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Photography + Biz

January 3, 2021

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!

2020 came to a close and now I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want 2021 to look like for my business. As you might know, 2020 was my first year being full-time with Sarah Yates Photo and it definitely didn’t go as planned. But guess what? I pivoted a bit and still hit my goals.

One thing I always appreciate is transparency, so let’s go over my 2020 goals and how they went:

  • Buy a new Canon lens — yep! I actually decided to purchase 2 new lenses and a second body (the more back up, the better!) These purchases were a bit scary to make, but have already been worth it.
  • Shoot 15 weddings—almost! When March came around, I had 10 weddings booked and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t book any more weddings for 2020. But by the end of the year, I had shot 14 weddings. I’d call that a success.
  • Shoot 35 Couples/Engagement sessions—ooh. Let me go count them….wow! I shot 50 different couples this year (in addition to weddings!)
  • Shoot 20 other (family, portraits, etc)—43! Holy cow. This year I added mini sessions to my fall calendar and I definitely think that helped!
  • Launch new website—Yes! Swildesnapshots changed to Sarah Yates Photo with a new website 🙂 But guess what? I’m moving platforms and changing the website up a bit. Stay tuned.
  • What to wear PDF—I wanted to create an outfit guide for my clients this year. One big game changer this year was outsourcing my marketing and hiring MoxieGal Marketing. They created beautiful and informative PDFs for my clients.
  • Blog weekly—Nope, definitely not! Didn’t really even attempt this one.
  • Welcome gifts—Ohhh yes! If you’re my bride or groom, you will definitely receive a really sweet gift in the mail after you book.
  • Thank you cards—Yes! When I switched from Swildesnapshots to Sarah Yates Photo, this is one of the first things that I did.
  • Heart University—If you don’t know what this is, it’s a photography course for wedding photographers. I was nervous to invest in it but so glad I did.

Okay okay, so that was 2020. A year that didn’t go as planned, but wow, so much happened! I’m heading into 2021 with an open mind and fresh goals. Want to see them? Here they are:

  • Purchase a 70-200 mm—This is a lens I have been renting for every wedding, and it’s finally time to invest!
  • Shoot 20 weddings—While I would love to shoot more weddings, I want to make sure I am giving my all to each of my couples and not getting burnt out.
  • Shoot 35 engagements/couples—Why am I not increasing this goal? Because I want to invest more time and energy into each of my sessions. My goal is to make each session unique and special, therefore, I am going to dedicate more time to each session.
  • Shoot/participate in 4 styled shoots (once a quarter)—Last year I helped plan some details and shoot a styled shoot with Beloved Events Co. It was so fun and a great way to meet new vendors and practice creativity. This year, I would love to participate in at least 4 styled shoots.
  • Attend 2-3 shootouts or workshops (invest in in-person education and experiences)—Last year I attended the Savvy Workshop Hype Shoot and left feeling inspired and more creative than ever. This year, if I can safely do so, I would love to attend more styled shoots.
  • Be mentored 2 times—This year, I won a free mini mentorship from Teresa Williams and WOW, those 45 minutes we spent talking were incredible. Later in the year, I did an online mentorship with Lahzeh Photography to walk through some camera setting questions and it was so dang helpful. I truly believe that we can never stop learning!
  • Refine client workflow and provide more educational resources to couples—With the help of my team, I have been able to create incredible resources for my couples, so it’s my goal to create an efficient workflow to ensure delivery of the resources to my couples at the appropriate time.
  • 10 mentee sessions—This year I started to offer mentor sessions and I fell in love with educating other photographers! I did 3 mentee sessions this year, and I would love to do at least 10 mentee sessions.
  • Create passive revenue through XXX (I have a few fun ideas up my sleeve…)

While we aren’t sure what 2021 will look like, I want to encourage you to set high goals. Strive for your dreams.—make it happen. I’ll end with my favorite quote:

“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden within your soul. Dream deep, for every dream, precedes the goal” – Pamela Vaull Starr

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