• Abigail Saalfrank

2017: A Year in Review

Updated: Dec 8, 2019

2017 is basically over and I honestly can not believe it.

2017 has been one of the most challenging and craziest years of my life. I photographed 15 weddings, 30 couples, 30 families, 8 seniors, a whole lot of babies and kids, 4 special events, and a few boudoir sessions. I managed to do nearly a 100 sessions while taking 18 credit hours both in the spring and the fall, and 16 credit hours this post summer. I also took a trip to Arizona to attend a conference to learn more about what I do and how to do it better, ad I spent countless hours staring at my laptop. But it has all been worth it and I would not change a single thing. To celebrate this year I am going to be taking the whole year down to 26 key highlights, not only in my business but also my personal life, with the ABC's. Here we go!

A: Amazing- This year was literally so amazing and I can not believe it is over!

B: Big- Some big decisions were made this year that I am so thankful for and excited for. Some of them I can't post about because they pertain to my personal life and family and are not known yet. But I can say that the biggest decision I made was regarding what I was doing after I get my degree next May. I decided that I am going to go full time with photography the second I am finished with my degree. This is a decision I have prayed over, cried over, worried over, spend countless hours on, but it is also a decision I couldn't be more sure of. I am so excited that starting in May I will be a full time photographer. I also can't wait to be able to share some of the other big decisions in 2018, when the time comes. C: Celebration- This year has been such a big year of celebration. I got to witness my parents celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when my dad surprised my mom with a vow renewal ceremony while we were out in California. Seriously I cried my eyes out. I also got to celebrate my 22nd birthday, my mom's 50th birthday, and my sister graduating high school. D: Disneyland- I got to take my first ever trip to Disneyland! Enough said. Although I did decided that Disney World will forever be my favorite. E: Exercise and Diet- This year I learned all about how great exercise and eating right can make you feel. I started exercising and watching my diet so I could help my vitamin D deficiency, stop taking medication, and improve my mood. Not only did it help with that, but I also was able to loose a 25 pounds (totally unintentional which just shows you how much junk I ate), and feel healthier all around. I may still not LOVE exercising but it helps me feel so much better so I am thankful I finally tried it. F: Final Exams- I TOOK MY LAST EVER FINALS THIS WINTER. I actually cried tears of joy. This may of been one of the biggest highlights of my year because I never have to take a final again. G: Graduation: My baby sister graduated high school. Again another moment where I cried my eyes out. H:Hope Taylor- I met some amazing photographers at United but I met Hope Taylor, a photographer who I absolutely love because she is a baby boss like me! I may of shed a few tears, and I am starting to notice that I cry a lot... But honestly Hope is such an inspiration to me, I felt like a teenage girl meeting Justin Bieber. I: IPFW- I managed to practically graduate college this year. I finished all my classes at IPFW and now only have one semester of hands on experience until someone actually gives me my degree. Thank goodness, I am ready! J: Joy- For J I wanted to do joy because my job just has brought me so much joy this year. From my amazing clients and their reviews, to the sessions, to editing photos, I am so blessed to have a job that just brings me joy constantly. K: Kite- One of my fondest memories from this year was in the spring my mom decided to clean out our storage room and found two kites my dad bought her when they were dating. We spent about 2 hours after dinner running around the backyard trying to fly these kites, laughing at how pathetic our attempts were, and screaming with joy when we did get them up! L: Lessons- I learned so many things this year that I am calling this the year of lessons. Seriously though 2017 was a big year of lessons for me, not only with my business but also my personal life. I also was finishing up classes for my degree so there were a few lessons there as well. M: Messy Photography- Of course one of my ABC's had to be my business name! I mean this year was absolutely incredible because the business grew nearly 30%. So much work goes into my business and it is my baby, so I could not be any more proud of the growth it experienced this year. I can not wait to see what 2018 brings. N:Networking- I had the privilege of meeting so many amazing photographers at United and was able to become friends with so many of them. I loved being able to make and build friendships with so many amazing people who do exactly what I do, and can offer support along the way, O: Outside the Box- I had the pleasure of shooting a few things I wanted to this year, like a milk bath. But with my shoots I wanted to go bold and big, and think outside the box, so thats what I did. I ended up creating some images I was so proud of because I was able to step outside the box and challenge myself. P: Purchases- I managed to upgrade my camera this year to my dream camera, a Canon Mark IV 5D. Another moment where I cried, but it was tears of joy. I was so thankful for the growth my business experienced that allowed this purchase. Q: Quick-As I neared the end of the year I reflected back on the year I realized how quick this year went! Seriously I feel like I was just celebrating the end of 2016! R: Rebranding- I spent the last half of 2017 totally rebranding my business by myself. It was so much work, but I was determined to do it on my own! I spent so many hours poured over my computer working on my website but all the hard work was worth it when everyone loved it as much as I did! S: Sixteen- The number of weddings I shot, which was absolutely insane because I did it while taking 18 credit hours. I shot 11 last year and told myself I would be happy if I hit 11 again. However I was blown away to book 4 more, and nearly fill up my 2018 wedding dates this year! T: Travel- This year I got the chance to travel for my first photography conference to Arizona, but also got to travel this past spring out to California to celebrate my last college spring break and get to see my dad surprise my mom with a 25th wedding anniversary vow renewal. I definitely needed some tissue. U: United Conference through ShowIt- I attended my first photography conference this year and I learned so much about what I do and how to do it better. Literally I took 28 pages of notes in 4 days... This experience was amazing and helped me tailor my business moving forward. I can not wait to return for next year. V: Vroom Vroom: I made my first big girl purchase this year and bought my brand new Malibu! Which was such a blessing because I drove a ton this year for weddings and sessions. I did 5 out of town weddings, and 9 out of town sessions! I drove all over Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to photograph some pretty amazing people. W: Wedding Day Magazine- I received my first photography feature this year in Wedding Day Magazine! I was so excited I literally cried, you can ask my mom. They loved a shoot I took of some amazing bouquets and featured it on their blog and Instagram. I was over the moon! X: eXperts- Again the United Conference was life changing and I was able to learn from some of the industries best on how to improve my business. This was seriously such a big highlight of my year. Y: YUM- This year was filled with so much food, because I am a total foodie and I discovered so many amazing restaurants this year that I couldn't skip over mentioning! Z: Zoo- I spent countless hours at our local zoo with my two favorite little people Max and Sam. I love taking them to the Zoo and seeing their eyes light up when they see their favorite animals

A huge thank you to everyone who made this year possible. My parents for always supporting me, my sister for always modeling for me, my second shooters for getting me through (especially Simon, who literally had to keep me together when I was shooting a wedding while having the flu), all of my amazing clients who make this all a reality and trust me to capture the biggest moments in their lives, and literally the dozens of other people who support me endlessly. Seriously I love all of you, a ton!


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