2019 and Business… Not a good combo.
Let’s get into some realness…
…. Because obviously sharing my birthing experience and the challenges of early motherhood hasn’t been real enough, right? Just be glad I didn’t tell you all about how she pooped her entire car seat the other day on our way to swim, and how I had to pick her up out of a pool of baby doodie, wrap her in her clean swim towel, and wipe out her car seat with 735 wipies one handed, while balancing my poopy baby on my hip. Oh wait… did I just tell you that? Oops.
Anyway this one is about the struggle (business-wise) that is 2019. As I mentioned before… finding the work-Mom balance hasn’t been easy. Add to that, 2019 has been an absolute shit-show business wise and it had nothing to do with me taking a couple of months off to have a baby. I knew going into this year that our bookings were down and I spent a solid 6 months trying everything I could think of to get our numbers up BEFORE I took leave to push out a kid. I tried new ad types, I dropped prices, I kicked out incentives left and right, launched promotions… I tried everything I could think of. I wish I could tell you that at the last minute I figured it all out and my business continued to soar while I was sore. But that’s not true. I was 100% unsuccessful.
I’ve been a bit spoiled, I’ll be honest. 5 1/2 years ago I had a business partnership explode in my face. I thought I had lost everything. I didn’t have a portfolio I could use to market myself… I had nothing… almost. What I did have was a reputation with some amazing women at Wedgewood Weddings. When they heard what happened, they wanted to work with me. They gave me a chance, the spread the word about me, and by the end of that terrifying year I had 3 venues referring me to their client base. From there my business climbed up… up… up. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have these relationships and I have maintained them over the years.
This year, thanks to these relationships, we are still in business… it was just a shockingly slow year. I’ve talked to a lot of other vendors in the industry who have experienced the same drop in bookings that we have. As much as I never want to hear that anyone’s business is slowing down, I was relieved to discover that it wasn’t just me. Still… my wheels have not stopped spinning about how to make 2020 better (so much so that I’ve been wide awake since 4:15am thinking about what to do and how to grow… and I know what you’re thinking… “yeah because you have an infant who wakes you all hours of the night.” But you’re wrong. She’s still asleep… She’s perfect. This is all me.) For one thing… I think it just naturally will be. We’ve all concluded that a lot of people have put their weddings off until 2020 so that they can have a “cool date”. Sounds silly, but it’s real.
Fingers crossed that I don’t jinx this but our bookings for 2020 already seem promising… However, I calculated my overhead for this year and based on our decrease in bookings, let’s just say it had me up ALL. NIGHT. The good news is, that when I can’t sleep… it’s because my wheels are spinning, and ideas are forming… and I jumped out of bed finally at 5am because I think I have a solution.
Wish us luck! And until then… send me those referrals! Mama needs to make some cheddah! (so I can buy Brynlee more cute outfits and take more photos of her… obviously)
Below are some photos… sadly, not of my super cute baby… BUT happily, of a gorgeous wedding I recently photographed at Wedgewood Vellano. All joking aside, I love sharing my wedding work as much as I love sharing photos of my baby – I hope everyone can appreciate both! 🙂
I really loved working with Ashley & Chris… they are adorable, and their wedding was perfect!! Take a look…
For more information on wedding photography, family portraits, or any other photo needs – please visit briannacaster.com and drop me a line 😉