Happy New Year! Plans for 2019

Happy New Year! Plans for 2019

And we’re back!  How was your holiday??  I gotta say, taking a break was exactly what I needed.  It allowed me to reconfigure my life somewhat and to figure out what to prioritize.  As you know, I lead a pretty crazy life, and I don’t know how to say no to anything.  So activities and self-imposed commitments pile up, and I can’t do any of them justice.  But now that I’ve taken a step back for a while, I’m ready to tackle this new year with a new plan!

Small Christmas tree illuminated with decorations | LotsaSmiles Photography

New Posting Schedule

Firstly, I found my website didn’t really suffer from my not agonizing over it for a bit.  That’s because all of you are amazing readers, and you’re happy to visit for a story, an adventure, or even just a simple photo.  Therefore, I’m going to balance my posts more with my life so I don’t find myself merely spitting out words for the sake of it; no one wants to read that.

The sleepy city of Seattle wakes up to a foggy cold morning | LotsaSmiles Photography

I’m toning down my in-depth posts to just once a month.. unless I have some really exciting things to share.  The other weeks will be focusing on the photos.  I’m bringing back the Biweekly Wows, where I’ll share a picture of which I’m particularly proud, along with the story behind creating it.  I have fun with those posts because I get to really dive in deep with the photos; that’s why we’re here, right?

The remaining week, you’ll get a Wordless Wednesday.  This will be my regular break and opportunity to attend to the administrative items to support my site and business.  These too often fall by the wayside while I’m focused on creating content.  Then the stress builds as I recognize tasks falling out of date or into disrepair.  I’ve finally accepted the fact that I’m kind of a Type A person, so I’m making a conscious effort to take care of myself on a regular basis.  This makes me a better writer and photographer for myself and for all of you.

New Website

The Zion valley floor from atop the Angels Landing hike with the canyon walls dappled in spotty sunlight | LotsaSmiles Photography

You might have noticed that over the break, I did what I had been wanting to do for a long time: I refreshed my website!  I love the new format, and I’m quite proud of the homepage.  It’s sleeker, with a much-simplified format.  It should load faster and be easier to navigate.  Check it out, explore some of the new menus – read some posts while you’re at it 😉 – and let me know what you think!

I’m always open to your feedback, so if you find a particular page difficult to find, or your experience is less than awesome, let me know so I can make it better for you all!

New Products

Print mockup of sunrise in Bryce Canyon | LotsaSmiles Photography

I’m also really excited about some new product offerings.  I’ve opened an Etsy shop to supplement the one here on my site.  If you’re still in need of a calendar for 2019, consider supporting my photography by picking one up from my store.  I’ve done calendars for family in the past, but this is the first time I’m offering them to the public.  And to celebrate the launch, for the entire month of January, Etsy shop purchases are 20% off all orders of $19 or more (2019, get it?).

Hoodie with eclipse pictures printed on front and back | LotsaSmiles Photography

Along with the calendars, I have partnered with an online print shop to offer fun things like posters, sweatshirts, and mugs.  My sea turtle mug already appears to be popular, and I just love how my eclipse hoodie turned out!  I have so many options with what I can design, so understandably, not all options are listed.  If you love a photo and want to see it on socks, a backpack, or a t-shirt (or anything, really), let me know!  I’ll be adding to my offerings regularly, so be sure to check back.

New Focus

To successfully run a business, I have found it important to ask “why” to everything I do.  Why am I blogging?  Why am I posting to social media?  Why am I maintaining a shop?  Why am I even out photographing?  Well.. the last one’s easy 🙂  But for everything else, I’m trying to make sure all of my efforts have a purpose.  And that purpose should support my overall goal.

I don’t know that I talk much about my goal with my photography.  Obviously, I simply love doing it, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.  It’s my passion (one of them, anyway), and it will always be with me.  It enhances my experiences and allows me to relive them with each viewing.

Mother bear with her two cubs in the Alaskan sedge grass | LotsaSmiles Photography

But why share them with you?  Aside from wanting to instill in you some of this love for the beautiful world around us, I want the freedom to continue to do so.  I love to travel and explore, but that sadly isn’t free.  So if my passion can support itself, I can justify that lens or that backpacking trip to Alaska.  And the less I’m tied to a cubicle (both temporally and financially), the more I can travel, the more of this world I can bring back home in my camera and share with you.

So instead of aimlessly going through the motions, I will prioritize efforts that help me toward this goal (thus the new products above!).  This focus will keep me on track and help me provide better content.

As always, I couldn’t do any of it without all of you, so I appreciate your support and patronage.  I am excited for what the new year will bring, and I’m glad to have you with me!


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