It's time again. Every December, I like to take a moment and look back at the year gone by.
BIGGER AND BIGGER STILL
2017 was Zack Wussow Media's best and busiest year so far. I said the same thing last year and the year before that, which is all very exciting of course! The biggest change was in weddings - more on that to come.
Beside work, this was a huge year for me personally. I got married in April, and bought a house in August! Needless to say, it made for a very exciting and hectic year!
Very Busy Fall
As with the past four years, I spent my weeks September-December taking yearbook photos all over New England, and most weekends at weddings, editing weddings, and booking more weddings. As in previous years, more couple chose to move their weddings into autumn. In September, I had eight!
Which brings us to the exciting bit...
WEDDINGS: 26 (UP 7 FROM 2016/2015/2014)
I felt so busy this year, but it wasn't until recently I actually tallied up all the weddings and just... Wow. That's an extra third more weddings. Which is very exciting! Lots of you lovely people have been passing my name around and it's showing.
It's also an odd position to be in, though, because until people start getting married in the winter, this is close to the max I can realistically do. Something I will have to think about going forward.
My career total now comes to 117 weddings!
ENGAGEMENTS: 8 (SAME AS 2016)
As with last year, the majority of my engagements were sold as part of wedding packages. I'm still really glad that it's becoming a popular option - its great getting to meet and work with couples before the big day, and I really enjoy doing portraits.
OTHER PORTRAITS: 6 (UP 1 FROM 2016)
This includes headshots, maternity photos, and family photos. Headshots are down 1, family photos up 2, and maternity unchanged.
I've been making an effort to expand this part of the business, especially the maternity side. Unfortunately, I tracked down a lot of maternity folks this fall... and pregnancies take 9 months. So expect to see lots of spring maternity sessions on the blog. Can't wait!
As before, a lot of return customers this year.
CORPORATE GIGS: 6 (DOWN 2 FROM 2016)
This includes product photography and events. Or did, last year, when I did some product photography. It's a field I've never been particular excited about, but worked with some family friends on. This year we dropped it altogether.
Corporate events, meanwhile, are great. Very similar to weddings, but lower stakes and spread more evenly through the year. If memory serves, this year I did exactly the same events as last year, which is great. If they wanted I'd happily book for the next decade!
COMING OF AGE/MISC. EVENTS: 2 (DOWN 3 FROM 2016)
I can't say this section makes me especially happy. I did no coming of age ceremonies this year. That's something I would like to do more of, but I admit I'm at something of a disadvantage. I don't personally come from a culture that celebrates any big coming of age events, so I'm a bit in the dark when it comes to where people find their photographers, what they are looking for, what they expect to pay, etc. We will see where it goes next year.
The misc. events category was, as usual, an odd assortment - one wedding rehearsal (a substitute for package engagement session), and the other a first birthday party. Though perhaps I should count that as a coming of age event!
TOTAL: 48 (UP 3 FROM 2016)
I love how much this number hides the actual change in my workload. Since I traded four little jobs for weddings and then added another three weddings. It was a crazy year.
I drove about 13,000 miles for work this year, split about 70/30 between my yearbook season and everything else. Because naturally the year I have eight weddings in September is also the year I have mostly out-of-town and out-of-state schools! Luckily, I also bought a new car this year before most of the travel, so I got to travel in the relative luxury of a Subaru Imprezza. (I do genuinely love that car!)
I also flew to Chicago for a wedding, which was an amazing trip and supplants North Carolina as the furthest place I've traveled for a wedding. (If you want me to travel to your wedding, drop me a line, we will make it work!)
My wife, Heather, was my second shooter for eleven(!) weddings this year, up four from last year. It's really fun having her along, and it helps pay our mortgage, which is important me to.
I also read 45 books, and watched 83 movies. If I had to pick the best of those that came out this year, I'd probably recommend Thor: Ragnarok and Turtles All The Way Down by John Green respectively (if you like to get your recommendations from wedding photographers). Also, it appears I neither watched nor read anything about photography or photographers. Oops.
Next year's looking pretty good so far - I've booked around fourteen weddings, a fair number of engagements and events, and have hopefully lined up a handful of maternity sessions.
January actually has my first wedding, a trip to Florida (pleasure, not business), and the eagerly anticipated moment when I am totally caught up on editing for the first time since mid-August.
I'm sure this spring will bring a fair amount of work on the new house, and Heather and I are trying to, finally, get away for our honeymoon sometime around the one year mark.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I might take a week off as I start to update my portfolio here on the site, but otherwise we'll be back to regular blog posts soon. Hope you had a great holiday season, and a very happy New Year!