Well, I'm a little late with this post, but the turn of the year has been busy, and I guess better late than never...
What an awesome year I had in 2009! Busy, full of new experiences and new people. It was my first complete year running my business, and I've learned so much! I'm so thankful for all of the experiences and blessings that 2009 brought me. Here's a quick recap:
The VERY beginning of 2009 was spent photographing a debutante party at the Houston Country Club. At the time, it was the largest event I had photographed before, and it was a wonderful night! I was working the event with one of my best friends from college, Erik, and he did a wonderful job. We came home that night to a lively New Years party that my wife was hosting at our house!
Although my wife and I have been together for a long time (almost seven years), 2009 was our first year as a married couple. We were married on November 15, 2008, and so we began the year as official "newly weds." I can't believe it has already been over a year since our wedding, but we are so happy and blessed to have one another. I'm very lucky to have such a thoughtful, sweet, supportive and faithful person to grow and experience life with.
I spent March, April and May of 2009 teaching photography at Episcopal High School, my old high school! What a great experience. I had a wonderful time getting to know my students, and seeing their work. The students at EHS are very talented, and I'm very proud of what they accomplished during the semester. I was fortunate to have an incredible teacher (and artist) to work with, Laura Bennett. Without her, I would have had a lot harder time getting into the semester and teaching my students effectively. Laura is an extremely talented, award winning artist (check out her stuff here), and cares so much about her students and the people in her life. I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity, not only because of the teaching experience I gained through it, but also because I made a great friend in Laura.
During the spring, I continued my work with the Yellowstone Academy after school program. My senior year of college, I developed a program to try and teach photography to Yellowstone's (then) 4th graders in the after school program. My students were in the 5th grade in the spring of 2009, and I gave them some new projects to work on. They did a great job, and created some beautiful photos. However, after the spring ended, I felt like we needed to dive in a bit deeper to keep these kids involved effectively. We were using point and shoot cameras at the time. I decided that come fall 2009, we'd learn the real deal...
After a short-scared outbreak of swine flu at EHS, the school year finished, and I was back totally on my own. Running Chris Bailey Photography while also teaching had been a huge challenge, and a lot of late nights! I think Regan was most glad to have me back on week nights (I had to spend a lot of nights at the office to stay caught up on business work). In June, Chris Bailey Photography really began to pick up. The timing was beautiful, and reminded me that I am not the One in control. I spent the summer working hard to grow my portrait business (senior portraits!) and meet with wedding clients. It was a wonderful summer, and I photographed over twenty senior portraits. Thank you to everyone who booked me, I enjoyed working with you all!
As the fall began, UT football arrived! And I love Longhorn football (still getting over last nights disappointment...). Yellowstone Academy started school again, and so I spent some time thinking about where I wanted to take the after school program this year. In previous years, it had just been a spring semester thing, but this year I wanted to try and take it to a new level. I wanted to try and really get the kids invested in what they're learning. I decided to buy a bunch of used Pentax K-1000 fully manual SLR cameras with 50mm lenses. And I began the fall trying to explain to my students how light works in photography, and how we control our camera to make a photo. At times it was a rough semester, and their teacher is not always the best; however, we made some great headway towards the end of the semester, and I think they are really picking up everything. Everyone did very well on their test (I posted an example of their test online a couple months ago). We are going to review the basics next week (first class of 2010), and then they are going to begin taking photos, and working on projects!
The holidays came fast, and kept me extremely busy! Now I know what the "holiday rush" is in the photo world! The last quarter of the year was my best so far, and I'm so excited to see what 2010 will bring. I'm so thankful for all of my wonderful clients, and for all of the opportunities 2009 brought me.
So, how about 2010? What is to come? Well, here is what I've got so far...
I'm booked for nine weddings so far in 2010, eight of which are between January and May. So the first half of the year is going to be very exciting and busy! About half of the weddings are in Houston, and the other half in Austin, so it will be fun to travel a little bit and photograph in some new places.
I will be in the Weddings In Houston's "Before you say I do" Bridal Soiree at the Houstonian on Sunday, January 24th. This is a great place for brides to meet vendors and get some of their questions answered. If you plan to attend, please stop by my booth and say hello.
I will continue my work with Yellowstone's after school program. Like I mentioned before, we are working with fully manual SLR cameras this year. I need to make sure they didn't forget everything over their Christmas break, but after we review the camera functions, they will begin photography projects. I'll keep y'all updated on their progress, and will post some of their work as the semester progresses.
I hope to have an even more successful summer with senior portraits. I had a lot of fun working with high school students and their families this past summer, and am looking forward to doing it again. Be on the look out for some portrait specials in April and May!
Tintypes and my personal photography work continue to be very important to me. As an artist, I want to continually push myself to grow and develop new, meaningful and personal work. I hope to set aside some time in 2010 to focus on some of my personal work, and share that more completely with you all. I began a project in South Padre in 2009, and would like to continue adding to that project. I would also like to spend some time working hard to really understand the tintype process, and all of its ins and outs.
Overall, I'm very excited to see what 2010 will bring, both professionally and personally.
Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!