As this year rapidly approaches its conclusion I am finally finding some time to collect my thoughts. The faithful reader of my blog knows I really enjoy evaluating the past year in december, and then unfolding my new plans for the new year in 2018. So here we go.
“This is the most I’ve ever paid for photography — and this is the best photography I’ve ever received.” — client I.W.
And what a year it has been. I can only say: wow. Just WOW!
2017 was an amazing year, on so many levels. The cartoon at the top of this story says it all. I posted it on my twitter timeline at the start of each month, to remind myself what this year was about: sowing, sowing, sowing — so that I could harvest. And I got to do lots of harvesting!
What made this year so amazing?
- Turnover growth of 18% — and 2016 was already a good year.
- Better overview of my business through factuursturen.nl. Sorry, it’s only available for the Dutch market. But if you are Dutch small business owner, check this out! This has made all the difference in the world!
- Amazing assignments in amazing locations! Here are some of the amazing projects I got to do:
- Rescue and salvage on the Dutch highways
- Production of aluminium steel products in an aluminium oven and press factory
- Two week photography trip to Nepal
- Architectural photography in the biggest cathedral in Holland
- Architectual photography in Antwerp
- Industrial photography underneath domestic residences.
- A 4 day corporate party in Athens, Greece
- Portrait photography on a pig farm
- Portrait photography in the national offices of a european corporate entity
- Wedding photography in Belgium
- Industrial photography in a new sewer system
- Product photography of scientific objects used in space research
- Event photography for people struggling with Parkinson’s disease
- Photography of African art
- And just today I got to photograph open heart surgery an operating theatre.
- Amazing new clients. I stopped advertizing on Google adwords because more business was coming my way then I could handle, even with out it. Most of my new clients came because satisfied other clients refered them. Others came because they saw my work and realized this was the quality they wanted. As one of my new clients said: “this is the most I’ve ever paid for photography — and this is the best photography I’ve ever received.”
- I am also excited because I was privileged to do a number of larger projects. I like the kind of project where you develop a relationship with a client. Where you work together to create the best imagery possible.
- I am also excited because I got to do more and more industrial photography. It took me a while to realize this is what I was doing. I thought I was just doing corporate photography. But one day I realized I was spending a lot of time in manufacturing warehouses and building sites. It dawned on me that clients were approaching me because they liked the nature of my industrial work. I enjoy this a great deal and look forward to developing it much further.
It dawned on me that clients were approaching me because they liked the nature of my industrial work!
Other good developments
- I bought a fantastic new camera, the Nikon D850
- Third prize in Imaginem Photography contest
- I invested in serious video equipment and have produced the first videos.
- My retouching skills improved significantly. I believe this plays a siginificant part in the growth of my business
- I won my first ever court case, on a matter of image theft.
- I developed wonderful relationships with a couple of other photographers. By nature photographers can be loners. I now have a couple of friends with whom I can share basically anything.
What didn’t go so well?
At the start of every year I outline my plans for the new year. I did so in this post. Ha! Looking back is a bit confronting!
- I completely missed the emphasis on beauty… Not that beauty is now unimportant… on the contrary. I just did not study it like I intended.
- I really did spend time on learning better retouching techniques. This goal I will carry on in 2018.
- I did not spend less time on social media… It remained my favourite way to procrastinate. But then just the other day a new client said my social media presence was a big part of why they choose me. They liked a photographer who really understood social media… #gofigure
- I spent far too little time on networking. But then I was busy to the max.
- Completely failed in my newsletter strategy. Yikes! #Gottadobetter. I need a better strategy.
- I kinda developed my portraiture skills. But that one sure deserves more attention in 2018.
- Less spending and more saving. I did well on this one!
- Better bookkeeping: accomplished! My new system rocks!
There it is… an honest evaluation of the year.
Thank you to ALL my clients and friends for making this year amazing. Most of all, thanks to my amazing wife for her partnership and support.
Here are some recent images. The bottom one was taken today. As always, click on the images to see them larger….