2015 has been a busy year, and has shaped up to be Zack Wussow Media's best year yet. But it didn't star that way. (Scroll down if you'd like to skip my thoughts and see some numbers.)
The first three months of my year tend to be light on work, and heavy in signing contracts. That was not the case in 2015, though. When March ended, I had booked something like a third as much work as in 2014.
I'm generally an optimist, but I definitely was not in April. Feel free to ask my girlfriend if you'd like confirmation.
Busy Summer... And Fall.
Then, because business is like the weather - the only constant is it always changes - summer came along and kicked my butt all over the place! I wasn't aware of exactly when the winds changed, but I suddenly found myself with plenty of work.
It's been a great season, with lots of really fun weddings. I've had a chance to try some new things, pick up some new gear, and I worked a couple weddings as a second shooter (my first time doing that since I started in 2011).
And, of course, just when things are their busiest, yearbook season rolls around.
This year brought some new things into my photographic life.
Some were bad... Like the folks who tried to con me with a business proposition, or my first run in with broken gear. (Update on the broken lens: Canon did fix it - I suspect they actually just sent me a new one. Pretty quickly and cheaply as well. Five stars.)
Most were great. I got to photograph my friends' engagement, another, messier engagement, my first Sweet 16, my first Bat Mitzvah celebration, and my first costumed wedding. (Especially excited about that last one - when I started this business, one of the first couples I met with were having a full Star Wars themed wedding. They went with someone else, and I've always regretted missing out.) I also started this blog, which has gotten lots of great feedback and has been a lot of fun to write.
Weddings: 19 (Same as 2014)
This one surprised me... If anything it felt like I did more this year. Turns out, that's because almost half my weddings this year were in the last two months.
It worked out, though, as it brings my career total to a nice, even 70 weddings. 100 next year?
Portraits: 9 (Down 2 from 2014)
This includes engagements, family photos, headshots, and maternity photos. Engagements are up, maternity the same, and the others down. Not really a surprise - I don't market myself much as a family photographer, and there's not much call for headshots in central CT.
I would love to do more maternity work, but it's slow getting started. As with most everything in photography, you need a portfolio of work to get jobs, but you need jobs to build your portfolio. I suspect being young and male doesn't help, either. So it goes.
Corporate Gigs: 8 (Up 5 from 2014)
This includes product photography and a handful of events I photograph for the UConn School of Business. Ironic that this is my big growth area, considering I don't market myself here at all. Friends keep bringing me work, and I do it well, so they come back to me.
Really fun work, and the UConn events sometimes include interesting guests, so I'm not complaining.
Sweet 16 and Bar/Bat Mitzvah: 2 (Up 2 from 2014)
My first ever in both categories. Definitely expect this to grow next year - at least on the Bar/Bat Mitzvah side. (I don't think Sweet 16s are very common in central CT? Mine was down near NYC.)
I'd love to see this become a bigger part of my business. Not only are they really fun events, it would be great to have something that is more spread out through the year.
Total: 38 (Up 5 from 2014)
Like I said at the very top - a busy year, and my biggest and best yet. Until next year, of course.
A big thank you to all of my amazing customers, friends, and family. I couldn't do it without you.
Happy holidays, everyone, and a happy New Year!