One habit I'm keen to keep doing is a anual post at the turn of the year documenting and describing what I've done this last year, what I've achieved and new goals I'd like to set, it's really good for myself to look back on and I keep it nice and image heavy so you guys have plenty to look at!
So lets talk a bit about gear, at the end of 2014 I was shooting on the X-E2 & X-E1 with a range of lenses and my trusty X100, at the end of this year I've streamlined my kit much more adding to it some new bits of kit, but also refining and taking kit away, stuff which I either don't use or swapping out lenses such as the 8mm fisheye for a 12mm wide angle.
2014 to Now
Both of the Yonguno flashes are gone, all the manual lenses are still here but in a drawer, the 85mm Samyang is gone, things like the trigger trap and filters are all still here but again not in my bag of gear. Check the links above to see whats in my gear bag at the moment, but safe to say I'm happy, very keen to try out the new firmware for the X-E2 come the new year which is told to be bringing us a better autofocus system.
The X100 is still there just not in my day to day work kit, it serves as my personal camera for street photography, trips away etc, I still love it and it occasionally sees a bit of work at a wedding if I need a silent camera, such as earlier in the year where photos in the church were not allowed.
It is a shame Fuji haven't carried on with the X-E series as I do enjoy the form factor and the layout, I'll be very interested in seeing the new X-Pro 2 and what it offers as well as that 33mm F1.0 lens which sounds like a dream, but for now no more spending, just more shooting.
LAST YEARS GOALS
So here are last years goals and how I got on with them, as well as outlining my plans for 2016:
Become a Fuji X Photographer: Well this hasn't happened just yet, I feel like I've been getting closer to this goal with a short social media takeover on the Fuji X instagram a few months back as well as steady retweets and shares of my work. I think the main challenge with the gaol is that there is no formula for doing it, as far as I'm aware it's up to the local Fuji Rep to put your name forward and it goes from there, so from here it's going to be more blogging and sharing of work and hopefully I'll get there eventually.
Get wedding bookings up to 30 per year: This is the tricky one, getting my booing rate up, at the end of this year I'll have shot 18 weddings in total, a number which I'm very happy with and proud of but would like to see grow in the coming year. At the moment my bookings for 2016 stand at 9 confirmed and about another 9 at the enquiry stage, I've got a couple more wedding fayres coming up which seem to get me minimal bookings but as long as I get one from each then I'm happy.
Launch new travel/editorial website: I've sort of completed this one, well it's almost ready, one of those things that trickles to the bottom of my todo list below more pressing matters, but overall I'm happy with how this is looking and it gives me a space to show my non-wedding work to other clients and book a wide range of work, one of my first tasks during the quiet months ahead is to get this finished then put it in front of people.
Improve social media followings by 4 times: Now this one is kind of flawed by me not noting down what my followings were a year ago, but from memory they have all grown well. I'm trying to focus on what I put my effort into, Google + is almost forgotten and I hardly post things on there, Twitter has grown very well thanks to the help of a client of mine. Facebook seems to be where it's at with the ability for good image sharing [even if the quality does suffer] and more social groups, I've also got into the habit of pre-scheduling my posts to about 2 images per week then having my pre-shedulded weekly blog link to Facebook when it goes live every Friday at 6. Overall happy with this, and for record here where I am now so I can check next year: Facebook: 452 - Twitter: 708 - Instagram: 401
So the new goals for 2016 are as follows:
-Shoot 25 weddings in 2016
-Become a Fuji X Photographer
-Start running workshops
I've shot some cracking weddings this year, and have been happy with the results from each one, I still get the usual questions at each one about the gear I'm using and still seem to 'out-geared' by the guests bringing their 5D's while I wander around with a small rangefinder, but I still love it and still am very happy with the Fuji gear and what it allows me to achieve.
Style wise my work is evolving each step of the way, I keep striving for more storytelling images from weddings and have adapted my shooting style to be more about capturing the image than anything else, shooting from the hip and pushing the cameras abilities really help here. I still work in the documentary style which I'm happy to say is the main reason people book me, most of the time it's people who don't like having their photo taken, which for me is perfect.
I've been getting other bits of work in this year, I've photographed a couple of schools for their websites, done some editorial work for magazines and shot some street photography and landscapes just for me. This is work I'd like to see grow along with my editorial website, these jobs provide some fun day's out as well as extra income which is great for mid-week work, on the landscape/street side of things I'd like to start running workshops and teaching.
So that's it for another year, my 3rd year doing this thing and it's only getting better, got some goals to push towards this coming year and plenty of blogs to post up, so stay tuned and all the best for your 2016.