As we are knee deep into January, I think now is a great time to reflect on the past year and get focused on the one ahead. Although I have always wanted to be a full time Photographer, 2018 proved to be “the year of the push.” At the beginning of the year I started sketching and really honing in on the idea that I could be an animator! I love cartoons and the unique spins it could put on any situation. I honestly can’t remember why I stopped, but it most likely had to do with my lack of drawing consistently. I could always sketch, but one circle would NEVER look like the next.

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Then sometime mid June, I really felt the urge to push, nay SHOVE myself into photography, I got new branding, I asked mentors for advice, I even signed up for a workshop! (See Rooted to Thrive). I felt that I had the talent, the toughness, and the drive to finally make this dream come true. I also set (small) goals for myself to start off so I wouldn’t be discouraged. I set my expectations to get 10 new clients by the end of the year. I ended up achieving that by the end of July. I actually  stopped counting and rode the momentum!

I met so many incredible people over the past six months and am pleased to call some of them friends. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past year!

Rooted to thrive

While I am confident in my skills and talent, I wasn’t too familiar with the whole world of wedding photography. Enter in, Rooted to Thrive. Extremely talented and awesome people: Pat Cori and Lindsey Paradiso, conducted a two day workshop jam-packed full of photography and wedding knowledge. I know I became a better photographer and met some amazing people in the process. This will truly be a bullet point in my development.

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In December, a couple of big things happened. The first thing being SCGCON. This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year, it’s a Convention after all! They usually hire a photographer for the whole weekend, but an emergency prevented them from coming. Enter in ME! My bosses knew I was a photographer and asked me to step in. I was maybe a little too eager to do it but hey, it was going to be a long weekend doing a live broadcast, might as well have a little fun! When I wasn’t conducting the broadcast, I was up and running around getting photos. Here are some of my favorite ones I took the whole weekend! You can also see the full album of photos here!

Food Photography is something I have always been intrigued by and loved. I had done it a couple times before with success, but never really thought about it outside of that. Then this posting came up needing food photographers in Roanoke.This is the second big thing from december and It has EXPLODED from there. Ever since I got my first shoot mid-December, I feel like I haven't stopped, and that is NOT a bad thing. I have been learning a lot from each shoot and I feel like I am getting better and better. You can read more about it in my blog here.

January has been GO GO GO! We have launched a ton of new technology at SCG and had very little time to test with it, so it has been stressful. I also have been, what has seemed to be, shooting nonstop when not on the road. I’ve averaged 3 shoots a day when doing food photography, but I love it! Here are a couple of my favorite food shots from the last couple weeks!

As January comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how much I grew in 2018 and how I want to keep that momentum up! To help keep that momentum, I always need something to strive for, so here are my goals for 2019:

  • Reach 1000 Instagram followers (TayloredPhotog, Tayloredfood)

  • Be a vendor at a Bridal Show

  • Attend networking events

  • Book 5 restaurants independently

  • Save enough funds to transition to a full time photographer


I know that Instagram is important for a photographer's business, so I want to expand my reach on that platform, especially on my food Instagram. That ties into booking 5 restaurants independently. This just means I reach out (or the restaurants reach out to me) to conduct photo shoots to aid in their menu, social media or other platforms that help them look as professional and as tasty as can be!



I also feel that I can increase the amount of shoots I do and business I receive, by attending networking events and bridal shows. I have been told some people book their whole year from just one bridal show. Can I do that? It’s possible! I also feel that Roanoke is a very collaborative area and meeting new people in the industry will be a fantastic experience.




Lastly, the big one. I have a number in my head on when to take the jump to become full-time photographer. I won’t share it here but I am determined to save it so I can dedicate myself to this business and more importantly, use my skills to spread joy and to make who you are and what you do, special.



Thank you so much to everyone who takes time out of their day to read my blogs, look through my pictures, and encourage me to keep going on this journey, I couldn’t pursue this without you.

Thanks for all the likes, love, and shares

-TR

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