It’s time for another edition of our monthly series “Ask a CMpro” here on the CM photography blog in which we give our CMpros one question and they dish. Their answers alone are always inspiring and this week we asked them, “Photography wise, what do you feel has been your biggest success this past year?”
*image by Christina Klahn
Jessica Nelson, Maryland My biggest success for 2013 was finishing all of the personal projects that I started way back in January. Completing a 365 is so much work but so rewarding. I feel like I have grown leaps and bounds from where I was this time last year forcing myself to shoot daily. Plus adding in all of the monthly themes really kept me creative and motivated. Then finishing another years’ 52 week project plus Film Fridays and Kids and Me were a fun challenge as well. The best part is I have such a wonder collection of memories that I have scrapbooked as well as sold on stock photography sites.
Kim Pennington, Florida Having one of my images curated into a travel photography exhibition by Black Box Gallery in Portland Oregon. Since I am a hobbyist I have been seeking out opportunities to share my work with others.
Kellie Bieser, Ohio My biggest photography success of 2013 is finally, without apology or hesitation, calling myself a “photographer.” It is a title that is thrown around a lot and often met with an eye roll, so to have the confidence in my skills and my perspective and my artistic voice is a major accomplishment.
Beth Orey, Texas My biggest success for 2013 would be learning to shoot what I want. After years of trying to take pictures the way I thought someone else would like them, I finally realized the only way for me to stay happy would be to shoot what makes me happy! Now my clients love their pictures, and I love their pictures. The shots I take speak to me much more than they ever have before.
Lissa Chandler, Arkansas I have two! I finished a 365 even though I had several days (and weeks!) where I wanted to quit and, most importantly, by shooting every day and taking on several portfolio building sessions during my slow season, I learned how to use lots of new techniques in shooting and processing that I wouldn’t have been able to learn otherwise. My images are finally showing the heart I have always wanted them to have and I could not be more thrilled with that progression. Can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!
Alexis Rubenstein, Florida Being pubilshed! One of my goals for 2013 was to try to get my work published in print features and I’ve been fortunate to have 11 weddings featured in various wedding magazines and 1 in an upcoming book!
Lisa Tichané, France My biggest success this year is definitely wrapping up the Capturing Joy workshop. Teaching is something very meaningful to me, it used to be an important part of my previous professional life. Being able to combine the pleasure of teaching with my passion for photography makes my heart burst! It was an incredibly exhausting experience, but such a fulfilling one too. Capturing images infused with joy and happiness nurtures my soul, I am so glad I will be able to transmit that passion to others!
Beth Wade, North Carolina I believe in the squiggly incline to success and am thankful for many smaller accomplishments that are building blocks to where I want to be. In February I was accepted to CMpro which launched so many incredible opportunities and friendships with amazing, talented women artists. I feel like my style solidified this past year and I have a client base who hires me now for MY work, my vision. I’m also very proud to be teaching my business workshop on websites and internet marketing at CMU in early 2014. The best is yet to come!
Christy Johnson, North Carolina My biggest photography success of 2013 was finding myself in my work. For the prior 4 years of my business, I was shooting what I thought everyone else wanted. But this year, I began shooting straight from my own heart, finally finding and using my own voice. It’s been like coming home. And funnily enough, more and more people are attracted to my latest work than ever before!
Katie Woodard, Arizona Finding my confidence by photographing for fun AND for my business has been huge for me in 2013! I began shooting clients at the end of 2010. Thanks to all that I learned through Clickin Moms, the business side has gone very smoothly so far. In 2013 I stopped focusing only on my business and began to shoot for personal fun again too! I found my confidence, I had an image published in Click Magazine and I joined CMPro in 2013. It has been a great year!
Jenni Jones, Texas Wow I really had to think about this one, not because I just have oh so many to choose from (ha) but because I thought about what I consider success. I’ve always been a fairly literal person when it comes to photography, but after Sarah’s Composition and Creativity class, I found myself looking for the story or the meaning behind other peoples’ work. This was a huge win for me, and I thank Sarah for enabling me to see work, both my own and others’, in a different way.
Krista Campbell, Arkansas My biggest photography success in 2013 was building my SEO. I really concentrated on my SEO this year by blogging weekly, having my work published on various blogs and websites, creating a Google+ account, and adding rich content and keywords to my website and blog.
Lauren Harris, Arkansas My biggest success this year has been finding “me” in my work. I spent so much of my time trying to emulate my favorite photographers or mold myself into someone else and I finally gave in to being myself. I’ve always wanted my work to be recognizable to people who see it and I think I’m finally on my way!
Lauren Sanderson, Alabama It took 4 years to figure it out, but I FINALLY found a balance between paid and personal work this year… which has allowed me to become 100% caught up with organizing/editing/printing my personal pictures.
Elena Blair, Washington So hard to answer. This past year, I learned that the business side of photography is as much as an art form as the “photography” side. I have grown a very successful business and I believe it is very much because I leaned that what works for business for me may and will be quite different than what will work for another photographer. I shoot for me and run a business for me and that is what makes me successful.
Christina Klahn, Texas My biggest success this year was having one of my photos featured in Click magazine! It was one of my 2013 goals to have my work published in print. There’s nothing like holding a printed publication in your hands, flipping through the pages and seeing one of your photographs among so many other beautiful ones!
Nicole Begley, Pennsylvania My biggest photography success in 2013 was earning my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification through PPA. The certification consists of a comprehensive written exam as well as an image submission portion.
Beira Brown, Pennsylvania My biggest success has been switching over to in-person ordering appointments. It was something that I had wanted to do for a long time! The new process has simplified my workflow, eliminated technical frustrations encountered by previous clients while using online ordering, and increased sales. Investing more time with each client has allowed me to build stronger relationships with them, which has been the most rewarding part of the change…and clients are happier than ever.
Jen Dunham, California This year I feel that my biggest success has been mastering my newborn session workflow. I’m now able to complete everything I want to do and have a larger-than-I-need gallery in 2-3 hours. It used to take me easily 4 hours (or more) so this has been a huge accomplishment, plus my clients are happier with the shorter session length!
Leigh Ripps, Texas Being named a finalist for NAPCP’s Best New Emerging Photographer was a huge highlight of this past year. It felt so amazing to be recognized for my work!