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2017: Bring It On

Here we are… the beginning of a brand new year. The fabulous (and I feel “long awaited”) 2017! Cue the fireworks!!!

 

I’ve noticed a pretty strong feeling of “this is going to be the year” going around between my conversations with friends, family, business acquaintances, and all over social media. Some had a wonderful 2016, but there was a quite a bit of sadness in the air and difficult challenges for many.

 

Although I have always liked to look on the bright side of life, this year was personally very challenging for me. Yes, my business grew and we were a part of so many amazing events and projects. The people who I met along the way truly made me feel so happy and proud to be such a big part of their most amazing days. I absolutely LOVE what I do and 2016 gave me my first completely full-time full year to do it. And that was a true success.

 

But on a personal side, there were a few “big deal” stresses, losses, and uncontrollable challenges that presented themselves in 2016. And these certainly took a beating on that normally optimistic attitude. As I discussed with my husband on numerous occasions this year, there was just too much sadness all around. Even during the last few hours of the last day of the year, that heavy sadness was still felt in the air. I know that this wasn’t just me, and that many of you were also struggling with some rough times in 2016.

 

This being said, I also know that many of these challenges are still going to be around in 2017. A new year, a new month, or a new day isn’t going to heal or solve all of the worlds problems. However, it does help us take a look at the big picture and refocus, which is exactly what I plan to do and I hope that you will do the same.

 

I’ve always made those January New Years resolutions, which have pretty much been to “loose weight” for the last 15 years. This year, I have several 2017 goals, and I am getting serious. There is no better time than the present to get those goals in check and come up with a true plan to achieve success.

 

Yes, one of my goals is the loose weight. Not just “weight”, but 50 pounds. And not just “loose 50 pounds” but loose 50 pounds before December 31st. And not just “loose 50 pounds by December 31st” but to loose between 4 and 5 pounds each month so that I actually achieve my dramatic weight loss by the end of the year. And I am telling you all about this now, so you can all help me stay accountable. And I am focusing on the Beachbody program, which I already know is very fun and provides the tools that I need for my success.

 

Another goal of mine is to focus on myself. No, I’m not being selfish, but I usually just run out of hours in the day to get something done that makes me happy. So, I am starting a very simple journal (which I will keep on my nightstand) to jot down the ONE thing that I did each day to make myself happy. For example, yesterday I had a great workout. Today, I spent the day with my daughter and we had a blast at the zoo, running errands, and singing the whole first Taylor Swift album in the car. I look forward to a year of reading, buying (or growing) flowers to keep in my house, exercising, cooking, singing, nature and creative photography, learning to knit, and probably a lot more manicure/pedicures. I’ll also need to throw in some “buying myself new clothes” since I will be getting super skinny… hehehe. I just need to do one thing for “me” every day.

 

As you can see, I am being pretty specific with my goals and my plan to achieve them. Sure, some things might come along throughout the year that may cause me to edit these goals a bit.

 

Check out this great video that shows a bit more about making clear goals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-SvuFIQjK8

 

And as a side note, we can totally build a video like this for anyone. We call it a “Whiteboard Video”.

 

Use this to build your own plan. Think about those challenges that presented themselves in 2016. What can do you do now to make your life just a little better (or a lot better) than last year? If you feel comfortable, share one of your goals in the comments section here. And if you need some help to stay on track and being accountable, chat with my hubby Herman, who does this stuff for a living. J

 

I hope that this sense of “newness” is uplifting to you. Let’s all make it happen in 2017. This is going to be our year. Share this blog with those who might benefit from a better 2017.

 

 

 

Image of this super cute calendar is from Ink and Card. You can actually buy this online here: http://www.inkandcard.com/listing/469556298/2017-marble-and-pink-calendar-lets-do.

The Photographers Blog

Here we are.  A brand new website and a brand new blog.  In all honestly, this is my third attempt at a blog for A Storybook Image, but I am pretty determined to keep this one going.  Through these other trials, I’ve learned quite a bit about developing a photographers blog.
1) Don’t overcommit yourself: My last blogging attempt started in January and I swore that I would put out one video blog each week for a full year.  After about four or five weeks, I determined that I was pretty crazy.  I run a business, I am a photographer, I am a videographer, I manage lots of other people, projects and things, I am a mom, I am a wife, and I do my best to keep at least a little bit of a social life. Fitting in a video blog once a week, where I develop the ideas, do the shooting, producing, editing, uploading, and sharing…. yeah, again, I was crazy.
2) It doesn’t need to be fancy: Nowadays, most of us have short attention spams.  In fact, I may have already lost you here.  Keep it short and simple… to the point.
3) Don’t forget your voice: My original blog contained a lot of lists.  It is completely okay to use information and ideas from another article or blog (giving them credit of course), but don’t forget that people are reading your blog because they enjoy what YOU have to say and share.
4) Mix it up: I’ve really admired some of my fellow photographers blogs, which contain a mix of their work, their experiences, some tips of taking or being in pics or videos, as well as their opinions of things going around within the industry or in the world.  In this blog, I want to include all of that, but I also want to include more about my own experiences as a business owner and mother. I may even include some of my favorite recipes and a little complaining about potty training… nothing is off limits here.  ?
5) Be open: I don’t want to type or shoot just to type or shoot.  This is a form of expression and I want you to read and watch my blog. Therefore, if you have something to say or something to suggest, please do it.

The Traveling Photographer

By Heather Markert

 

Capture the day to day

We’ve all done it, gone on an amazing vacation to get home and realize you only took 15 pictures, none of which even had you in it! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the fun activities of vacation, but it’s important to remember to capture all these moments so you have them for a lifetime. A family picture in front Cinderella’s castle in Disney World, is great… but probably not what you’ll remember most looking back on the trip.

 

Timing

Sometimes you go to take a great shot, and it falls a little flat. Perhaps it’s the lighting or the weather, but the timing of a shot can make worlds of difference. The sun alignment, or morning dew can change the whole feel of a picture.

It’s all about who you’re with…

Vacations can be the highlight of the summer, but it’s not all about where you go, but rather who you go with. Your pictures should reflect the people who got to share the amazing memories with, because it wouldn’t be the same without them. In addition the human element in a photograph makes for a more compelling shot.

 

Lights, camera… ACTION!

Posed pictures are great to grace the holiday cards you send out to all your loved ones, but to make your shots more realistic try having them be raw, authentic, non-posed pictures. Overall, the point of photography is to capture memories and emotions, and there is no better way for a photograph to illustrate this than if the emotions are happening in real time.

The beauty of nature

Vacation is a great excuse to explore new places you haven’t had a chance to visit, so don’t be afraid to let your pictures reflect the new ecosystems you encounter. Each speck of this world is uniquely beautiful, and you don’t need anything more than a camera to be able to see these sights even when you’re back sitting at your desk job.

 

Live a little

I have watched so many of my friends miss great shots because they didn’t feel like bringing their camera or were too afraid it might get a little wet. When you let go a little, great pictures are taken.

Tips and Tricks for the Traveling Photographer

Capture the day to day

We’ve all done it, gone on an amazing vacation to get home and realize you only took 15 pictures, none of which even had you in it! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the fun activities of vacation, but it’s important to remember to capture all these moments so you have them for a lifetime. A family picture in front Cinderella’s castle in Disney World, is great… but probably not what you’ll remember most looking back on the trip.

Timing

Sometimes you go to take a great shot, and it falls a little flat. Perhaps it’s the lighting or the weather, but the timing of a shot can make worlds of difference. The sun alignment, or morning dew can change the whole feel of a picture.

It’s all about who you’re with…

Vacations can be the highlight of the summer, but it’s not all about where you go, but rather who you go with. Your pictures should reflect the people who got to share the amazing memories with, because it wouldn’t be the same without them. In addition the human element in a photograph makes for a more compelling shot.

 

Lights, camera… ACTION!

Posed pictures are great to grace the holiday cards you send out to all your loved ones, but to make your shots more realistic try having them be raw, authentic, non-posed pictures. Overall, the point of photography is to capture memories and emotions, and there is no better way for a photograph to illustrate this than if the emotions are happening in real time.

The beauty of nature

Vacation is a great excuse to explore new places you haven’t had a chance to visit, so don’t be afraid to let your pictures reflect the new ecosystems you encounter. Each speck of this world is uniquely beautiful, and you don’t need anything more than a camera to be able to see these sights even when you’re back sitting at your desk job.

 

Live a little

I have watched so many of my friends miss great shots because they didn’t feel like bringing their camera or were too afraid it might get a little wet. When you let go a little, great pictures are taken.