I know this is past New Year and seemingly late but I prefer a year review after the year has finished and there has been time to sit back and think about it all. So this is my, 2018 year review...from June!

Leaving a job I had worked hard to climb the internal business ladder was a difficult choice. A choice I had to make! My life at the time gravitated towards my work which left my personal life floating off into space. I had dreams and ambitions beyond the 4 walls of an office. I wanted to be a photographer. I loved my job. I love my family. I love photography. So whilst on a family trip to Tauranga, we met up with someone who asked us the right questions regarding life, work and family. From this point, my life and my family's life was about to change. Sense had hit me like an asteroid! I had to give up my job. I missed far too much time with my then, 1 1/2 year old daughter. She was growing so quickly and learning new skills, at times I barely noticed. My time to be a photographer with a business was shortening.

So when we got home, I wrote out my resignation letter and sadly, handed it in. My new lease of life gave me more time with my family. It also gave me the opportunity to create a business. Turning my hobby into actual work was a big step. A step I took lightly but I am learning. Many of the greatest inventors or business people failed many many times before they became successful. To me, it is about how you respond to failing or making a mistake that makes a good business entrepreneur. Never give up at the first hurdle. Things get better and better.

So, my first job being a photographer was a cake smash! I was so excited to do this. They just look so much fun even for an adult. Some friends of ours had their little boy turning one so I offered a cake smash shoot for practice. It turned out great! The wee lad had a ball and we got some beautiful images. My favourite from the shoot would be the one below.

Only a few days after this was my big ankle reconstruction operation which put my out for a fair chunk. Never to see a downer on things, this gave me opportunity to do the paperwork side of my new venture. Once I had finally got back on my feet I could not wait to get started. But wait I had to. I created a Halloween mini shoot which didn't take off. I was really disappointed it didn't. As a business person, I had to evaluate why it didn't work. What did I lack? Was it expensive? Was I even too late in advertising? So many questions floated in my head. October was a really busy month for me and in the back of my head, I was having the whole month off. I was getting married on the 6th. I had family come over from the UK to spend time with and celebrations to enjoy.

I had the great pleasure in photographing my first wedding for a friend (you can read about this in a previous blog post). Was a massive learning curve but an awesome experience. Certainly turned my head and become interested in learning more. I thank you so much for this chance!

With Christmas fast approaching, I learnt from my mistakes on the Halloween shoot and advertised my Christmas special early. After doing research, I had altered my pricing as well. I reaped my rewards in learning from mistakes as this one was a good hit. Not a big hit but a good starting platform. Along with this, I secured myself a playcentre's Christmas photoshoot as well. I absolutely loved seeing all the excited smiley faces of the Children. It was such a wonderful experience. One for which being a photographer makes worthwhile!

Towards the end of the year, I ran two competitions. Both to win a portrait shoot. One was the good ole guess the sweet jar weight which was full of a mixture of sweet. Second was an easy, tag, like and share the post. I love competitions. Always adds excitement when you enter and you sit and wait hoping your name or number is called. Competition should always be friendly though.

In terms of landscapes, I had a pretty relaxed last 6 months of the year with very few landscapes in the tail end of the year. Below are my 3 of my top 4 of the year:

These have been my favourite of this year. The first image (top left) was from 'Pupu' Springs in Takaka. Such a beautiful spot. Well recommend a visit if you are in the Tasman area. Clearest waters I had ever seen.

The sunrise (top right) was the best sunrise I had witnessed at New Brighton Beach. I met some fellow photographers there also which was a great pleasure!

The bottom image is another from the Tasman area. Riwaka Source in Riwaka itself. Tucked away is this hidden gem. Stunning forest scenery and cool waters leading to the source. Beneath the Takaka Hill! This was also my first panoramic stitched image too. It was made from 6 portrait images put together using lightroom.

My top image of the year was an image I woke extra early for. My alarm sounded 0330 so I had time to travel to my destination and organised for a sunrise mission. It was taken at a location I found rather than the location I was after but it turned out better so I can't complain!

This image I have seen shared among the Instagram world a few times now. My first real image involving me in the scene.

First the new year of 2019 I have set myself goals throughout the year. Started several projects to work on between family time and toddler chasing - my daughter is quick! I have set out genres I would love to work more on and learn. I am hoping this will be a big year and a huge leap forwards for my business.

Thank you all for taking your time to read. I hope everyone has had a safe and happy holidays.

Make the best you this year!

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Steve Sims Photography | Family Lifestyle + Portraits + Landscapes | Christchurch, New Zealand

021 0842 9799



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