Year in Review

2016 Highlights: Part 2

Alright, so yesterday I shared the heart of my business with you.  I took a look back at 2016 and couldn't help but share a few of my dreams and goals for 2017.  Today I thought it would be fun to share some personal highlights with you.  I don't share too much on the blog about our life and that is something I have been thinking about.  Who knows, you may be seeing a few more personal and travel posts in 2017, let me know what you think in the comments!

In this season of life our favorite thing to do together is get out and explore.  Since we both work jobs with flexible hours we are blessed to sneak off together regularly throughout the year.  When we aren't on the go we continue to work on and decorate our new(ish) home, share sweet moments with family and host backyard dinners with friends.  You probably won't think this from looking at the list below, but I swear the longer we have been married the more we are savoring the quiet moments of simply cooking together and hosting family and friends in our home. 

Our travel highlights and a few pictures:

A trip to Ireland with my mom and dad. 

Celebrating Ted's 30th birthday in Nashville.

Celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary at the Perry Hotel in Petoskey where we were married (my favorite tradition!)

An Upper Peninsula adventure to Isle Royale, lots of lighthouses and the most secluded beaches.

A visit to Mackinac Island.

Lots of weekends at our family lake house.  My mom grew up in this house and we spent all of our summers there as kids.  This fall we sadly sold the house, but not before throwing the biggest bash that house has ever seen ;)

A trip to NYC, just because I love that city.

A Colorado road trip, that included getting caught in a snowstorm while out spotting the changing aspens, visiting 4 national parks, and hiking our first 14er.

The sweetest long weekend in Charleston to celebrate my 28th birthday.

2016 Highlights: Part 1

Wow- what a year!  2016 has topped them all, and as we close out the year I am welcoming 2017 with a grateful heart and big goals.  But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a little walk down memory lane together, shall we?

The year started with the new Caryn Ashley Photography brand.  It was a dream come true to see this brand come to life.  One of my closest girlfriends helped me dream and plan for what this new sight and brand would do for my business and I wouldn't have wanted to share that experience with anyone else.  Once the new brand launched it really felt like I could jump into the year ready to better serve my clients with an elevated experience.

And from there I spent every possible moment documenting life with all of you.  I met so many new couples and families in 2016.  Together we explored new parks, you opened up your homes to me during lifestyle sessions, and even shot through rain and snowstorms.  During these shoots it not only felt like the Caryn Ashley Photography family was growing, but that I was gaining close friends.  Friends that I look forward to seeing every few months or once a year to capture life's ever changing seasons. 

2016 will also be remembered as the year my little business grew up right in front of my eyes.  Shoots and more shoots started coming, and my calendar filled up.  You have all been so kind as you display, share and post your photographs.  It feels like I constantly have a team of cheerleaders in my corner with clients like you!  Your sweet texts when you receive your flash drives and thoughtful Facebook reviews are the best motivation I could receive.  

I have to be honest with you on something here, I hadn't completely prepared myself for what this growth would look like.  I have been so beyond grateful that all of my goals and dreams are coming true. There have been multiple little dance party celebrations, popped bottles of champagne and quiet prayers of thanksgiving in this season.  But you know what?  It also took me some time to get my head above water.  With every weekend packed with sessions I worked to stay on track with my promise to return photos to you in 2 weeks. Thankfully in that season Ted stepped in and took over all of the tasks necessary to keep our household running smoothly- making the coffee, cooking dinner, cleaning the bathrooms- he was a lifesaver and I just loved him all the more for serving my business in that way.  You all also showed me grace and flexibility as we packed in as many shoots as we could in October.  Thankfully mother nature was a saint this year and we had a few extra weeks of gorgeous fall weather.

So that brings me to looking ahead, planning and goal setting for 2017.  In 2017 I want to serve my clients better.  I want to run a transparent business that shows my heart, the good and the work in progress.  I want to maintain better communication with my clients and create a seamless experience that makes you feel comfortable and cared for every step of the way. 

I write these things here because I want you to hold me accountable to these goals.  I don't ever want to take one moment of this work for granted.  In the off season, as we dive into the cold of January and February, you can find me working hard to elevate my client experience.  To love and serve my clients in the most beautiful way possible. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of this journey, I cannot wait to see where 2017 takes us.