February 24, 2014

2014: baby steps to simplifying

i met up with a bunch of great fun people who happened to also be photographers a couple weeks ago. during our time together we talked about business goals for the twenty fourteen year. ironically, i had started writing this post the night before. i started thinking and planning twenty fourteen goals in my head around the end of last year during the holidays. over the past few months they have always been on my mind. on a Saturday night with a rare few minutes of free time and too much gurgling around in my end, i jotted these notes down. the ultimate goal is pretty simple, actually....


well, that's the goal. and notice I said goal, not plan, because nothing is planned or set in stone in my life. even simplifying doesn't seem to come easy for my family. we have been working towards what we call simplifying for awhile, but part of getting to the ultimate goal and finish line consists of working our butts off in the meantime. our version of simplifying requires lots of hard work to be able to have a future that our dreams are made of. we dealt with lots of struggles in twenty thirteen but also made lots of progress, grew as a family, had a few set backs, and learned a lot about ourselves. a few quotes has stuck with me:

"nothing worth having comes easy"

"it's a long road but it's worth it"

"with great risk, comes great reward"

"making your dreams come true require hard work and sacrifices sometimes"
print those pictures!
i take thousands of pictures of my kids. literally. tens of thousands. and then they just sit on my hard drives. mostly because I'm too busy during the majority of the year to print them, but this is always something that i want to change and yet it always keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my list. I'm gonna make it happen this year. i am. really. hopefully. at least these are a start.

even if it's just small 4x6 prints, it's something. generally when i place print orders for clients I will occasionally also place one for myself of recent photos. even just printing half a dozen new images frequently to display on my daughter's board in her bedroom is a start and pictures make us happy. I'm hoping to create more of these boards for the house this year.

seventeen weddings and a great big smile
it's no secret that i love weddings if you've stopped by my website and checked out the my style section. i just love weddings. for me they are my favorite and let me tell you why. everyone is always happy! there is so much love in the air, laughter, smiles, tears of joy, excitement, anticipation, giddiness, and so much more. i get to be a part of a wide variety of styles and personalities, each wedding is truly different and unique but i love them all.

i had set a goal of 17 - yes, SEVENTEEN - weddings for myself this year. why? i really don't know why seventeen, but I picked a random number that was more than what I've been doing and most might think I'm completely out of my mind with my schedule, but this is what i wanted. i set my mind to it, and guess what? i am blessed. currently 17 weddings set for this year. AND to be ambitious, i might even take on a few more.

going full time (ish)
in conjunction with my motivation and aspirations, it's currently in the works to go (more) fulltime this fall with photography. it may be a full leap, i may still be working 10-15 hours a week at my now current full time job. only time will tell what the final plan is but i hope, i hope, i hope. after last fall's 100 hours a week for months in a row, i know i cannot do it again. so after much discussion, planning, dreaming, and prayers i'm crossing my fingers that i can dedicate more time to this business this fall. the most important aspect of that previous statement though is -- dedication during "normal business hours".

additionally, as of 1/1/14, emily schmidt photography is now an LLC! after a few years of running the business as a sole proprietor i decided it was the right time to become an LLC business. with goals of expanding both my business, and my husband's business adventures, it was the right move and right timing for both of us.

more family time
which leads me to this. more time to this business will not mean less time from my family. i will not and cannot do it. twenty thirteen was rough. we grew as a family, we fell as a family, we made investments - many turned out great, some not so great, but one thing that did not get as much attention as it should have was my family. no more kids begging mom to play while i spend hours on the computer playing catch up. no more only having a family supper once a week, or really once a month. no more working 100 hours a week between both jobs. no more sleeping 3 hours a night. there will be more dedicated hours to the business during the week day, but minus a few sessions and weddings on nights and weekends, my family will get a lot more of my time than they did this year. and if that's not ok with you, then we probably aren't meant to work together.

i cannot believe my baby boy is almost ONE!

faster turnaround times
with more business hours during the weekday comes a hope of faster turnaround times for sessions and weddings. i already have a longer turn around then most people since i work two full time jobs and have two kids under the age of four. there were quite a few of you who were extremely patient with me and thoughtful while waiting for your finished galleries. to you, this meant the world to me and i am more thankful for you than you will ever know. there were many unexpected things thrown at me this last fall that were not planned for and contributed to delays and many of you were extremely understanding, but it still weighs on me and naturally i wish to do better this year.

switch up session pricing
there will be an increase and change in pricing for twenty fourteen sessions that needs to happen for a handful of reasons. these changes are already in effect as of January 1, 2014. please visit my website for further details or contact me directly. in summation, there is now a base session fee for my time and talent. then you'll have a choice to order prints or digital files are still available for an additional charge. this concept goes back to #1 on my list. print those pictures! i really don't know how many of my previous clients actually print their pictures vs just leave them sit on the flash drive collecting dust. part of my goal is to make that a goal for others as well. why invest the money into family memories just to not print them, not see your kids smiling face on your wall and smile yourself every time you walk past that hanging portrait. print it. you won't regret that you did.

sunday funday
after much deliberation sunday will be family day. limited availability for sundays. especially in the fall when i am the most busy with weddings every Saturday. plan ahead and book in advance if you want a fall date. don't worry, if sunday is absolutely the only day you can do a session, i am flexible and will work with you, but new this year is an additional fee for sundays. i will be spending more sundays jumping on the bed if i can.

blog more
nothing more to say about this :)

get published
one of my aspirations has been to get published. I've wished this from before i even started the business. it would be a true honor, to feel like maybe I've "made it", and seriously, i want to pinch myself and say "is that really MY work published on that site, surreal". so, we'll see if it happens.

for me
i want to read a book. i haven't done this in years.

this all sounded like a ton of information. and it was. hopefully you're still reading this. but if not, i don't blame you. the general theme was to make some changes in hopes of simplifying stress and workload and make more time for my family. i know i probably won't be successful at all of it, that's just not life. but the important thing is to try. if you don't try, it will never happen. if you want something in life, you can't expect to just sit back and think it will come to you because it won't. go after it, make it happen.

"those who wish to do something will always find a way"

"passion changes everything"

thanks for listening,

February 21, 2014

amanda + quinn // the wedding // eau claire, wi wedding

I am so happy for my friends Amanda and Quinn. What an amazing year they've had and so many more blessings are headed their way. I met Amanda when I used to work for Ashley Furniture. I remember the day I found out a new girl was joining our team.  It had been predominantly guys with the exception of maybe one or two other girls in our department and when I heard it was another girl I was overly excited to say the least. I quickly took a liking to Amanda and then a couple years later after I had moved onto a different position in the company and we were looking to find someone to add to our team and take over some of my responsibilities while I was on maternity leave, my mind immediately went to Amanda, recommending and hoping she'd be the one for the internal promotion. Luckily, my wishing came true and my new team was made up of all women.

Naturally, as girls do, we talk about boys. So when Amanda met Quinn we were super excited for her and giddy about what her future could hold.  The rest is history. They met, they fell in love, they bought their first house together, they got married, and they're expecting their first child this summer. I could not be more thrilled for them and their family!

ceremony and reception // westgate sportsman's club // eau claire, wi