I’m not sure if you’re aware, but we’re already 1/12 through 2014. It’s almost the end of January and that brings me to an introspective post.

      We’re 1/12 through the year, and how are your goals?

      I didn’t really publicize what I wanted to do this year. Business-wise, I know I still have a lot of growing to do, and now that the busy season is winding down I’m focusing on making things better for my clients. I’ve sent out feedback forms to past clients, I’m going to update my album line, I’m writing a packet to help clients with their photography needs, and in general I’m trying to make the Elissa R Photography experience a gentle, pleasant one (even more so than now) — something that is calming amidst the sea of wedding-crazy. I’ll reveal those items when they’re ready.

      But on a personal front, I’ve been meaning to do more with my day-to-day life. Although I haven’t been posting any Working For Yourself posts in a while, I’m always writing them in my head. It’s very easy for your day-to-day schedule to collapse on itself. The last time we visited this topic, I wrote about how I wished I was… more prolific. It’s so hard to find a good work/life balance and I’m continuously struggling with that. There is always something that needs finishing — and I’ve turned into kind of a workaholic.

      At least I can cross off “get out and shoot more personal stuff” off that personal to-do list. A group of photographer friends and I have started a collective of personal work showcased on a weekly blog. We all met a few years ago and have created businesses in all corners of the Northern Hemisphere — Alaska to Texas, California to New York, and even a photographer in Scotland. We call it Western Light and you can follow us on Facebook here and our blog here.


      It’s pretty amazing, to see how my ordinary life in Austin looks so extraordinary when elevated with these other ladies’ works. I’m very proud to have met these wonderful, smart women and to show some of my photos (banal as some of my shots may be) alongside theirs. Best yet, it helps me to get out of the house for more than just “errands.” Love of photography is what brought me to this profession in the first place — and it’s nice to revisit that feeling of shooting for leisure, to experiment when there’s nothing riding on the outcome except your own personal exhilaration or disappointment, and to just shoot random things for the hell of it.

      I’m still working on the rest of my personal goals, bit by bit. More yoga! More face time with friends (and not the Apple Facetime, but real face-to-face interaction, preferably with cupcakes)! More dates with Walt and less time on the internet! I’m hoping that I can chip away at this and by the end of 2014 we can call this a successful year, in both business and personal relationships.