2018 in Review

This year has been drastically different than I mapped out in January. At that time, I had just quit my job and was focusing on growing my photography business. I accomplished a lot in the first half of the year, but my circumstances changed and I accepted a job during the summer that has consumed me. It’s a good thing, of course; it’s a great job and I loved getting a chance to create something new, from scratch, and have loved seeing how it has been implemented and is already changing and adapting.

Working full time, however, means that I haven’t been able to focus on my photography business. This was actually a blessing in disguise. I got so bogged down in making it a “business” that I left behind everything I love about photography. Ok, sure, I like doing flat lays as much as the next person, but the all-white family portraits are not my thing, and that’s what I was aiming for. I felt too much pressure to book sessions and make money, instead of just doing what I like.

Thankfully, taking the business pressure off of myself means I love photography again, and am ready to approach it as a money-making hobby instead of my full-time job. The Photo 33 challenge I started in September has already helped me immensely, so I’m excited to see how I progress in 2019. I already have been plans and big goals, and without that business pressure, I’m ready to conquer them all!

2018 Accomplishments

  • I entered four photos in a Daffodil Photography Contest at Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and all four placed! In the categories of “Portrait” and “Abstract”, one won first place, one second place, one third place, and one honorable mention.
  • I donated a photograph to the Playhouse on the Square Annual Art Auction for the second year in a row. Someone bought it (as they did last year), which means my work in hanging in someone’s home AND I helped support the theater!
  • I had a photography exhibit, Full Power of Magic, hang in the lobby of the Circuit Playhouse for the run of TWO SHOWS! (It was originally scheduled to run during James and the Giant Peach, so as a huge Roald Dahl fan, I let that story inspire my exhibit. It stayed up for the run of Stupid F**king Bird, too.) I worked so hard on putting this show together, choosing a theme and a purpose and an overall story, and I think it was hugely successful. You can catch a glimpse of it through photos.
  • Actually, I know my photography exhibit was pretty successful because I got several comments and emails about it, and I sold five pieces! My dream goal was to sell one, but I wasn’t really counting on that – I wanted to be seen more than to sell. But, wow, I was flattered and am so proud that my work sold right off the walls!
  • I ran a contest during the exhibit dates and held a portrait session for the winner. I had a blast shooting photos of gorgeous actress AND we were interviewed by a news crew! …About a totally unrelated topic, but still!
  • I marked a lot of things off of my 101 Things in 1001 Days list. We have been going to the Children’s Museum at LEAST once a month, have visited the Botanic Gardens and Lichterman Nature Center, and have been pretty good at getting out and about in our city, even if things aren’t on the list. I have been trying new recipes and doing a lot of work around the house, and I love getting to mark things off the list while knowing there is still more for me to work towards.
  • Not photography-related, but a HUGE accomplishment from 2018 was WRITING A BOOK AND SUBMITTING IT TO A PUBLISHER! It won’t be out until May 2019, but I dedicated most of 2018 to researching and writing, so it really consumed my year. You can read more about it HERE.

2019 Goals

  • I already have dates booked for my next photography exhibit at Playhouse on the Square, and I’ve been brainstorming the theme and pieces that will be hanging for it. It will be during the run of Matilda, and I’m so excited that I can pull inspiration from another Roald Dahl story and share my love of his work!
  • I have plans to transform my spare room into studio space as needed.
  • I have a list of places to submit photography, print and gallery, and a mental goal of how often I am submitting.
  • I will continue updating this blog twice a week, and will be importing the archives from my original Allison and Her Camera blog. You can also follow @allisontakespictures on Instagram.
  • I will be offering portrait sessions that reflect the client’s and my style instead of the whitewashed images I felt pressured to create this past year.
  • I will be sharing more of the stories behind my photography, because another big goal is to flex my creative writing muscles more than I’ve been doing for the past, oh… four years.

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