2018 in Review
What a year it’s been!
With some much going on, I thought it best to present a summary of the year through a video tracking the events as they unfolded. Click the video below to track my adventures through 2018 👇
And so, we’ve come to the end of the year. A time for reflection, to look at back at what we’ve achieved, where we can improve and look forward to the year ahead. We review our resolutions and, more often than not, are left with a feeling of guilt and disappointment whereby these have not come to full fruition. This isn’t the case for all of course, and for those of you who set out to achieve something and succeeded you have my warmest congratulations as it is not easy to break out of your comfortable mould and take on a new.
I am not one for new year’s resolutions normally, but with my photography starting to take shape I felt it was necessary to make some changes for 2018 to make attempts to solidify my passion with structure and boost my presence in the online community. My resolutions were:
📷 Provide more structure to my website and provide a clearer image of who I am
📷 Increase my social media engagement
📷 Create a Youtube channel and provide a video diary of my journey from amateur too, well, less than amateur
So where am I at the end of 2018? My website is now presented in a way that is much more intuitive, those who have been kind enough to browse I hope will agree with me. There are some issues that I am still working out, but this may require setting up on an entirely new platform but for now, I think I am happy. I have reinforced my position as a Travel and Street photographer by creating separate subsections for these chosen subjects and to allow space for my live music work; I also created a subsite with a different look and feel so that this work can be displayed without distracting from my primary work. This does not sit 100% with me, but it is a start and as this side of my work develops, I will perhaps set up an entirely stand-alone site. For now, though, everything has its place and I am at peace with that.
I have actively sought to increase my social media engagement through Facebook and Instagram and to a lesser extent Twitter. Through the scheduling tool Later.com, I am able to schedule posts in advance for all social media but have primarily used this for Insta. This is an extremely effective tool and I encourage anyone who needs to keep on top of posting content to use this site. I don’t think I can say I have fully utilized my Facebook page, but I am starting to get more used to providing regular updates. I can’t say that my efforts on Insta have been truly successful this year, but hopefully, it is still early days and I will keep plugging away at it and perfecting my formulae for the ensuing year.
Twitter has not gone well for me I don’t think, and I am fully aware of the reason why. Twitter seems to be the kind of space where you verbalize thoughts frequently and engage with the thoughts of others. I wouldn’t say I am an overly private person, but I certainly am not the type to post something at the drop of the hat. I have often thought to myself I should post this thought, but the time between thinking that, opening the app and then looking down at the blinking cursor I soon abandon the idea. I am not sure this is the platform for me but we'll see.
On the flip side, I have given Pinterest another go, but not so much for engagement, but more as a tool for planning trips by placing images and blogs I have included in my research for upcoming trips, keeping it all in one place. This is something I definitely intend to continue using for my research and explore the opportunities available to me.
My biggest failure has to be Youtube. I had every intention at the beginning of the year of doing a video diary documenting my work and travels, but this didn’t really happen, largely because I was hoping to have moved into a bigger place where I could have set up a home studio/workspace. On the plus side, I started this blog; reluctant at first, it took me a while to find my stride and get comfortable writing, but now does seem to be coming together nicely and has been well received so far. Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback, all are welcome and very much appreciated. My blog has become a nice outlet for sharing my travels in a little more detail through my 6 in the City series and share my other projects and general experiences in my photography career.
In the build-up to the festive break, I did take a little time off from photography to allow myself some brain space with a view to use the festive period to take stock of my positions and make changes to my business. Just using that word is a giant leap for me, but I recognize that if I am to monetize my work and services, I must treat my passion as a business. By building myself a loose business plan and setting boundaries and targets to follow I am hopeful that I can develop modest growth in my sales whilst maintaining full enjoyment of the activity I love.
Over the past couple of years, I have digested a few business books which have provided me with the tools I need to develop my skills into an actual business. I intend to provide a post in the near future of my reading material which will hopefully help those facing a similar struggle. So far, I have got 3 main topics in my plan to work on for the ensuing year;
📷 Operations – this is going to focus on my development, deciding what projects to undertake, understanding my target audience
📷 Finance – setting budgets, financial targets and properly assessing the appropriate cost of sales for my products and services
📷 Health – probably the most important of all, I need to lose weight, increase my flexibility and core strength to better enable my shooting; I also need to provide more time for head space so I can be far more structured in my approach to the business than my casual approach in 2018.
So, this year my resolution is very simple,
Be the best I can be!
I hope you enjoyed the video, and wish you all a very happy New Year and wish you luck in all your ventures!
Do you have a resolution you want to share? Or tips to keep them? Share in the comments below!