What a year it’s been! 2021 has been a year of the highest highs and lowest lows. There have been breathtaking wins, heartbreaking losses, and so many lessons learned along the way. As we wrap this year up and look to the future, it felt like the perfect moment to reflect on all that’s happened in 2021.
No doubt about it – Amanda Wose Photography THRIVED in 2021. I had the honor of serving 18 wonderful couples on their wedding days, plus an additional four whose weddings I associate shot for other photographer friends. The seemingly-lofty revenue goal I set in January was met in July, and I ended up an additional $50K over that goal by the end of 2021. I photographed my first international destination wedding, and even got to take Adam along with me!
I coordinated and photographed my biggest editorial shoot to date in the spring, and it went on to be selected for publication – a huge win for me and the team that helped bring the vision to life. In addition to my wedding work, I also photographed countless portrait clients, 90% of which are repeat clients that feel more like friends at this point!
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest achievements was finally getting to go full-time with the business in September. Getting so many hours a week back has been a tremendous weight lifted from my shoulders, and for the first time, I’ve been able to devote my full attention to my business in a way that can only be beneficial!
2022 is already nearly fully booked, a clear indication that next year will be just as fulfilling as this one was.
When it comes to my personal life, unfortunately, 2021 hasn’t been as kind. The year began with my beloved grandmother’s cancer coming back with a vengeance. We were able to surprise her with a drive-through birthday party in late January, which I’m so thankful for now.
Sadly, her health took a turn for the worst and she passed away on my birthday in early March. This has been not only a tremendous loss, but also very much has shifted my identity and worldview. The grief has crept up when least expected throughout this year, but is especially close now during the holidays.
This loss has impacted my approach to my work as well. I find myself drawn to documenting people and relationships as opposed to pretty details. I do less posing these days, and more prompting. I spend time talking to my clients, explicitly asking who the important people in their life are so that I can document those relationships authentically.
This isn’t to say that 2021 has been all bad, by any means. Ironically, other than the loss of my grandmother, it was our best year yet. That loss seemed to weave its way through everything this year, reminding me that life is heartbreakingly short and that all we’re promised is this very moment. I leaned deeper into my own interests, carving out time for myself in a way I haven’t done since becoming a parent.
I homeschooled the girls in the spring, and then they each began public school in the fall! Caroline is in first grade, and Ellie is in kindergarten. Both are happy and thriving, making so many friends and learning at a dizzying pace.
The habit of long walks that I picked up in spring 2020 continued, and in 2021 I also began weightlifting. This has been a game changer in so many ways, and I’ve never felt stronger or more prepared for long wedding days. I used to feel like I’d been hit by a truck after weddings, but now I bounce back with no problem!
To wrap things up, I’m two weeks into a lovely off-season full of rest, reading lots of Jane Austen, and reflecting on all that’s happened this year and my hopes for the next one. I’m confident that 2022 will be one for the books. Cheers to 2021, friends!