After all the disruption and challenges of the past two years, 2022 felt like something that vaguely resembled a ‘normal’ year.
So what are my main takeaways?
First and foremost it has been a year of re-focusing; developing a better understanding of the type of work I want to do, the clients I wish to work for and where I want to work.
I have put more attention into working with local clients and establishing my name within my own postcode. This is something that is so easily overlooked when running your own business – the opportunities that are available (almost literally) on your doorstep.
It has been really rewarding to connect with other local businesses and utilise local networks for marketing opportunities. And on a more practical level it is extremely nice to not have to drive so far for shoots!
Being a bit more critical I would admit that I didn’t achieve a very good balance between work and creativity this year.
The latter has been distinctly lacking and I am going to take active steps to remedy that in 2023 because I do feel that with any creative business it is imperative that you make space for personal, non-business activities.
Getting the right balance is difficult and I find however I divide my time there is always a sense of guilt attached that one or the other is not receiving sufficient attention.
I am committed to not only correcting that next year but also resisting the self-imposed guilt trip. Whether it is commencing a personal project or taking a new direction I don’t know yet – there will be plenty of time to mull that one over during Christmas.
But for the first time in a few years I have a strong desire to do more creative photography.
More travel, please
I suspect that a large part of the creative work will involve travel.
I have to confess that the lack of it in 2020 and 2021 has been tough! I feel like I need to make up for lost time and the bucket list of places only continues to grow.
We had a lovely break in Lisbon this autumn and various weddings over the summer took us to Jersey and Cyprus, all of which felt like a return to normal.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to Scotland this year so I am eyeing up a potential trip in January or February; I’ve never had the opportunity to be out there in the winter and to shoot the munros topped with snow is something I have wanted to do for a long time.
Further afield I would like to get back out into the mountains proper next year. A long-planned, long-overdue trip to Colorado to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park is definitely at the top of the list. Those who know me well know that I have an affinity with the US National Parks and I have a huge desire to get back out there – and not just for photographic reasons.
Which leads me to the final part of my year-end reflection and that is my own, personal physical recovery. 2021 was an extremely tough year, for different reasons, but primarily because it was consumed with recovering from my broken leg.
This year has been challenging but not as relentless.
I’ve had time to reflect fully on the progress I have made since my accident and appreciate just how far I have come. Two years on and I am doing all the things I love, running personal bests and I’m probably in better physical shape than I have ever been in my life.
I have a lot to be thankful for and with that comes a natural instinct to want to plan, but not too far in advance. Part of that means I might blog less frequently. I’ve successfully been blogging fortnightly for three years now – something I am very proud of – and it has helped me become far more disciplined. But I might cut back a little in 2023 to give me some more free time.
So I’m not exactly sure just yet what my specific goals are for 2023 but I do know that it will involve a conscious effort to ensure that my time is being balanced as best as possible.
I shall wrap up my final post of the year, as always, with a massive thank you. Whether you are a client, subscriber or casual reader I am extremely grateful for all your support and business this year.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2023!