2015 // A Year in Review

Oh wow. 2015, what a year it has been. I started writing this post from my couch the other night - after a 13 hour work day - and though it was a long day, I was so so happy.

I've referred to the last month as the Holiday Hustle and that has held true. Work has been busy, everyone is on deadline and excited to wrap up projects before the end year - or at least enough so we can all take a break. There have been holiday parties and events to go to...and those deadlines. As I was editing that night, I started to think about the last year and I had a realization: 2015 was a DAMN good year.

The Top 10 BEST Moments of 2015 (in no particular order):

1: Celebrated 10 years of business with the #10YearHustle party

2: Launched 3 new websites for our brands: Rivets and Roses, ELIESA and ELIESA Consults.

3: Hired Melissa as our Studio Manager and she has been a miracle in helping all of the businesses run, supporting our team  and allowing me space to grow.

4: Added some of my 'Dream List' clients to my actual client list, the most exciting has been three stories in Food & Wine Magazine and a global feature about Japanese Whiskey in Delta Sky Magazine.

5: Was named one of the best Editorial Food Photographers in the country from PDN's TASTE Food Photography awards.

6: Photographed 20 amazing weddings for Photogen Inc. and proudly had 4 of those gorgeous weddings published.

7: Our Rivets and Roses team has been KILLING IT with their work this year. We have an incredible team of artists and if you haven't seen what they have been up to, check them out: Ryan, Jackson, Thea, Maggie, Melissa and Bryan all inspire me on the daily.

8: Read a few great books, upgraded some equipment, invested in a business consultant who has given me GREAT critique and took the leap to raise my prices for 2016 - yes, I know, it was overdue.

9: Teamed up with the crew at CLReps to show my portfolio on a more consistent basis, collaborate on some amazing projects and expand our client base.

10: Joined a great gym, saw my friends more and even went on a special Friendsgiving trip to Madeline Island. I spent more time with my family, dogs and even booked a few personal trips for the new year.

Every year I set goals and I usually set lofty goals. Last year, a lot of what I was trying to achieve was a better work/life balance, which is always a work in progress. What I have noticed is that a lot of times the success is not in the lofty, big, glamorous ideas, but rather in the little steps it takes to get us there. (You can check out more of my thoughts on goal setting + doing the work on the ELIESA Consults blog). Oddly enough, 2015 brought the hustle, but it also was filled with happiness and ease. When I look back at this year, we accomplished some seriously big things that I couldn't have ever predicted and that is simply one of the things I love most about being a freelancer. Every year, every month and every day is different. The risk is high and before you know it, the small moments have turned into giant victories!

I am humbled when I think of the amazing people who surround me in life - from my family & friends to our clients & staff. I know I have said this a million times, but it is such a pleasure and it is definitely my purpose to be your photographer. It's my dream to wake up every day and make images to share with you all, so thank you.

Here is to Two Thousand and Sixteen and all of the adventures this next year will bring!