New Year’s Day Open Thread

It’s 2013, y’all!

How are you feeling? Any resolutions, hopes, wishes or dreams you’d like to share? What are you looking forward to?

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38 thoughts on “New Year’s Day Open Thread

  1. Well, welcome to 2013…I didn’t stay up but I did greet the new year about 4am for a feeding. I started the day grumpy about being exhausted and dh being frustrated with me for being negative. After arguing/talking for a while I realized I’m grumpy not so much about the day to day exhaustion but about the impending stress of going back to work and also finding a house and moving again. So we made some important decisions.

    Mainly, I’m shelving my photog biz for a while. I am not making much at it, but more than that, it’s too stressful. I don’t charge very much comparably, but I still have clients asking me for re-edits for stuff I did months ago. And because my clients are all friends or friends of friends, I’m doing what they ask even though I already provided what i promised and they originally paid for. Until I have the time (and grow the cojones) to incorporate, and draw up a real contract, I need to take a break from it. It’s fun and I hate turning down work, but when you factor in expenses plus post processing time, I am making nothing. Plus, I don’t have the time to handle printing right now but people are taking my images and getting them printed cheaply and they look really bad. I suggest professional printing sites, but most people that pay for what I charge aren’t interested in paying more for prints than what Walmart charges. I’m realizing that including prints is a pretty vital part of the biz, so you can have control from start to finish of your “product.” So, until I have the time and energy for it, I’m just going to keep it as a hobby and keep my day job as my only job. I can pick it up again later on if I want.

    So, that’s my resolution. I feel good about it. I really didn’t want to quit my job at the hospital but the stress of trying to keep both gigs was really wearing on me. I’m just going to finish up the commitments I already made and not take on anything else until I’m ready.

    • Sounds like a good plan. You’ll certainly be able to pick back up when babykins is a bit more settled into life, or even wait for preschool.

      DH is like you, moonlighting with his photography. He’s, um, a bit of a control freak, so part of what is keeping him from trying to get more gigs is losing control of the product and the idea of crappy prints. So he feels your pain.

    • Things are so busy for you right now, I don’t blame you!

      I was listening to the Improving Photography podcast the other day and they were talking about this. Someone asked them what you should charge as a beginning photographer. They said it is very common for people to charge some low amount since they don’t feel they are good enough to merit a high cost yet. But then they end up not making anything, and they lose their client base when they start charging more (and part of building a business was building this base). I thought that made sense but on the other hand I can see how it would feel odd to charge a lot when you are just starting out. They said charge in the neighborhood of what other photographers charge, or decide what you want to earn and base it off that. Since I did one session for a friend’s holiday cards a couple of weeks ago I found it interesting (I didn’t charge her anything though, but it was very last minute so I didn’t edit them either, just shared them and she turned around a card the same day as the photos were taken).

      • Yeah, I read that. I charge $150 which is in the low end but not ridiculously low…but, I don’t put a time limit on my sessions. I keep going until I get shots I’m happy with. And I spend forever in Lightroom making them perfect. So, between time from scouting to shooting to editing, plus gas driving to and from locations, plus the occasional prop, it’s a virtual wash. What I need to do is have a few reliable locations, and do shorter, scheduled sessions (do them back to back) and get faster at editing. Right now I don’t do more than 1 a day so I can capture perfect lighting and not to get backed up if things aren’t working out quite right. I still don’t get how you can schedule shoots outdoors in the mid afternoon. A Shade setup is ok, but not as good as evening light. I always start 2 hours before sunset. I guess I just don’t want to compromise on anything
        And I don’t have an elaborate reflector setup.

        • Makes sense. In the session I did for my friend it was 2 pm because that is when we were both available, and the pics I took in shade came out pretty good, but the ones in the sun even though the pose was good were too washed out. I guess having a studio is the answer to midday but that would obviously be a big leap.

          • Yeah, I was hoping this house we are renting would be conducive to a studio setup but there’s not enough light anywhere so I would have to invest in a soft box. I have a background stand and 2 backdrops, and a baseboard and flooring. I lug it out and use natural light where I can, but not ready to make the leap to lighting yet.

            I tend to go overboard with location changes too, and then I end up with a ton of images I can’t bear to not include. If I kept it simpler I could give people 10 images instead of 20-25, but I’m too afraid of a setup not working out that I over-plan. Confidence and speed will be the key, I think. Most photogs now do these 30 or even 15 minute “mini sessions” for like $75-100 and you get 5 images. I’d like to do that but don’t have the confidence yet.

            • I would like to try it, but I know I could not make what I am making now at my job so it would have to be on the side. But then you get into how much you want to invest in the equipment like lighting and so forth if you aren’t doing anything serious with it. Sort of a catch 22.

  2. Happy New Year! I wasn’t camera ready last night, so I didn’t join in the FB toast, but I loved seeing all of you.

    Thank you all for being such a great support to me through a crappy 2012. I appreciate it so much. I’m not sure who was happier to see the end of last year, me or Dd16.

  3. Well, 2012 had the saddest day of my life, and several of the happiest. It has definitely been a roller coaster.

    This week we will pass the Anniversary of my Dad’s death, and I have to say we’ve all done pretty well. I have sad days (and my Mom has many, as well) but we made it through all the major holidays, and my brother’s wedding, in good shape.

    In 2013, we will see my DD graduate from college, and my DS start High School. My mom is hoping to travel to China with two friends, and is starting to think about and plan for “5 years from now”, both of which show a positive expectation for the future!

    And, I am starting a new job! Got the letter of hire in the mail yesterday and just emailed it back, so it’s a go…..lots of nervousness about starting somewhere new, but few regrets about leaving where I am.

    I’m not a believer in resolutions because I can’t keep them. I continue to try to find the right balance of food and exercise to get fitter and slimmer, but I am trying not to obsess (thinking of Frank Bruni’s column last week about being more than this “wretched vessel”). With the new job, I will have more time for home, hubby, kid, and self (due to gaining 1-2 hours less of commuting every day). And, I am deterimined to finish one of the FOUR books I am in the middle of right now.

    • I’m so happy to hear your mom is talking about a big trip. My big frustration with my mom after my dad died was how much she chose not to do. Got to wonder if that contributed to the later mental fog issues.

      I hope your new job is a wonderful fit – you deserve it!

      • Ditto on my FIL. I keep hoping he will come out of it soon, but its been 18 months since MIL died. I feel like if he would just make himself do things, he would realize that he enjoys them.

  4. Happy New Year my dear MT friends!

    We had a wonderful skiing trip to Austria last week (both DD are hooked, which makes me very very happy! We spent the week with friends who moved to London and it was lovely to spend time together.), stayed over at friends from our DC days on the way home and spend yesterday doing laundry and putting stuff away. DH and I both have bad colds so we stayed home and had a quiet NYE. Today was dreary and we did lots of kid-art photography and purging (thanks shenanigans!), cleaning up the kids’ playing area and DD1′s desk and other stuff like that. The girls were in pajamas all day and loved it. New Years cards still need to be done but we have a few more days for that. Final day of my break is tomorrow, DH already has to go in to oversee resit exams (boo!). I’ll take it easy in hopes of shaking that cold and get mentally ready for what is shaping up to be a very busy winter and spring. While on vacation we made plans to meet our London friends in the Ardennes (Belgium) over Easter and on the drive home DH and I talked Summer vacation (Alps, if the weather is reasonable when we can go) so there’s always a next vacation to look forward to. In short, life is good.

  5. I’m going to try to be kinder, more understanding, less sarcastic, more compassionate…

    oh who am I kidding… ;-) I’m just hoping to come out of the year alive.. that’s pretty much my only resolution every year.

  6. No resolutions here, but I want to grow my magazine into a profitable enterprise. I have hopes that this will be a good, strong year; I’ve got some relationships working that should yield good results. Jess enters second grade, Lily is in her last year of pre-school/creche, it’s all happening.

  7. hi ladies- happy new year!

    I’m going to work on spending more time w/ friends and family- i got way out of balance the latter half of this year. i was working as much as possible and when i wasn’t working for $ i was working on campaigns for free.

    i stopped by here and read a lot but i can’t remember the last time i wrote anything.

    so everyone’s doing ok? xoxo

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