New Year Resolutions

Good morning, World!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and your first day of 2011 has started off right! I’m beginning this day with a much awaited post of my New Year’s Resolutions, which is a list I have not thought deeply about making in many moons. I made a list last year but I never revisited it and apparently, that’s the key to accomplishing said resolutions. So I’ve decided that at the beginning of every month, I’m going to make a list of goals I hope to accomplish and by the end of that month, I’ll revisit that list and cross off the ones I was able to get done. I’m also hoping to have mini-goals each week, just so I can stay motivated.

The resolutions themselves are a depiction of a greater picture. In order to make BIG changes, you have to make small changes that build toward the bigger ones. I say that because the list below, for me, feels short. Like there are so many other things I want to add to this list but I can’t really pinpoint or define them. Or they fall under the “umbrella… ella, ella…” of something written below.

So… That all said. Before I give you this amazing list, I’d like to bring your attention to the following:

In the last few months, my graphic designer—yes, my brother—and I sat down to discuss branding, to define the Carly Bish Photography identity. I had written to one of my favorite photographers, Bobbi of Bobbi+Mike, and asked for her advice on what I could do to further my business, especially after a huge transplant to a new city. She wrote me back the sweetest email along with her initial impressions and one thing really stood out to me. She said, “your brand doesn’t match your work. It’s too cutesy…. Not organic and whimsical like your images.” I appreciated her honesty so much because I had suspected this for a long time and having someone I admire confirm it was the push I needed to start making changes. So when Kyle and I were discussing ideas, we really thought about those two words—“organic” and “whimsical”—and started brainstorming from there. Eventually, I started thinking about how often my clients express their love for the “field shots” that I also love so much…

Kyle designed the above graphic and it felt like Carly Bish Photography.

It felt like me.

Now, for people like me, drastic changes like this can almost be painful. And it’s never wise to go from one extreme to another, so I’ve done my best to make small changes here and there, so over time, people simply come to recognize all these changes as normal. However, there was one bitter pill I had to swallow.

My font.

I really wanted to keep it. It’s unique, goes with that “organic” theme and I’ve used it for a very long time. It, more than anything else, felt like the heart of my brand. Especially since I’ve employed it since the beginning of my business! But Kyle insisted it didn’t work with the wheat grass design above and I had to agree. He insisted I needed to use a font like Helvetica to balance the unpredictability of the wheat but I thought it was way too corporate looking. So I went on the hunt for something that would look streamlined, yet still match our organic, whimsical look. And I found it…

So now, I’m in the process of integrating the new logo and font into all my promotional and legal material, ordering new business cards, packaging, and contracts. We’re also tying it all in with the new portfolio site, which will launch very soon! But that’s all I can say about that for now.

I hope that you are as excited about the re-brand as I am. Having a new sense of direction and focus has been a huge step forward in creating an identifiable experience for my clients. It’s only going to become increasingly so and I’m stoked to reveal each development with you as it comes.

And now for what you’ve all been waiting to see… The 2011 New Year Resolutions! Read them over and tell me what you think. I’ll explain more on a few of them below.

  1. Hire a professional interior design stylist to help furnish our apartment
  2. Launch new Portfolio site
  3. Develop and stick to a “Work Day” schedule
  4. Restrict number of sessions I blog
  5. Go on more dates with George
  6. Dedicate more time to reading the Bible
  7. Work out 5 days a week
  8. Go on a mission trip to a foreign country
  9. Visit Europe for the first time
  10. Visit New York City for the first time
  11. Go to WPPI for the first time
  12. Shoot more film!

Develop a “Work Day” schedule, restrict number of sessions I blog, go on more dates with George, dedicate more time to reading the Bible…
It is very hard for me to call it quits each day. Most days, I’ll sit and work on something until midnight (or later)… But I thrive in a routine environment. Get up at this time, eat at this time, work at this time, sleep at this time. I had that before we left Tennessee and as I said earlier, our routine was lost after we moved. But I’m determined to get it back and part of that means disciplining myself in other areas of my life. Like restricting the number of sessions I actually blog. Until recently, I’ve shared all my sessions here on the blog. I always felt obligated to do so since this has been the only means of sharing my work with non-clients. However, I’ve reached the point in my business where I simply don’t have the time to blog every session. From here on out, not all sessions will be blogged. But this is for the greater good of living the life I’ve always dreamed about. I want to spend more time with George who I barely see and I want to actually spend time reading my Bible, growing spiritually and keeping my priorities in the right order. Owning my own business is a huge blessing but it’s very easy to sit at the computer for too long, thing about work for too long, and to forget to live in the moment. That’s where these resolutions stem from…

Visit New York, Europe, WPPI, go on a missions trip…
I want to travel more! And I keep dreaming of all the places I want to go! And I’m tired of waiting! So I hope that 2011 will bring some amazing opportunities for that to happen. Not sure if it’s possible, but they’re resolutions, nonetheless.

Shoot more film!
I want to integrate film into the Carly Bish Photography brand. It’s a look that people want in their photos, it’s a look I appreciate, and the beauty of it is—it’s always in style. There are trends in every industry and I am wary of them. Because trends fall out of fashion and the last thing I want is for my clients to look back on their photos in 10 years and say to themselves, “I wonder why I liked that… It looked good to me at the time…” No, no, no… Not for my clients! By integrating real film, it creates both a modern and vintage twist on the photography experience. While we move more and more into a digital age, we still crave the old things that makes us feel nostalgic, reminiscent of the past, and like the true classics will always be classic. So I’m going to work very hard at this—I believe it’s an important one.

So this is what 2011 looks like for me. A lot of BIG changes that require a bunch of small changes. We have a lot on our plate, George and me, but I believe we’re going to make huge strides in the next few months. When I look back at 2010, I’m amazed at how much took place in what felt like such a brief amount of time. Getting older really does make time go by in a few short breaths and I’m eager to hold my breath for as long as I can. Thanks for taking the time to read all this and for sticking around. There’s been so much growth this year, I can only dream of what else could happen in 2011.

Epic proportions. To be sure.

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