Ally Frances Photo

January 19, 2022

A Year in Review: 2020

I love looking back on the year when December hits. It’s important for me to reflect on my actions and give myself insight into how I’ve been acting in my personal life & business (which is completely connected of course). I like to evaluate myself and try to become more efficient in any way I can.

This year, as I dove into professional photography, of course I made some embarrassing mistakes. This was my first year doing photography FOR REAL. I would love to add mistakes I’ve made if you’re a beginner photographer looking for important tips. Here’s some:

  1. When you move away from your subject, you need to make your aperture higher. I thought I could leave my aperture on f-stop 1.8 for “the best clarity” all day during a photoshoot. A lot of photos were blurry because I moved backed and didn’t adjust the aperture.
  2. Do not increase your ISO unless you absolutely need it. Your ISO will make your photo blurry if it’s too high. I don’t go past 400 now from bad experiences when I put it too high and caused grain in my photos.
  3. Create an organizational system before you start capturing a lot of photography. I did this wrong too. I did not have a clean organizational system to go back to after photoshoots. I did not download all the photos at once and set them to specific folders with Raws and Edited. I did not make albums of each photoshoot to easily refer to. I did some of these things but it was not completely in order, when it needed to be. This led to confusion and more time spent on organizing when I could have done it from the start. Make room for the photos because they take up so much storage as you do more photoshoots & weddings.

Now, I know how to be better / more efficient for next year. Mistakes are real blessings if you choose to learn and be better from them. Mistakes are inevitable so it is important to approach your mistakes with a healthy mindset. It takes time and experience to learn what’s important to stress about and what’s not. I still feel like such a newbie and I always have a ton to learn. I cannot spend my time stressing over every little mistake I make as a business owner, so I use it as education to improve.

Highlights from this year:

  • 3 weddings
  • 1 styled shoot wedding
  • 20 portrait sessions
  • 5 couple sessions
  • 3 creative sessions
  • 2 family sessions

What I learned needs to be developed as a photographer:

  • Editing style
  • Personality
  • Client’s perception of you
  • Rolling with the hectic moments

—My editing style is vintage and sometimes very old timey looking. I love creating photos that look old and imperfect but full of emotion.

—My personality is very outgoing and loud at times. I like letting people know that before they book me.

—The way your client perceives you first and foremost on social media is very important. Your social media is a reflection of your work, style, vibe, all important things as a photographer. Make sure to be your authentic self on social, you don’t want to mislead your clients.

—Rolling with the hectic moments is seriously the most important piece I’ve learned. There are moments I’ve had in photoshoots or weddings I did not expect at all. Instead of panicking, I allowed myself grace. I accepted I didn’t know what to do and that I had to react professionally. It led me to finding solutions instead of getting upset. My best example is catching a surprise proposal on camera and right after I got the proposal it said “storage full.” I was lucky enough that it happened right after the moment passed and that it didn’t occur while he was on one knee 🤣

I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has supported and cheered me on when I was starting this all up. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my family, close friends and support from people who love my work. Thank you so so much.

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