Hi, hi! I hope the new year finds you well and warm! Like many of you, I'm full of dreams, plans, and too many sugar cookies as we head into 2019. In fact, I don't really even mind January as it's such low-key month in comparison to the holiday hustle in December. It's now a perfect time for reinstating order in our minds and homes!
However, before I start talking too much and too fast about all the things I'd like to accomplish this year, I would like to take a quick moment to reflect on and acknowledge the growth that actually happened in 2018 before blabbing about all my goals and resolutions for the upcoming year.
First things first, I changed my business name from Rachel Yuen Gaetz Photography to Ray and Grace Photography. I got an excellent logo created by Autumn Lane Paperie which I incorporated within my website, and social media accounts, and then eventually on gift certificates and business cards. I think the name and the graphic have a feminine, yet whimsical and timeless feel which I think reflects my work! I also revamped my website at the beginning of the year, added a page for photography-related blog posts, and began sending out all of my clients a quarterly newsletter.
Instead of hiding under a blanket during the cold months of the year, when I knew family sessions wouldn't be happening, I offered headshot sessions which were incredibly fun to do. I loved being able to work one-on-one with clients and draw out their personalities in photos!
I also shot a couple of indoor newborn lifestyle sessions too! It's a privilege to get a chance to step in and document that new baby life.
For the first time ever, I offered Mommy and Me Mini sessions in May. These were some of my favorite images of the entire year!
I also connected with Best Version Media and shot 4 magazine covers this year for local publications -- two for The Connector and two for Hudson Neighbors.
I shot a few sessions each month during the summer, but things really kicked up in the fall as I had 25 sessions in October alone. In the fall I also stopped using Google Drive to send photos to clients. Instead, I began using PicTime as my platform for sharing galleries and selling prints. It has been a much more professional and polished way for clients to view, download, and order their photos.
You can see my PicTime profile here.
(I'm proud of it!)
I also held two rounds of mini sessions in October. One at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and one at Willow River State Park. Both days were booked solid and I even added on a few spots!
In December, I offered Christmas tree farm mini sessions. I am so happy with how the sessions ran and with how the images turned out in spite of the chill!
In 2018, I didn't really find my footing in marketing myself as a wedding photographer. I second shot one wedding in the summer, but otherwise mainly spent my time scheduling and shooting family and milestone sessions.
HOWEVER. In November I applied, interviewed, and was hired on as a wedding photographer for Tulips and Ties Photography. I'm looking forward to being a second shooter and learning more from seasoned pros just as much as being able to be a lead shooter. More about this soon!
Anyway, I just wanted to extended a heartfelt thank you to all who hired or referred me in any way this year. I am still in disbelief by the growth in business and I am full of ideas to serve clients even better next year!