2018 in Review!

Hello & HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

I was gearing up to do my second post in my Silly Photos series, but with 2018 coming to a close, it feels more natural to do a 2018 year in review post this week instead! I did a bunch of Throwback Thursday blog posts last summer catching y’all up on photography I did before Light Creative was born (and before I had my pretty new website to share things on), so it feels natural to reflect and look back on this year, too. Thanks for joining me!

I’m sharing photos in this post, but I’m also sharing lots of blog post links… Click on the links to see many more photos from specific sessions and events!

2018 - Light Creative Year in Review

2018 was big - most notably, I went FULL-TIME with my photography business at the end of the school year! This came after much discernment and a message from God that said, “Do not fear.” I blogged about going full-time here and then again about how much of a leap of faith that was financially here.

It has been the biggest blessing to have the TIME to devote to my photography - to create my own workflows that work well for my business and for me personally, to discern where God wants me to go with this business and who She wants me to serve (= accessibility for all), and most importantly to serve my clients well in quality relationships and efficient timing. It also feels like more peace of mind, less anxiety, and answering a call. Thank you all for supporting me in this journey and for fueling the fire I have for capturing moments!

Photo of me courtesy of Simone from Hey Love. :)

Light Creative Life

Among the first big projects of 2018 was finishing up branding my business! Jordie with Anthem Craft & Co. designed my logo, website, business cards, and information materials for A Place at the Table. She also redesigned my business cards when I wanted to add “Pay-what-you-can Photography” on them! I had pretty specific visions for each of these, and she did an incredible job bringing my sometimes-vague visions to life, even including my own handwriting in the logo and across the pages on my website. I’m really proud to have branding that I believe represents my business well. Read more about the name “Light Creative” here.

 
 

Partnerships

Speaking of A Place at the Table, the pay-what-you-can café opened their doors last January! I’ve been so blessed to partner with them because of how incredible their community is. The warmth I feel when I enter the café is like no other. Everyone is so kind, and their mission to provide quality food to all regardless of means goes completely hand-in-hand with my photography mission. Everyone deserves delicious food around a table of wonderful people regardless of means, and everyone deserves beautiful photography to document and celebrate their lives. In 2018 I photographed some connections in APATT’s café and I also photographed their annual fundraiser, which was a huge hit! I’m looking forward to celebrating the café’s first birthday with them next week! See more APATT photos from 2018 here.

 
 

I also began a partnership with Neighbor to Neighbor, which is a community development organization in my neighborhood in SE Raleigh. They do a ton in the community - they have a huge mentorship program for school-aged children, a few different companies born out of n2n to give people good work experience, a community garden, a skate park, a basketball league, and so much more. I photographed a few students involved with n2n mentoring and loved spending time with them so much. I also photographed a couple people from Neighbor Cater! I’m looking forward to partnering with them more this year and beyond!

I’ve learned that one invaluable type of partnership as a business owner is connecting with other small business owners. I’ve loved getting to know other creatives through Tuesdays Together and Triangle Wedding Connection throughout the year! #CommunityOverCompetition is real and it’s beautiful. We learn from each other, collaborate on projects, and have fun together! I also had lots of fun as “Co-working Mondays” became a thing with a few friends who also work from home - at least on Mondays. I may get less done when I work alongside others, but it’s a lot more fun! :) (Be sure to follow along on my Instagram & Facebook stories for fun co-working Monday boomerang videos!)

Wedding Photography

Building my photography business up in Raleigh hasn’t provided me too many opportunities to photograph weddings as a primary photographer yet - and I know I want to, because my wedding photography experience in Virginia taught me how much of an honor it is to capture such an important day in a couple’s life! I did photograph a courthouse wedding in Durham in November (one photo in the collage down the post, & more photos to come in a separate post!), and I also loved being the second photographer at several weddings throughout the year! I haven’t blogged these weddings because I like to let the primary photographer shine and feature her/his work, but I do really love serving couples and photographers through this role, too. I love being people’s right-hand woman for the day and getting more creative & behind-the-scenes photos! Thank you for inviting me along Mylina Russell Photography and Story Photographers!

I also partnered with other wedding vendors for a fun styled shoot at Stonewall Farm in Youngsville, NC. Styled shoots are great ways to connect with vendors and models, try out new techniques, learn from each other, and have a grand ol’ time! I loved meeting people at this event and capturing some fun, joyful moments.

Photography Sessions

While weddings were few and far between, I’m so thankful that I got to capture lots of sweet babies, families, and individuals in sessions across the year!

I started photographing Olivia with her newborn and 6 month sessions in 2017, and I wrapped up her session series with 1 year photos in 2018! It was so special to me to be able to walk alongside her and her parents across her first year of life, and I’m so glad they have photos documenting her growth during that precious time! Babies grow and change SO quickly!

 
 

One of my best friends Heaven moved to Garner with her husband, and they had their baby Phoebe in April! I started the New Life Collection with them and captured maternity, newborn, and 6 month photos for them in 2018. It’s absolutely insane to think that we’re already 3 months away from Phoebe’s 1 year session, but I’m excited to continue capturing moments for them and to design their photo book with photos from all across Phoebe’s first year of life!!

 
 

My, oh, my all my clients (ahem, friends - new and old) brought me so much joy last year. We captured fun & casual headshots, young families, older families, and graduates at clients’ homes, on the beach, among pretty fall foliage, in downtown Raleigh, and even in Portland, Oregon.

These are small highlights from my other incredible 2018 sessions. Be sure to see more photos in my blog posts!

As I look into 2019, one thing I know I want to talk more about is my pay-what-you-can photography system. As I mentioned before, I believe that everyone deserves beautiful photographs that capture this time in their lives. Professional photography is an expensive investment, though, and it certainly doesn’t come high on prioritized list of expenses compared to rent, transportation, and groceries.

I’m asking that those with the means to do so leverage their privilege and opportunities to be generous by paying it forward for other’s photography. Even 10% of what you spend on your collection can help provide beautiful photo art and capture memories for someone else. This money goes toward funding photography collections (including sessions and photo art) for those who typically would not be able to afford professional photography and are not able to save up for it. These contributions go to people who may have never had photos taken of themselves or their kids with anything other than a cell phone, and there is a loving power behind quality photos.

Read more specifics about my pay-what-you-can photography system here, and please help me spread the word if you can! Pay-what-you-can wedding collections and a revamped New Life Collection are coming soon.

 
 

None of the wonderful things that happened in 2018 would have been possible without you all (well, and God). I can’t express how much joy I get in my heart from capturing your everyday moments and special events, and it blesses me multiple times over knowing that you get joy from what we create together, too.

THANK YOU for a 2018 full of hitting the ground running, building momentum, and doing this darn thing.

HERE’S TO 2019!


Stay tuned for more recent sessions and a continuation of my Silly Photos series, all coming in blog posts right here in the coming weeks.

Don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for my newsletter, too - all the exciting news and updates 2019 will bring are seen there first! Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to sign up, and don’t be scared of too many emails - I’ll only be popping up in your inbox once per month.

Thanks again, y’all, and happy new year!

In light & love,
Kelly