2018 - Looking back, a year in reflection
I'm late writing this post and getting it posted, but hey "better late than never", right? I always try to write a blog post at the beginning of the new year and display some of my favorite images from weddings in Columbia, senior portrait sessions, and headshots. I usually title the blog post something like "goodbye 2018, hollo 2019", but I decided to change it up this year. I'll still be sharing photos from this past year but wanted to talk a little bit about reflecting on sessions I shot, things I tried and succeeded or even failed at from 2018 and how I grew from those experiences.
2018 was overall a good year for me personally. I have a wonderful husband whom is truly my best friend we had some great times this year. One of the highlights was when our very good friends from Washington state came to visit. It was so good to see them I cried when they left I miss them so much! Justin and I took little weekend trips to Charleston, Greenville, and Charlotte, we didn't do a lot of date nights rather we do something we call "date days". These date days usually revolve around food which means going to Trader Joe's, or Lowe's Foods, trying out a new brunch spot or just window shopping at Williams and Sonoma. (we could literally spend hours in that store and an insane amount of money). We also celebrated 15 years of marriage on April 5th. We celebrated by ourselves and making a delicious dinner at home and opened a really good bottle of wine. For his anniversary present I surprised him by getting him one of the Ancestry DNA kits, waiting for the results was the hardest part! So we when found out where his ancestors are from it was a pretty cool feeling! I also found a new hobby, becoming a plant lover. I am completely and totally obsessed with any variety of succulents. I think they are the coolest plants. I have lost count of how many plant I have in my house and I love them all! Like anyone I had my ups and down, mostly with maintaining balance in my life between work, home, faith, and family obligations. However I found that lots of heartfelt prayers, daily vigorous exercise, and maintaining a positive attitude, even when things in my life are stressful are keys for me not getting overwhelmed. Overall 2018 was a good year for me, I have a good life filled with amazing people who love and support me and for that I am thankful for the most!
Professionally I had challenging year to say the least. Many of times I thought to myself, "what am I doing wrong? Am I like one of those contestants on American Idol that think they are really good but in reality they are so bad and completely clueless?" Then I have to remind myself that I've only been in South Carolina for two years and that it takes time to build a successful business. On average it takes most business owners three years to grow and build up a profitable business. So the fact that I was able to get to page two of Google in about six months is a huge accomplishment and I am very proud of that. I tried out different avenues of advertising that I hadn't tried before such as Wedding Wire and The Knot. Unfortunately neither of those had a return on my investment and that was extremely disappointing. However it did help with getting traffic to my website, thus bumping me up on Google searches, so thats good! Despite those challenges I shot several senior portrait sessions, headshots, engagements, weddings, and anniversaries. And all of those clients found me via a Google search or a referral from a wedding vendor. I also had the chance to meet and work with several amazing Greenville wedding photographers by second shooting for them. I also took part in several styled shoots in Columbia, Charleston, Charlotte, Greenville and Augusta. It's common for new photographers that are wanting to learn and build a portfolio to attend styled shoots. But I took part in styled wedding shoots so I could work with specific vendors I admire and shoot at venues that are on my bucket list. I have had the chance to work with some of the best in the wedding business in the south this year and I cherish those images so much! So even though I am still getting my name out there and slowly building up my business here in Columbia, SC I am having a wonderful time in the process. Thank you so much for all the love an support from my clients, friends, family and wedding vendors I wouldn't be able to do this with out you!
Here are just a few shots from weddings, portraits and styled shoots I took this year.
Nina Bashaw is a fine art portrait and wedding photographer serving Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Charlotte, NC Augusta, Ga, Nashville, TN surrounding areas and worldwide destination weddings and elopements.