Yay! It’s time to do a year in review post!
Except for one problem.
I hate year in review posts. Like, I really fucking hate them. Even though I’ve done them every year – I think – since I launched my business of adventures and dog photography.
This year especially.
Why, you may ask?
1. I had to do them every year when I worked in newspapers and I thought they were lazy. Stories are always out there to be told, fresh stories, not regurgitated bits remembering when who did what eight months ago. It was a way to mail it in for our readers but we did them so we could book out early for Christmas and New Year’s.
2. This year sucked. I could give you a rundown of everything but let’s just say the year started with my mom dying and ended with my baby girl being unable to put any weight down on her right hind. We suspect it’s a full tear of her cranial cruciate ligament. And there was a lot in between.
We got this before the injury:
Yeah, there were some highlights: I self-published my second book about adventures and dog photography and raised $5,000 for a local animal shelter; I reconnected with my brothers on trips home to Nova Scotia for the funeral in February and interment in May; Bella and I had two portrait sessions in one day, rendering some beautiful images; we had wonderful road trips to Oregon, Leavenworth and Kelowna, B.C.; and I met lots of incredible, adventurous dog lovers, some who have even become friends.
But to paraphrase a line from Vivian in Pretty Woman, the bad stuff is easier to hold onto.
So, instead of a year in review, we’re going to do a look ahead to 2023.
OK, wait …
Sure, sure … before we look forward, here’s a hangover tradition for a bit of a year in review.
My top 9 posts on Instagram in 2022:
On to adventures and dog photography
2023 is going to be different.
Of course, there are still a lot of questions to be answered around Bella’s activity levels but I’m looking at 2023 as a year of experiences, adventures and dog photography.
That takes on a different look, depending on the context.
Personally, I hope and hope and hope that Bella will be able to return to active-living health before too long (I know we’re looking at months, even if that includes surgery). If we have to adjust that – like I did with Shep when he started to get too old for long hikes – we will. I simply want to step outside of my office and my businesses and be more intentional with my life.
That may mean taking fewer clients. It definitely means no more self-published books for the foreseeable future.
For my clients, it means a fuller Big White Dog experience. Because I took on too many clients to get Paws of the Panhandle out in 2021 and Paws of the Inland Northwest out in 2022, not every client got the best of me.
And man, does that suck in my mind. Every one of my clients should feel like they’re the only client at the time.
It’s supposed to look like this:
- Step 1: How to get a unique portrait of your dogs in Spokane and North Idaho
- Step 2: How to make the most of your dog photography session
- Step 3: How to turn your dog photos into amazing home decor
- Step 4: How to decorate your home with art of your dog
And in 2023, it’s going to … only better.
I’m still going to busy as hell
Much to my husband’s chagrin.
I heard myself talking while I was being interviewed by Andrew Hellmich for an upcoming PhotoBizX episode. I sound like a lunatic: part-time job at the local newspaper, photography business for adventurous dogs and their humans, a podcast, training pet photographers to be better service providers for their end-of-life dog photography sessions and, recently added, copywriter for the Hair of the Dog podcast episodes.
It’s a lot.
I’m happy to do it all. Now maybe a day will come when I can start outsourcing some of the minor tasks (because – ugh – who actually loves to do their own accounting?).
In the meantime, I’m turning toward time management.
So that I can give myself, Bella and my husband fun, adventurous experiences.
So that I can give my Big White Dog clients the fullest, adventurous photography experiences.
And with that comes the task of being more present in those experiences.
So that everyone gets all of me in the moment.
I don’t think it’s really too much for Bella, my husband and my clients to ask.
To simply manage my time and be present in that time.
All around the circle
I don’t even know if any of that made sense. We’re sleeping downstairs on couches and cots until we get this ligament thing figured out.
Bella will be seeing a rehab specialist, Dr. Julie Sowa at Pawlouse Veterinary Rehabilitation but that isn’t until February (we’re on the cancellation list) and next week, we pick up a custom stifle brace from Specialized Pet Solutions in Spangle.
We are beyond fortunate to have these specialists in Spokane, and they all seem to care a great deal about my baby girl’s health. That matters.
Which leads me back to caring about all the things I do and giving them the best I have.
Now let’s head out into the pet photographers blog circle with the year in review, according to my friends and colleagues.
Click the link at the bottom of Elaine’s post to continue through the circle and see years in review. When you get back here to my look ahead to 2023, that’s when you know you’re home.
Right where you belong.
And if you’re ready to check out that exceptional Big White Dog experience, book your get-to-know-each-other chat now.