It’s supposed to be about 50 degrees today. That is INSANE. Seriously, I will probably bust open every window in this house and I seriously contemplated cleaning out the garage.
Winter in Wisconsin is a tough time in my industry. Not too many folks want portraits done when it looks like crapola outside….and this winter was especially difficult. It was ridiculously cold, snowy, and YUCK.
Every year I try to brace myself against the slow, dragging winter season and every year seems to be different. I use the winter months to brainstorm, plan new business moves, learn new skills, and do a bit of marketing.
This year has been a different kind of beast because of the awful weather AND we are in the midst of opening the record store. My focus has been elsewhere and that is become wildly apparent. I do not feel whole unless I’m busying myself with a ridiculous amount of projects. But right now, due to weather related construction delays…we’re in limbo. It’s driving me batty.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is VERY real in our industry. Especially around here. I know my colleagues can relate. We are ALL so dang ready for spring sessions and weddings and traipsing around in the humid summer air.
Every year, around this time, I try to remind myself that I’m not alone and watch Zack Arias’ Transform Video (Check it out here: https://zackarias.com/goya/transform-a-short-film-for-scottkelbycom/) It’s pretty much the BEST way to describe what slow season is like EVERY year for working photographers. No matter how many winters you weather as a full-time shooter, it wears on you after awhile. You become stuck….mundane….you start believing everything you put out there sucks. It’s the season bearing down on you…..it enters your soul and starts to suck all the inspiration from you.
You can’t let it. Every year, around this time, it’s a struggle to sort of collect myself and really refocus in preparation for the “busy” season. Personal projects help with this muddy muddling through winter, most definitely. But really, sometimes all it takes is a break in the weather.
If you pay attention to social media only, it can be easy to think that a delirious passion for art carries all of us working photographers through any slow, dragging period. We love what we do so much that it’s not a job….it’s not a career…it’s simply a passion we share with the world and that is all unicorns and rainbows. We are sustained by good thoughts, “atta boys” and happy comments on Facebook. There is a kernel of truth to that. We desire and rely on that feedback to push us forward, in many ways. If we post a work that we’re very proud of, and it lands like a lump on Facebook with no commentary, that can be pretty damaging to the ego.
But loving my job and hoping for good feedback can only carry someone so far, especially 6 years in.
Maybe this is your first year. Maybe this is your first winter season in Wisconsin and you’re sitting in front of an empty email box wondering what the hell happened to all those people going crazy for your photo shoots this past summer. Maybe you’re freaking out.
That’s normal. We ALL do it. I remember a few years ago I had just opened my brick and mortar studio and I had one of the WORST months in the history of Type A ever. It just happens. It’s the up and down of the business. It happens to EVERYONE. Trust me. Regardless of what it looks like on Facebook.
But I weathered it. And you will too. Don’t make any rash decisions….don’t panic….breathe. Regroup. This limbo time before the spring is the PERFECT time to sit and reflect on what worked in the last year and what didn’t…..and what may propel your business in 2014 to greater heights….so when winter comes next year….and it will….you’ll be stocked and ready to ride it out.
And to give you hope…..here’s some summer sessions….it’s all coming…soon! I promise!
- THE OSCARS…..totally my Super Bowl (or “Big Game” or whatever). I freakin’ love the Oscars, because I get to bring out my inner Joan Rivers.
This year’s show was not bad. Jordan Catalano won an award (sorry, he’ll always be Jordan Catalano). I have YET to see Dallas Buyers Club but I really want to.
We waited up all night to see Idina Menzel (Adele Manzeem or whatever) sing Let It Go, even letting Betty stay up to see it. It was….well…not good. But hey, can’t be easy to belt out that song in front of all those people. Especially after John Travolta completely butchers your name.
- Thankfully Betty had a two hour delay the next day for school, because we let lady stay up until about 10:30. Yes, we are those parents.
- Hit up local Beloit Psychotherapy as part of my THRIVE project this week. I try to do personal projects every year…and I always find them pretty enjoyable.
- Pope dropped an unintentional F-bomb. Is it bad it just kind of made me like him more?
- We kicked off Lent with Ash Wednesday….Me and Molly…..she let everyone in the church know she had to poop. It was good times.
- I’m trying to refrain from swearing for the next 40 days. However, due to some inexplicable stupid I’ve been running into as of late….that’s been really difficult and we’re only one day in. Maybe I’m not meant to be a proper lady.
- Finished up watching the entire series of Friends….now I’m on to Disappeared on Netflix (it’s an ID show). Good stuff. Am I the only person who sits and Facebook/Google’s the people on these shows to find out what they and their families are up to since being on a crime TV show? Anybody?
- I’m running a big ole Double Up Flash Sale this week as an incentive to book your spring and summer Senior portrait and family portrait sessions (or get yourself a nice album from your 2013 wedding). Contact me before Monday night to reserve your 50% off Gift Certificate.
- Seniors are starting to book quite steadily, and I’m already into summer with many sessions. I’m hoping that means warmer weather is just right around the corner.
- WEDDINGS: I’m still looking to fill a few key dates in 2014. I’ve started meeting with 2015 couples as well. If you’ve gotten a bit of a late start on planning, however, there’s still some open days.
- Type A is going to be taking part in the Country Club of Beloit Bridal Fair on March 30 from 12-3:00. I’m going to have some HUGE incentives for folks who book from the fair, so you don’t want to miss it!
- This week? A MUCH needed date night with the hubster (illness has been preventing us from going pretty much anywhere but work in the last 2 months). Preparing for coverage of the St. Patty’s Gala at the Country Club for the Beloit Historical Society. And hoping against hope that some warmer weather will bring much needed work on our Tin Dog space!
I got “ashed” on Wednesday (and true to our Generation’s need to share EVERYTHING, if you check out #ashtag on Instagram you can see everyone else who got ashed too)
Also got some new glasses, which was seriously LONG overdue. Things ARE coming along over at the Tin Dog space. Right now we are mid-construction, which is a frustrating place to be. My sales room at the studio is host to overflow “stuff” and pretty much unusable at this point….but I know it’ll all look amazing once it’s finished.
I’m just wildly impatient.
The weather is NOT. HELPING. We can’t fix the roof until the deep freeze stops….can’t drywall until the roof is fixed. But the guys are doing what they can. They framed out the entire space and my new office….which is exciting. It’s all coming together and we’re still hoping for an early Spring opening. Sigh. My kid. The fashion plate. I volunteered to do the photography for the Miss Beloit Pageant this year, which led me to their annual Princess Party on Saturday. ADORABLE. Seriously….we got to do a little mini photo shoot with each princess and they worked it out. It was too cute. I’ll be photographing the actual pageant at the end of the month as well.
I grew up in Beloit. I was born here. Raised here, and with the exception of some years in Milwaukee and a misguided stint in Oceanside, CA (shudder), have made my life here.
My husband and I have also decided to make our livelihoods here through the creation of two businesses downtown. Since arriving downtown, I’ve been exposed to an amazing resurgence of arts, entrepreneurship, and city pride that I didn’t really realize existed in the past.
Beloit is THRIVING, and I wanted to highlight that in a new project dedicated to capturing local businesses and business owners showing the best of what Beloit has to offer.
Online, whenever something negative hits the news, people are known to frequently remark “Only in Beloit”.
I’d like to see that remark take on positive connotations. Crime, poverty, and bad behavior are not “only in Beloit”. But there are some amazing places and people that are “only in Beloit”….and its time they got their due : )
Interested in having your business profiled? It’s free! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like many folks that grew up in Beloit, Kari Bell left to explore other cities at one point. When it came time to open her own private psychotherapy practice….she came back…proving that Beloit attracts professionals of all kinds.
Beloit Psychotherapy opened in January and is tucked away off Riverside Drive in the professional building by Powers School. This is a PERFECT location that offers a quiet, serene office experience for Kari’s patients…as well as a bit of welcomed privacy.
Beloit Psychotherapy offers family, group, and individual treatment for a variety of conditions, including: Anxiety, PTSD, Divorce, Eating Disorders, Bereavement, AODA, etc.
- So, it’s been pretty much an endless cycle of illness and injury in our household this winter. Coupled with the most brutal winter we’ve had in recent memory and I am SO. DANG. READY. for wedding season to get here. UGH. I just need to THAW out and get all these rotating germs out of my house.
- Construction at the record store is a bit slow as the weather is hampering our ability to get the roof fixed. Which stinks. Considering Record Store Day is only a little over a month away and we still don’t have walls : ( But, chin up….it IS coming along…and the guys are doing everything they can to move things in a positive direction.
- 2nd shot for Mr. Jadon Good this week. Shot the cake hole. Like ya do.
- Spent most of my week shooting headshots for the Miss Beloit Pageant, which was fun. I’ll be shooting their Princess Party tomorrow and then the big Pageant at the end of March. Its something kinda new for me, which is a nice way to break up the winter season : )
- I’m apparently allergic to ferns. Specifically ferns that The Grain Exchange uses for decor. Holy. Moses.
- Dude, Harold Ramis. What is WITH this year already?! He was my favorite Ghostbuster (don’t tell me you didn’t find his super geek Egon super-sexy!)
If Betty White dies, I quit.
- Went back to the ENT doc this week…and surgery is pretty much imminent. My nose is far more fubar-ed (that’s a word, right?) than originally anticipated. Goody. Problem is, the OUTSIDE stuff I wanted done with the surgery can’t happen now because there’s sinuses involved. : ( Boo.
- Got the taxes done this week. I actually ENJOY this end of the year ritual. It speaks to my need for documentation of EVERYTHING. We did well this year, even despite job losses, which was surprising. Type A kicked all sorts of bootay and I anticipate 2014 to be even better!
- REMINDER: Today is the LAST DAY to sign up to be a Type A Images Senior Ambassador for 2015. Please email email@example.com if you’re interested!
- WEDDINGS: I’d like to take on about 3-4 more for 2014. 2015 meetings are already happening, so don’t feel like it’s too early to plan.
- PORTRAITS: Through March and April I’m offering a special on First Communion Portraits in studio. If your little one is receiving the Sacrament this year, let’s connect and get some lovely portraits of them to commemorate the time!
- This week? Princess Party and meetings this weekend. A shoot for my THRIVE project on Monday and a bridal meeting. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday so if you run into me and I happen to have smudge on my face….that’s why. : )
I was really awful at the personal pictures this week and can’t reveal the headshots for Miss Beloit just yet….but I did photograph a newborn! Yes, yes I know…I said no more newborns…but I made a tiny exception for this little dude. His parents were former clients and I shot their wedding and their first little one, and they were from out of town. So, I hopped on over to their vacation house for some portraits. : ) Jackson must have realized newborns are so not my thing, because he cut me a break and slept most of the time : )
- Winter can suck it. Seriously. Moving on…..
- The hubster got his temporary cast off…and thankfully did NOT have to have a perma-cast put on. YAY!
- Instead of really going out and doing anything for Valentine’s, we ate our weight in JMK Nippons sushi that I picked up to-go.
- Betty had her Little Poms performance. It was pretty adorable. Carrying on a grand tradition of cheerleaders in the family. Yes….I was a cheerleader. A pretty terrible one….but I was one all the same. Of course, that was at Catholic school, where if you were willing to fork over the cash for the uniform you got a spot on the team. Talent wasn’t really a factor.
- Molly had her baptism on Saturday, after Mass. It was kind of a hot mess, as Baptisms go. Betty wasn’t feeling all that great and had a bug up her butt about Molly being the center of attention, so she had a straight-up meltdown. Molly tried to drink the water….and told Father “Don’t touch me!!!”
But, we got the job done.
- Construction is coming along at the record store, but has slowed up a bit due to the crap-tastic weather. The area needs a new roof, BADLY, but we can’t get anyone up there to put the roof on until the weather breaks a bit. As a result, we can’t drywall until the roof is fixed. So, we’re hoping to still be open by Record Store Day in April. We’ll see…..
- Betty lost another tooth this week. Took us almost 3 days to talk her into pulling it. Drama Drama.
- TV Marathon show of the week: Friends. I watched Friends on and off when it was on originally, but apparently missed quite a bit of it. I’m all the way up to when Monica and Chandler start dating. Thinking of maybe doing Felicity next…..not sure. Not missing DirectTV at all.
- Hit up the Helium Trampoline Park with Molly and Miss Andrea Kuntz and her little one Zoe this week. What a neat place for little ones. Molly LOVED it. Also got a chance to hop over to Barnes and Noble, which NEVER happens (since we don’t have one around these parts) and pick up some new books. Yep, still following through on my resolution to read 100 books this year. I’m currently reading John Paul the Great by Peggy Noonan.
- Got a chance to HOLD a Nikon Df this week. Since its coming about time to think about upgrading the camera bodies, I’m sure I’ll be dreaming of that baby for awhile. It’s SO purrty.
- This week….NUTS. I’m trying to stay away from the word “busy” this year, but suffice it to say it’s….full, to say the least. Tomorrow I’m 2nd shooting with Mr. Jadon Good out of Milwaukee (at two of my favorite venues! Woot!) Sunday I have a quick engagement shoot and NINE (count em) NINE headshots for the Miss Beloit pageant. Yep, the studio will be crawling with pageant gals. Fun!
Monday I’m FINALLY seeing my new ENT doc to figure something out to ward off sinus pain as it gets warmer. Hopefully they can do SOMETHING.
Monday is also 2 more headshots for the pageant. Tuesday I have a session in the afternoon and ANOTHER headshot….Wednesday is conferences for Betty (dun dun duuuunnnnn) and ANOTHER headshot (WHEW)….Thursday I get to do my taxes (yay! Nerd time!) and the Downtown Beloit Association Awards banquet in the evening with the hubby. Friday? An assisted living shoot…annnnd BREATHE!
- WEDDINGS: I’d like to take on about 3-5 more for 2014, so if you’re a bit of a late planner, I still have some dates open. 2015 is starting to book, so I’m taking meetings for that as well.
- SENIORS: I’m still taking names for interested parties to be Senior Ambassadors for Class of 2015. If you’re looking to save $$ on your senior portraits, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
LOTS of pictures this week! Weird…I know!
Little Poms….and a Little Cold….My kids get colds and they get red all over Baptism. Molly wiggled like a worm until they did the Chrism oil, and then she stopped and said “Oooo….that’s nice”…that’s why we’re laughing. The Fam, pre-Betty-Meltdown….and Molly with her Godmother Andrea Mickey Smith, who needed a blog appearance
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