On a typically year off-season kicks off near the end of October and lasts until the middle of May. This year, however, a New Years wedding kept me busy and working well into the snowy months. And instead of waiting until the beginning of Summer to start up again, I am finding myself blessed with lots of work in April.
With only 4 months off, it was my personal challenge to try and fill all of my days with work and productivity, while channelling my creativity and keeping myself inspired in preparation for what would surely be the most amazing wedding season.
Today on the blog: an off-season recap of everything personal, administrative, and business development related, and a celebration of the slower season.
The simplicity challenge was a 30 day instagram challenge that kicked off right after New Years. The idea: daunting tasks could be tackled in 20 minutes, once a day, in pursuit of a life with less physical and mental clutter. Things like cleaning out your junk drawer, or reorganizing your fridge. Even though there's nothing special about January, it sure felt good to kick off the year with some decluttering and organization.
My favourite day: day 2. My bedside table is usually a hot mess of water bottles, self-tanning moisturizer, books, and jewellery. It's the first thing you see when you wake up so make it count!
For more photos from our bedroom makeover, click here :)
Such a good one:
I save over a thousand files to my computer every month, just based on the nature of my work. Decluttering my desktop and emptying my trash is much needed, and Day 14 inspired me to dig deep into folders that hadn't been opened in years and PURGE.
Deleted over a million things... I had to prove it because that number just sounds crazy!
I spent a morning putting together some clips of our family from the last year. Our babies LOVE THEM. They'll sit for an hour watching our family videos on the big TV. I just love watching them grow <3
As a way to fuel creativity, I took up painting! I bought a few brushes, sponges, canvasses, and a huge stack of acrylic and watercolour paints. I made something for our bedroom wall and it's my fave.
This post has reminded me that I need to paint some more.
To cleanse the soul and feel the sunshine on my face, I took a trip with my best girlfriend to Miami. We soaked up every minute on this beach with the sand in our toes. Walsh -- let's go back.
My only regret was not having more time to read. This book is SO GOOD!
I added two new books to our family collection: one from the Banff trip last Spring, and the next edition of 6 months of family photos. I talk a lot about these books in my Beginner Photography workshops, but they'll also be relevant in the classes about Documenting Life.
Being up to date with these albums makes me happy. It's a lot of work, but they're my favourite possessions.
Y'all remember the Tie the Knot Wedding Show where we hustled to create this 3 panel shiplap wall and custom gold sign? This was an amazing off-season feat for sure. There would be no time to create something like this during wedding season :)
Another big task I wanted to take on during this slower season was to re-evaluate the Laura Kelly Workshops and figure out whether I'd be teaching another year of beginner photography, or branch out in a different way. Ultimately I ended up redesigning the entire site and launching 4 new workshops including Instagram & Blogging courses! There has been so much interest lately and I am so excited to be teaching these groups!
The newest edition of the Bridal Guide has been a blessing for my business. It includes my newest pricing structure, along with testimonials written by the loveliest Laura Kelly Brides, plus even more information on my favourite vendors in town.
It answers the awkward questions you might not want to ask, and dives into a conversation about your budget -- what it means for you, and when to trust your gut. It feels good to be proud of what you offer as a small business owner, and this guide makes me proud.
My work has been featured on some truly amazing blogs and magazines this Winter, but my favourite feature of all has to be my best friend Brittany's surprise proposal on How He Asked:
Off-season also happens to be the perfect time to create and deliver albums from the previous wedding season. The Hartins, the O'Briens, and the Weisses received their luxury albums in time for Christmas.
Last but not least, and along the lines of continuing to exercise your passion... I created some beautiful photos with some of the most talented crew in the city; people who I am lucky to call friends.
Whenever inspiration feels lost and you start questioning whether you're in the right place, the only advice I can offer is to create. Devote some time to the thing that makes you happy; work on your craft even if you feel like it's going unnoticed. Pursue your passion and celebrate how far you've come.
Here's to a beautiful wedding season, friends. To the brides and grooms who will celebrate the beginning of their marriage. To the teams of people who make their celebrations possible. And to fuelling the fire that's within.