Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, February 12, 2018

This is the Year Everything Changes...



Last year, around this time, I had a night out with Harriet, it was the last night out I would have until New Years Eve that wasn't work related, I worked every single weekend apart from one in July when I was in France with Abigail and I was working Saturdays and Sundays with up to 20 sessions every week, I loved it and it was all fine until I crashed and burned in October.  Now thanks to the brutal weather conditions we've had this winter, I've only shot 4 sessions since before Christmas but it hasn't mattered as I've been growing my businesses in other directions and also generally recovering.  I've also enjoyed some fabulous Saturday nights out that I wouldn't have had if I'd been working on the Sunday such is my commitment to my business.

This year, I'm making some big changes so that I can find the balance between still running the businesses that I adore and also having a quality of personal life which should in unison make me the happiest I've ever been.

Last year mini photo shoots, small 30 minute sessions costing £100 including the digital images which save around £200ish off the list price were the success of my business and I believe that there is a need for these in the North East of England and so starting this spring I will be offering them on selected dates only.  I'll shoot either 2 or 3 dates a month leaving the other days for writing, blogging and commercial photography.  I've found a love for lifestyle product photography and I think I can bring something different in my own style to the market.  I used to run a design team many years ago for a scrapbooking supply company and I've found that the way I style products is much the same, it's been the biggest revelation to me but Looby particularly loves it because although I'm still working hard, it's from my home.


Creative Food Photography, Mandy Charlton, lifestyle product photographer

I used to photograph products many years ago when I had a studio but it was a boring and thankless task, thankfully lifestyle product photography is a whole lot more fun and with companies catching onto the concept that a simple pack shot isn't good enough anymore, I believe there's a rising need for creative photography.  That brings me to my other point, I love food, we all know this but I want to grow that side of my blog because writing about it, eating it, doing creative things with it, this is the life I want.

I also want to make sure my blog is more focused than ever so I'm currently trying to work on which niches I fit into, I know I want to make it Food, Travel and something else, I'm not sure if Food, Travel and Lifestyle work though because isn't lifestyle a big bunch of everything anyway?  if you have any thoughts do let me know in the comments below.

Last year was really the year I got my stuff together and this year is an extension of that plan.  I'm not offering weekday portrait sessions at all this year as I want to concentrate on not only working from home but also on Looby's education.  After 12 years I've realised I cannot be everything to everybody and it's time to take a few calculated risks even if it means taking a cut in income.  Income though, whilst a necessary evil which pays the bills and allows us to do nice stuff, well it isn't the be all and end all.  I learnt many years ago that there are more important things and whilst I have that second chance, I'm never letting work crush the essence of living again.
This year, everything changes, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, life, work, photographer newcastle

I'm also taking on more small weddings, again I've found a need in the wedding market for high quality photography in smaller timescales, so my 2, 3 and 4 hour shorter wedding photography packages cater exactly for that.

So much good stuff is happening in my life right now, I smile every day and even my anxiety has completely subsided, it's like a miracle and there were times when I didn't ever see that happening again.  It's just the start though and there's still much to do, and so much to achieve, hang onto your hat though, as the best, is most definitely yet to come.
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