Okay friends, if you're here and interested in what I have to say about 2016 - you might just go ahead and grab the popcorn (chocolate, too) and get ready for a doozy of a blog post. I promise there will be lots of pretty things to look at in between my ramblings...it's been a long while since I put so much of my heart out in the open like this, and my hope in doing so is that I can bring even an ounce of encouragement to someone reading. I am so excited to share my favorite photographs of this past year along with a few of my biggest + scariest goals for 2017. You ready? Sit back, scroll on and maybe you'll make it through to the end!
The entirety of 2016 has been one of those that feels as if it has lasted an eternity but equally feels as though it just began. So much has happened and it's been an incredible year of change and growth. I experienced my first full year of marriage. My first "real" year as Britni Dean Photography. I quit my full time job to completely pursue my passion. I traveled to new places, met new people, made new friends and stepped WAY out of my comfort zone. I experienced my first ever workshop...and hit the milestone of shooting film for just over a year now! I rode a bike for the first time in nearly 10 years. I cut almost all my hair off and learned that I am obsessed with Nutella.
I failed...A LOT. More times than I'd really like to admit.
I succeeded against many odds. I learned that a dream doesn't need to make sense to anyone but me. I doubted myself often, did my best to learn from my mistakes and worked hard to put myself on a path of confidence and positivity. I may not have checked off every goal on my list, or shot as many weddings as I had hoped - but I'm only feeling more fueled and excited to hit those goals in 2017.
The amount of stories I was able to document in 2016 was unreal! There are so many fond memories of meeting new clients, making new friends and telling incredible stories of everyday beauty and joy. I finally experienced what it feels like for people to not just hire you because of how much you charge, but because they adore you and your work. Feeling valued time and time again by each incredible client in 2016 showed me what it really means to feel successful. I learned that I needed to value myself if I wanted others to value me too.
This year is all about mustering up the bravery to GROW myself, my marriage, my relationships, and my business. In fact, it is February 9th and I just finally figured out what my word for this year was. COURAGE.
Courage to do things that scare me; to take the route that is hard instead of the path that is easy. I have never been so incredibly motivated to step up my game in my life and my business. I deserve success, I deserve a healthy life and I am finally willing to fight for those things. I have some big dreams for 2017 you guys. I'm terrified but I've never been more excited to START.
Here are some goals I'm holding myself accountable to this year. Some might be a little out or reach, but that sure isn't going to stop me from going after it!
1. Book + document at least 15 weddings. This might not seem like much to some of you - but it would be a dream come true for me to shoot this many weddings in 2017. I've always shied away from too many wedding bookings, because I was booked up with my other full time job, or I was worried I wouldn't have the money to cover my expenses. But when I started to be honest with myself - I knew weddings were my passion and definitely my speciality. Now that I know exactly where the biggest piece of my heart is in my business, I want to honor that and shoot more weddings than I do other types of sessions. Although families and seniors also have a pretty big chunk of my heart too! ;)
2. Attend at least one workshop or educational class. My first workshop experience taught me not only a ton about film, shooting, business and more - but shows me how valuable networking and building relationships with other creatives can truly be. Up until last August, I really believed that I was on my own, left to wade helplessly through the confusion and stress that is owning your own business. I want to take another leap like I did last Fall and choose at least one experience this year that will motivate, encourage and uplift me while I learn something new.
3. Be more purposeful + intentional in my life and in my work. 2016 was definitely a year of discovery for me. Learning what type of wife I am, what type of friend I am and what type of photographer I am. More than that, learning not just what I am, but where I want to go, who I want to be and what type of business I want to represent. In 2017, I aim to be transparent in all things I do and to remain true to myself in any direction the year might take me. Owning a business is scary sometimes, but reminding myself why I'm doing this calms me quickly. I am quick to put all the weight on my own shoulders, but this year I want to grow in my ability to share my struggles with my husband, my friends and my family because I'm really not doing this all by myself.
4. Bloom where I am planted. There's not much else I want to add to this one, because it really speaks for itself.
MORE THAN ANYTHING - in 2017 I want to seek out adventure and seek out the best possible version of myself. I am imperfect in so many ways, but I am learning to find grace in my mistakes and beauty in my flaws.
I'm so excited for all the adventure I will find, people I will meet and stories I will get to document this year. 2017...I'm coming for you (even though you are already here because I am super late on this blog post)...oops.
I hope you enjoyed scrolling through some of my favorite moments and photographs from 2016...I can't wait to see what beauty is born from another amazing and blessed year!