Becky Brown Photography » Chicago Wedding Photography

2013 Goals recap and 2014 new goals!

As the new year starts I revisited my goals from 2013 and I think I did a fairly good job at crossing some of them off the list.

Here is the recap from last year and some new goals for 2014 at the bottom so I can hold myself accountable for nex year!

These are both for my personal and my business so here goes….


1. Blog more

I would like to think I did a great job of this, but I could definitely get better since I still about 8 posts from 2013 I need to do…. stay tuned for those…

2. Attend a food photography workshop

This was a swing and a miss. I had one in mind I wanted to attend and after speaking to a fellow photographer who attened it I decided it wasn’t worth the $ so I need to find a new one to pursue in 2014!

3. Learn to say no

I maybe got slightly better at this? Although I did only spend a total of 5 nights at my place in Chicago during the month of September because I had shoots all over the place. I did get much better at saying no to shoots I know are not my specialty. I’m not a newborn photographer and likely never will be so I happily passed on all those leads to great photographers who specialize in newborns…. I’ll stick to weddings:)

For 2014 I’d really like to do less sessions on Sundays. I have to have some form of flexibility for sessions to accomodate my couples schedules, I have to draw the line somewhere and try to have some form of a personal life on the weekends……. especially on Sundays during football season!  PS – Go Colts!

4. Loose weight

Although I haven’t shed the pounds I do feel better than I’ve felt in years by going gluten free on Feb. 1st of 2013. It was life changing to finally figure out what has been causing all my issues in the past years. I am waiting to hear back about my Celiac test, but I know that gluten and I do not get along. Now I just need to drops the lbs I gained over the last couple years of feeling awful. Shooting weddings is a very physically draining job and I know my body would thank me if I were in better shape.

5. Be a better friend

I did not do a great job of this…. sorry guys. Thankfully my friend Lauren got married I did see everyone a couple times this year, but not nearly enough. I mean I have friends who are expecting their second child and I still haven’t met the first….. need to work on this! (Sorry Megan and Jordan)

6. Network more

This one I accomplished! Although there are always more events I could go to I did meet some great fellow photographers in the Chicago area this year!

7. Book 20 weddings

Mission accomplished! I shot my 20th wedding for the year (not including the ones I second shot) on New Year’s Eve! And I’m already over half booked for 2014!

8. Shoot a proposal

This one will remain on my list for 2014 as I still didn’t get to shoot a proposal! Email me if you’re proposing in 2014 –

9. Take a vacation

So this was supposed to be a vacation with no photography involved, but it didn’t really work out that way. I went to Hawaii to shoot a wedding and stayed a few extra days for a little vacation time:)I’m so glad that I did even thought at the time I was panicked about taking the time off during my busy season. ( I did still answer emails while on the beach:)

10. Shoot a wedding in a new state

See above:)I added Hawaii to my list as well as Kentucky for weddings. I also traveled to Colorado to shoot an engagement session! But, I’m always looking to add new destinations so this one is staying on the list for 2014!

I got a little dirty during this shoot in Colorado haha!

11. Knock off some restaurants from my “I want to eat there” list

I will never eat all the places I want to in Chicago…. and I’d be 400 pounds if I did haha. But, I did cross a few offf my list this year such as RPM Italian for my sister’s birthday (Best Eggplant Parm ever) , Publican for my birthday (meat heaven), and Nightwood (best wedding meal of the year) just to name a few.

12. Find a new assistant/second shooter in Chicago

THANK GOD FOR ROBYN!!! I am so lucky that I found an amazing assistant/second shooter this year. Robyn is not only amazingly talented, but she’s funny and easy going so spending 14 hours together on Saturdays is a breeze. Dear Robyn, please don’t ever leave me:)

I’m sure she’ll love me for this pic haha…. but I needed an example of why I hate DJ lights

13. Put myself in front of the camera

I crossed this one off the list in May when I got my new headshots done by the wonderful Angel Canary in Indy:)I’m not going to lie it’s nerve wracking to get in  front of the camera! Now I understand what I put you guys through!

Thank god for Leah Handlon who did my makeup for this…. I could use her skills in everyday life

2014 GOALS

All of the above that I didn’t accomplish will stay on the list, but here are a few I’m adding…..

1. Launch my new website ( for elopements and weekday weddings.

I’ve been working on this, but really need to dig into it in these winter months when I have the time. I love shooting smaller weddings and am hoping to launch the new site by April 1st that will be a one stop shop for couples looking to elope or have a small weekday wedding. I’m working now on the site design and getting all the vendors on board… starting a second business isn’t easy! Stay tuned!

2. Take a trip out of the country

My passport has been sad and lonely in the last couple of years. There are a million places I’d like to go and I’ve promised myself I’ll check one off the list this year!

3. Work more on my off camera lighting

I’ve been pushing myself more in 2013 to explore new and fun lighting techniques, but there is always room for improvement…. you never stop learning!

 4. Revamp my current website/logo

I’d really like to update my current website with a custom site design for 2014. It could definitely use a facelift.

5. Book 10 weekday weddings

This goes towards my #1 goal of launching the new site. I did 4 smaller weekday weddings this year and I’d love to add more to the list next year!

6. Shoot my first same sex marriage

Illnois passed the same sex marriage bill this year and as of June 1st, 2014 same sex couples will be able to get married! Who needs a photographer?!

7. Attend a White Sox or Blackhawks game

I’m working on crossing off all the Chicago teams from my list. I’ve been to a couple of Cubs games. a Bulls game and a Bears preseason game (does that count?) so far!

8. Book a wedding at one of the Chicago venues I’m dying to shoot at

There are so many awesome venues in this city I’ll never be able to shoot at them all, but I do have a list of some of the ones I’d love to shoot at and luckily I’ve already booked a couple of them for next year (Planetarium and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum). But, if anyone is getting married at The Rookery, Salvage One, Cafe Brauer, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Ivy Room, Architectural Artifacts or City Winery  contact me!!! (there are plenty more, but those are the ones that first come to mind).

Thanks to everyone for an amazing 2013! I’m looking forward to another amazing year and hope that when I re-visit this post next year I will have crossed off most of my goals!



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