The end of the year for many is a time for reflection… both good and bad. It’s a time when people look back on the year at their successes, their failures, their growths, their gains, their losses, and hopefully a few lessons learned. 2013 was all of those things for me and more. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little nostalgic looking back at my 2012 recap, favorite 2012 moments, and 2013 goals I set for myself. This blog has become an honest, raw documentation of my life… both professional and personal. And while it’s hard for me to share so many things I hold close to my heart, the reactions and support I get from my friends, clients, and readers that follow my blog make it all worth it to me. Every time a blog post gets a Facebook “like”, or someone comments on what I wrote, or even better someone high-fives me on the street about my blog (I swear, it happened just last week), I’m reminded why I do what I do. My clients respect me on a professional level AND know me on a personal level, and like I’ve said so many times before, THAT’S the type of business I want to run. I’ve been blessed with an incredible client base that wants and appreciates the exact same thing as me, and I cannot wait to see what and who 2014 connects me with.

To be completely honest, looking back on the goals I set back in December 2012 for myself was hard. If you know me or if you follow my blog, you know this was a life-changing year for me. I won’t get into too much detail, but in case you missed it you can read more about it here. Long story short, I am in a completely different place in life now than where I was just one year ago. I am still the same person, yet I am different and learning new things about myself every single day. I’m living in a new city, running my own business full-time, and while I still LOVE (and am kind of obsessed) with my friends I’ve had for years, I’m hanging out with new people and making new friends all the time. I do miss parts of the life I was living this time last year, but I know that girl was dying to be doing the things I am doing today so I am thankful and happy with the way things have worked out.

Jill Tiongco Photography | 2013 Chicago Wedding Photographer

Here’s what I wanted to accomplish in 2013 and what I actually did.

2013 Goals

1. Book 10 weddings. // I shot 12 JT Weddings in 2013 (not including the double digit weddings I second shot).

Jill Tiongco Photography | 2013 Chicago Wedding Photographer

2. Sell at least 2 weddings albums. // I’ve sold 7 so far, and counting… See what the Fairytale Wedding Album looks like, here.

3. Finalize my business plan and keep track of financials. // I’ve hired an accountant and he’s the man. See ya soon, Barry!

4. Have one wedding published by a wedding blog. // I’ve had 3 published by Style Me Pretty IllinoisCarats & Cake, and Style Unveiled.

5. Purchase the following equipment by the end of the year: Canon 5D Mark iii, 85mm 1.2L, 135mm f/2, Think Tank Rolling Travelling Bag, and mayyyyyybe a 70-200 f/2.8L. // I bought it all except the 70-200, which I was renting and plan on purchasing at the start of the 2014 season.

Wow. I may have bored you all to death, but I have to admit… writing all of that out reminded me how much I’ve accomplished this year and what I have to be proud of. It all went by so fast that I guess it never really set in until now. 2014 is going to have to be a record breaking year to surpass this one 🙂

24 Goals for 2014 

  1. Book 20 weddings. Yep, I’m going for it. I’m looking to double my goal from last year. 
  2. Do a better job of keeping track of financials and the business side of things. I’m a creative – that stuff puts me to sleep but it’s gotta get done!
  3. Blog more consistently on a schedule, and hopefully more often than twice a week.
  4. Improve my workflow. Find a way to edit, cull, and prep the blog more efficiently.
  5. Network more with other photographers. Be a more active participant in current and new photographer groups.
  6. Revamp my website and blog.
  7. Get new head shots taken.
  8. Re-design and order new business cards.
  9. Attend a Chicago and destination photography workshop.
  10. Improve branding packages.
  11. Read one photography/business related book
  12. Update legalities, Signature Collection, and a la carte options in contract.
  13. Purchase the following equipment: 70-200mm f/2.8L, 17-40 f/4L, and maybe a 100mm Macro. Oooooh and maybe replace my 13″ Macbook with a 15″ Macbook Pro.
  14. Develop a more set work routine, and work from locations other than my apartment, (in other words, shower and don’t work in my PJs everyday – it just has to stop).

2014 will be my first, official full year in business. It’s going to be more of a learning experience than anything, with its fair share of ups and downs… so honestly, I’m just hoping to come out still smiling and loving what I do. If you’ve stuck around this long, I’m impressed. Thank you again for all of your support – 2013 wouldn’t have been as incredible as it was without you. I wish every single one of you the best in 2014 and hopefully we’ll be back here in 12 months laughing at how I just crushed every goal I set 🙂

Jill Tiongco Photography | Happy New Year!