself on this one. Also, I learned a lot this year about quality vs. quantity. My 2012 goals will reflect this wisdom.

  • Plan and throw an amazing and eco-friendly wedding.  Have a blast. 
    I'm married. :)  It was a great day. Goal achieved, according to me. Thanks to everyone who helped us achieve this one.   
  • Make more time to cook. 
    I've cooked a few things I hadn't cooked since before I started EHP. And I'm making scones at least 2-3 times a week.  So far, so good.  :)

Goals that I achieved...that I was too afraid to write down as Goals...

This category is a lesson on self-confidence.  Two big things happened for me in 2011 that I really really really wanted to happen. But I didn't list them as goals. Because I was afraid. I didn't think I'd have a shot at achieving them. So, to protect myself from failure, I didn't even write them down. 

I'm telling you this because this same fear made me hesitate at making photography a career instead of a dream.  Because I was afraid to try (and possibly fail), I spent almost a decade doing many jobs I didn't love because I was afraid to go after the one I did love.  Don't do that. Be brave. Because, when you really look at it, not trying and failure look pretty much the same.

Secret Goal #1: Get blogged.

In addition to being a wimp about not writing down this goal, I also only braved submitting 1 photo to Le Magnifique. Fortunately, it made it. :) Next time, I'll woman up and submit a whole wedding. 

Secret Goal #2: Wedding Show

I did it. I survived it. It wasn't really my scene, but I met some great people and I didn't cry until after the show ended. The Booth was scarier for me than my public speaking class in college. But I learned an important lesson: even though I really enjoyed the pretty booths, the nice vendors, and the fun brides-to-be, I didn't really love being a vendor at a show.  There are probably less terrifying advertising opportunities out there that would be a better fit for me. :) 

Goals that didn't happen in 2011

The funny thing about this list is that they're all the "easy" goals. They're also mostly related to personal life. I guess I skipped over the goals that I knew I "could" do and I went for the ones I wasn't so sure about.  

So, my list of incompletes: 

  • Go on a picnic. With Steven.  (unless you count our wedding dinner at the park...)
  • Take a backpacking trip this summer.  (I should've shot for 'take a day off this summer')
  • Buy a the new laptop I've been avoiding buying.
  • Continue to do a weekly photo personal project; this year it doesn't always have to be of me. I can have a break from being on both sides of the camera at once. Only one "selfy" per month required.   
  • Complete one backyard landscaping project.  
  • Post on website/blog at lease twice a week. 
  • Make more time to exercise.
  • Buy the 70-200mm lens I've been drooling over.
    Well, I've rented this lens enough times to know I NEED it. Honestly, I've dreamt about the dang thing. Result: still on my wish list.  :(  BUT, I'm buying this next year for sure. Seriously, I NEED it.  

I'm heading off to my last shooting assignment for 2011. Tonight, I'll ring in the New Year with champagne, giggles, and resolutions I don't intend to keep.

Tomorrow night, I'll pour myself a nice (big, fat, red) glass of wine and write my Real Goals for 2012.