2018 Reflection

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I’m big on writing goals. I strongly believe in writing things down to see them come to life. My husband and I have a yearly routine to write down what we want to happen the following year. Most things happen just as we’d hoped. I also like to reflect on the awesome things that happened the year prior. Even in my darkest times, I like to find the silver lining. This year there were a few memorable things that shaped my 2018 and changed my future.

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1. LOTS OF LEARNING. I’ve taken more courses this year than all 5 years (damn remedial English) of college. The year started out with me being at a full-time job photographing models and clothes for an e-commerce company. I’ve worked full-time before but not really. I had a lot of flexibility when I worked at the Sun-Sentinel for 11 years. So when I got a real 9-6 job, I freaked. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to keep this creative mind cooped up for 9 hours a day. I took EVERY SINGLE lunch break outside of the office because I needed that hour to unwind. Knowing I couldn’t stay there more than a year, I signed up to learn as much as I could. You can’t make your dreams come true if you’re building someone else’s. So I learned. I signed up for what feels like hundreds of courses on business, confidence-building, fear, marketing, pricing, customer service, retouching, and whatever I could get my hands on. It’s been a truly enlightening year. I finally broke free from the fear I’ve held onto for so long.

2. LEFT MY FULL-TIME JOB. I set a deadline, wrote it down on a sticky note and taped it to my work computer. That was the day I had to leave. I went over by a month but that’s ok. The important part is that I made it out alive. And as always, in God’s perfect timing. I’m now back, ready to meet all you amazing people in Miami.

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3. WAS IN A REALLY COOL, SECRET PROJECT. I’ll tell you more about this one later this year. It’s still a secret.

4. HIRED A MARKETING COACH. I knew I needed help to figure out how to not be overwhelmed by all the photographers competing on price. I own a real business. I’m incorporated, pay taxes, have insurance, etc. Just like any restaurant or store or doctor’s office needs to charge certain prices to be sustainable, I as a photographer must do the same. I can’t compete with new photographers and now I don’t have to. My marketing coach helped me find my voice so that I could be myself and serve more families that needed what I offered. I offer a full-service experience. Your session ends with something to hang on your wall and/or display on your desk. It’s important for your kids to see pictures of themselves as part of your family, and the digital age has kept it from them for far too long. You’re busy and most likely haven’t had the time to print pictures of yourself or the kids. I’m doing that for you know. I hope we can talk more in the coming year about how I can help you create beautiful art pieces of pictures I take and of digital-only photo sessions you’ve done in the past.

5. DECIDED ON SERVING ADOPTIVE FAMILIES. This doesn’t mean I only photograph adoptive families. It just means, that because I understand the ins and outs of adoptions, I am the perfect photographer to be there while you are going through this amazing journey. There is a lot of uncertainty during this time. I can help navigate you through the process. And I understand all the lingo. If you’re getting ready to adopt a child or children, I’d love to chat about how I can support you through this journey. When a child who’s been adopted sees a family picture on the wall, and they’re part of it, they get a sense of confidence that they belong somewhere. My kids thank me all the time when they look at pictures of themselves on our walls. They belong here. Let me help you make your babies feel that too.

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6. TOOK PART IN A SWEET 16 FOR 32 TEENS. I am a co-founder of A Sweet Chance. It’s an organization that photographs teens in foster care to celebrate their quinces/sweet 16s. Then we throw them a huge party to celebrate this milestone. It’s important for teens in foster care to know that someone cares about them. We get the community involved in doing so much for these teens. It has been such a blessing. I’m grateful to be part of this incredible project. If you hear me talking about it, join in in whatever way you can. We need help from the community to bless these teens.

7. BECAME A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE EMERY. The Emery is a co-working space/social club for women. It’s a gorgeous space in Hallandale. I hope to meet other women entrepreneurs there this year. I also hope to meet some of you there for your reveal & ordering sessions.

I’m looking forward to all the exciting things coming in 2019! I truly hope I can be part of your family memories. Let’s run into 2019, excited and expecting amazing things. Praying for health, love, prosperity, and lots of happiness for you. Happy New Year!

If you’ve read this far, leave a comment below. Tell me at least 1 thing you’re grateful for in 2018.

Follow me on social media. Links below!

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Janeris Marte

Fun-loving photographer who loves kids