It's time again. Every December, I like to take a moment and look back at the year gone by. People seem to like seeing the number, as well. So, here we go:
BIGGER AND BIGGER STILL
2016 was Zack Wussow Media's best and busiest year so far. You might notice I said the same thing last year - had I been blogging in late 2014 I could have said the same thing then too. All of which is to say the business keeps growing by basically any measure. Makes me happy.
2016 began from a much better place than 2015. I was still some mix of anxious and excited to get through the slow winter months, but I spent less time eyeing my bank account. Next year is likewise shaping up to be comfortable, if anything a bit better than 2016.
Fall is always a busy time, but this year was especially bad. Good? I guess it depended on how much work separated me and a bed when you asked.
As with the past three years, I spent my weeks September-November (er... early December) taking yearbook photos all over New England, and many of my weekends at weddings, editing weddings, and booking more weddings. It's not so much that I shot more weddings this year, just that they clustered more tightly into my fall yearbook season, which itself was more busy than previous years.
(As an aside - I put together a spreadsheet showing how the wedding season, or at least my wedding season, is shifting later and later every year. The trend is there but not in an exciting enough way to pretty it up for this post.)
And since I am already bringing up numbers...
WEDDINGS: 19 (SAME AS 2015/2014)
Once again, it feels like it was way more than that... I'm actually quite surprised that this number has stayed so constant over time. I believe this year saw the smallest proportion of "hourly" weddings, though, which probably accounts for feeling like this year was busier. Or my memory isn't that great. Either way.
My career total comes now to 90 weddings. (I also second shot 1 wedding.)
ENGAGEMENTS: 8 (UP 4 FROM 2015)
This is my biggest change from 2015. Mostly it's due to engagements now being standard with my biggest package, but it's also partly because I'm slowly moving to a higher price bracket, and people want to work with me on a small scale before committing to the big contract. Which is great - I welcome the on-the-job interview and chance to work with clients before the big day.
OTHER PORTRAITS: 5 (NO CHANGE FROM 2015)
This includes headshots, maternity photos, and family photos. Headshots are up 1, family photos down 1, and maternity unchanged.
I'd really love this to be a bigger part of my business (so if you are interested, drop a line!). Working on that is one of my big goals for the early part of 2017 - expect to see some more involved and creative portrait shoots written up here.
What does make me feel good, though: all but one of these was a return customer. That tells me I'm doing a good job - the problem is with reaching new people..
CORPORATE GIGS: 8 (NO CHANGE FROM 2015)
This includes product photography and events. The "no change" actually hides an important shift. In 2015 those two camps were split evenly 4/4, this year it's 2/6 respectively. That's a great change for me going forward.
Product photography is a totally different business to weddings, and a field I'm lukewarm about. All the work I've ever done in this category has come through family friends. In short, it's nice to have, but not a real focus of my business.
Corporate events, meanwhile, tend to be like shorter, less-convoluted weddings, and distribute themselves more evenly throughout the year. (In fact, since a lot of them are with UConn, they tend to be during my slow winter/spring season.)
So not a big change overall, but within this category the trends are good.
COMING OF AGE/MISC. EVENTS: 5 (UP 3 FROM 2015)
There are aspects to this I am not happy about - I only did one Bar Mitzvah this year, for example, compared to 2 last year - but in general I am very excited to see people thinking of me for things outside the wedding/engagement box. As far as I recall, all of these came from referrals through friends and past customers.
TOTAL: 45 (UP 7 FROM 2015)
Well, that explains why I felt busier! As with all the above: it's a trend I like and hope to see continue, especially if more of the uptick is from small, non-seasonal stuff like engagements, events, and portraits.
I drove almost exactly 10,000 miles for work this year, split 50/50 between my yearbook season and everything else. I'm deeply sick of the inside of my car.
Also, my fiance was my second shooter for seven weddings this year! (Including the above.) Heather has really hit a groove, and it's kind of awesome how much her photos look like my own. Plus, you know, it is nice spending time with her and all.
Next year's already filling out nicely for weddings - I've booked around twelve, at last check. And a fair number of engagements and events.
This winter should see a couple snowy engagement shoots and I have a handful of just-for-fun portrait projects lined up.
I'm also getting married in April. So, you know, work to be done getting ready for that!
With this the blog is on Christmas break while I catch up on the last of this year's editing and spend time with friends and family. We'll be back for New Years Eve, when I shoot my last wedding of the year, and try to come up with some goals for 2017.