Self-Employment: 2014 Goals Update: Checking In ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

I’m popping in for a rare Friday post because I realized that I have not checked in on our 2014 goals and we are well over halfway into the year!! So I figured I better review these so I can actually make a point to get to them!!!

(And why not throw in a few random photos of us from wedding days & work trips while we’re at it?!) Here we go!





  1. Create a vendor directory for each client/wedding. Yeah… I have not done this. Oops. The good news is that many of our weddings have wedding planners so they send us this list before the wedding! But still, for those that don’t have planners I need to get on this!
  2. Book between 25-28 big weddings for 2014. YES! We are at 25 big weddings (4 elopements, 3 commercial shoots, and so far have shot 31 other sessions not including our wedding clients’ complimentary engagement sessions & still have more sessions to come – so I feel like I am more than happy with where we’re at)!
  3. Launch our new branding/website/blogYES!
  4. Create a Beautiful Session site branched off from the main site. I was supposed to do this over our ‘summer-break’ but I ended up booking my summer break up full of travel, family visits, and a few office days to keep work flowing out the door! Oops. Also, I need to wait until my 2nd Beautiful Session marathon day is over so I have more film photos to use for this portfolio & site – since these will only be done in film from now on! 🙂
  5. Update the template for our wedding client’s custom websites with the new branding/web design. Yes and I love the new custom websites!!!
  6. Do a great job on the Advanced Workshop & come up with a new name for it for the next time around! I was over-the-moon happy with how the Advanced Workshop turned out this past spring! I have gotten lots of inquiries for next year’s workshop and am working on setting a date for it to announce this fall (and hopefully coming up with a new name)! haha
  7. Host our 2nd Annual Client Party.  Success!!
  8. Shoot more intentionallyI think in general I have been better about this but there is still always room for improvement. I think the problem is that with digital I feel like the focus is so touchy that I shoot a few of each type of shot to make sure I have one tack sharp.
  9. Cull all sessions and weddings while photos import. Bahahahaha. I have done this now and then with weddings (I’m trying to be better, but the couch is calling my name after weddings! The last thing I want to do is stay up all night culling after a long day on my feet!) I think getting a new laptop will help with this because then I could do this from the couch with James after a long wedding day. I have been doing this for sessions though! Yay!
  10. Find somewhere for Chloe to stay when we shoot weddings in Madison. We’ve been leaving her back in Chicago with dog-sitters because we’ve realized that it is just easier than trying to drive her there with us, shoot a wedding & find someone to watch her, and drive her back with us.
  11. Get a 50mm 1.2 for James. We ended up deciding on the 85mm 1.2 instead, so I’m crossing this off because technically we did get him a new lens, just not the one we thought we’d get!
  12. Sit down with James and really go over everything to fine tune skills/knowledge. YES! We actually did this and continue to do this so we are both growing, learning, and working better together with each wedding!
  13. Learn video. Hmmm. Not positive this is really on our list anymore because I’m not sure we’re interested in doing this, but we shall see.
  14. Maintain last year’s progress. I do believe we are doing this! I’m happy with how far we’ve come even in this year and looking forward to how far we hope to go in the future!





  1. Make a baby! Well, you can’t say we’re not trying! Definitely taking more steps to making this a reality this year, but it really isn’t up to us when it comes down to it.
  2. James finish his Associates degree and start looking into what 4-year college he will transfer over to! Working on it! J just registered for his next semester of classes and continues to get one step closer to making this a reality! So proud!
  3. Save at least $______. Yes!!! We already reached our year-end goal, so we are updating this to a new number! So so happy we are growing our business in ways that allows us to hopefully actually have money for a home someday, and in the meantime makes it somewhat manageable for us to afford all these crazy expensive fertility treatments.
  4. I want abs. (Directly quoted from James’ personal goal list. hahaha) I’m not positive he’s done this one yet … haha. Sorry J! 😉
  5. Choose positivity and happiness. I feel like I am SO much better at this already this year! Of course we all have our moments, but it is natural to feel emotions, and work through them, and totally unhealthy if you just pretend you’re fine all the time. But in general, when possible I’m avoiding anger at stupid little stuff and focusing on happiness.
  6. Walk 45 miles per month. We’ve been kicking butt with this! Chloe and I have been tending to do around 60 miles a month once the weather warmed up after our crazy winter and it feels great!
  7. Do yoga 1x a week. Fail. But we have been walking so much I feel like at least we are doing SOMETHING! 😉 I have been better about stretching midday as well to get my butt away from the computer.
  8. More intimacy… in the form of holding hands, cuddling on the couch, and scratching each other’s backs. I think we’re much better at this too! And yesterday James suggested we start giving massages to each other at least once a week. One part relaxation, one part feeling close to each other! Yeah!
  9. No phones in bed before we go to sleep. Fail to the fail fail fail fail FAIL. Argh. :-\ Oops.
  10. Continue to shoot film for personal trips. Yup!! And I’m LOVING IT!!! Waiting on scans from Richard Photo Lab as we speak from our PNW trip!!! Can’t wait!!
  11. Mid-wedding season vacation/social media break. We just wrapped up an epic 3-week shooting hiatus/PNW trip/Chicago stay-cation!! I had one week to catch up on work & editing. One week out in Washington & Oregon visiting family & seeing new things. One week back catching up on emails/editing/work, mixed in with a couple little days here and there for family visits from my parents, my cousin, and my sister’s family! Yeah! Now we are more than ready to tackle the 2nd half of our wedding season starting with Becky and Ryan’s wedding this weekend!
  12. Get Life Insurance! For real this time. … (Oh really? For real? Because I still haven’t done this.)
  13. Design our Wedding Album. Well, we passed our 5-year anniversary and still a no-go on this one. Problem is that our images are trapped on a small hard drive whose plug no longer works, so we can’t get them off the hard drive. Reason #946 you should back-up your images all over the place and PRINT YOUR PHOTOS IMMEDIATELY. Just sayin.
  14. Speaking of our 5th anniversary… Do something for it! Ha! This is funny to see because we were supposed to take an overnight trip up to the Heidel House (where we got married) but had to cancel because things fell such that we had our 2nd IUI on our 5th wedding anniversary instead. I’m going to go ahead and count that as doing something though, even though it wasn’t successful!




And there you have it!!! I’d say that was surprisingly good compared to what I thought it would be (seeing as some of the goals I totally forgot about)! Also – can you tell we’re better at business goals than we are completing personal goals? Oops. Something to work on for sure!

Happy Friday guys! Off to Madison we go! Can’t wait to get back to shooting this weekend! xoxo


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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!