"Holy crap Brian! They are awesome!!! Love love love them so far :)"
Now this is much more like it! I know I can't get a "holy crap" from every client, but it sure is nice to hear from time to time, and it's a good balm for the sting of a "we were disappointed".
Looking back over the first year of my practice, I have enjoyed success far beyond what I thought possible. With nearly 100% client satisfaction, and several "holy crap"-like exclamations, I think I have started out on the right foot. I have made some smart investments in equipment and in learning; all are showing a positive return already. I have successfully integrated the business into the household's routine, and established some degree of balance between all of the demands on my time. Ok, fine, I get a B- on that one. But I'm getting better at it. Best of all, I have had a ton of fun and taken some photos that I really like. I study and learn every day, and shoot as often as I can (while bringing up my B-). So all in all, I exceeded my expectations in 2009.
The goal for 2010 is to get good at it. I want to be able to pick up my camera, turn on the strobes, and get to the matter of shooting. I don't want to have to stop to think through all of the fundamentals; I want them to be automatic, like muscle memory, and my camera to be an extension of me. To the degree that I am an artist (subject for much self-debate in a future blog) I want to focus on my creative vision, not how to hold my paintbrush or what colors from the color wheel I need to mix. I want to develop "skill".
Oh, and I want more holy craps.