Oh, 2018. What a year you've been.
My last wedding of the year is coming up in a few days and I know that it’s only November, but the end of wedding season is essentially the end of the year for me, so here’s my year in review.
I’ve been reflecting A LOT lately on the entire year. It started out slow, as it always does. I mean wedding photographers basically hibernate in the winter months. Or more like, we work our asses off trying to market ourselves so we can actually afford to live for the upcoming year. And I really needed to afford to live for the upcoming year. Literally on New Years Eve, I moved out of my parents house after moving back in with them after college. Anyway, that’s actually pretty irrelevant.
Around April, things started picking up. I was able to travel a lot for shoots, I booked several weddings in that month actually. (Birthday month, heyyyy!) It was also extremely convenient timing to book a few things because I was headed on a road trip down to Southern California in the beginning of May. We went to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree, Mammoth Lakes, Reno, Mt. Shasta, omg we went everywhere. Trip of a lifetime. I hadn’t ever really done anything on my own like that without my family? Don’t get me wrong, I have traveled a lot and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me, but I had never done something so big without them before. I remember our first stop, we went out to a cliffside to watch the sunset and I just stood there by myself for a second and thought, “Holy shit. I’m doing this.” It felt like my life was changing, like I was somehow becoming more me.
Wedding season started for me as soon as I got back from my trip. I had a bit of downtime to adjust back to living at home and figure out how to not get up every morning to head to a new city, but before I knew it I was shooting weddings again. And like, a lot of them. Somehow in 2018 I managed to shoot more weddings than I ever had before and to be totally honest with you, I was barely marketing.
I had weddings and elopements in Seattle, Portland, Bellingham, I had engagement sessions in Ellensburg, I photographed couples on mountains and cliffs and at waterfalls and in gorgeous conservatories and gardens. All with little to no marketing. Sure, I was posting on instagram and facebook but I let my SEO tank. I wasn’t blogging or really doing much of anything. I kind of hit a wall at the end of 2017 which is typically the time you really have to start booking weddings to keep your business afloat. A lot was going on in my personal life and I couldn’t focus on my business at all.
But this year is different. I’m spending time and money on education, I’m investing in my business, and I’m doing the work that I couldn’t do last year. At this point I’m just kind of rambling, but I guess ultimately I just want to say that it’s been a really really ridiculous year. Super high highs and super low lows. But it’s not stopping me from trying to become a better business owner, a better photographer, and overall just a better person. I am constantly learning and I’m dedicating my entire off season to just that. I’m not “rebranding” or making a new website or updating my portfolio. I’m simply working on being better.
Also thank you if you took the time to read this nonsense blog post about basically nothing. Sometimes I just start saying words on the internet and I can’t stop. So here’s a photo of me in a jean jacket and a hat on the beach!
Chelsea Moudry is a wedding & elopement photographer in the Pacific Northwest. Conveniently located between Seattle and Portland, she is able to photograph engaged couples in love in both Washington and Oregon.