Taking a look back through this last year, my 2021 yearly recap shows a lot of growth. It was my second official year in the Black Hills as a photographer and videographer. After 2020, I wasn’t sure what the new “normal” would be and what it would mean for my business. Personally, I changed a lot, too. I was pregnant with my first for almost half of 2021 and learning how to be a mom in the second half.
The First Six Months
I started the year off in Utah at a retreat and met some really amazing people. The experience helped me understand that I needed a new clear direction for my business and marketing.
In February, I was honored to be asked back to film and photograph the Sacred Mountain Retreat Center’s annual gala fundraiser. If you don’t know about SMRC, they are an incredible organization in Deadwood that help military and emergency responders with their mental health. I’ve seen first hand the magic that comes out of the retreat programs. The last two years, I have been so grateful to help spread their message and capture their work.
At the end of the month, I captured the cutest girl for her first birthday cake smash! It was too cold to go outside, but we were able to bring some sun into the session, still.
Solvei wasn’t so sure about the cake, but she absolutely loved the homemade frosting her mom made. Before we let her get messy though, we took a few photos as a family to capture the milestone.
March through May were pretty quite months; I produced new episodes for the podcast and met with some amazing artists including local legend Dick Termes and focused on resting through the last portion of my pregnancy. I wasn’t taking many sessions during the time. A mere three and a half weeks after I gave birth to James in May I kicked off my wedding season!
An associate shooter covered a rescheduled COVID wedding on May 15th in Custer, and I started in Iowa at my childhood best friend’s wedding in June. When I returned from that trip, I had back to back weddings in Newell and Newcastle and then it was the second half of the year already!
I didn’t have too many senior sessions this year, but I got to help celebrate several friends with their big accomplishments and capture the achievements
Most Unique Experience of 2021, Yearly Recap
In August, I was asked to be a part of a beautiful retreat. Inspired Designs travels across the country throwing retreats for florists inspiring creativity and originality.
They took their retreat to Camp Bob Marshall in Custer State Park in August, and there was an amazing turnout of talented florists from all over the region. Sandra Nichols and Justin Straw were the Black Hills liaisons that helped to style and throw the event; they had a beautiful vision and theme for each day!
It was definitely one of the most unique experiences from the year. The first day, James accompanied me, for almost six hours. It was incredible to see how well he did while I worked! He barely cried or fussed event though he was only three months at the time.
This little sneak peek reel just shows the first and third day from the retreat as I was at a wedding for the second day.
The Last Six Months
…were crazy. Honestly, I had more weddings than I expected to book. I was happy to have them, but I was a little overwhelmed as a first time mother, too. It took me a little to get in the groove.
In July, I was blessed with the opportunity to head over to Glacier National Park.
A few months later, and I was traveling again from one weekend in Virginia to the next in California. One of my summer weddings connected me with a professional wedding cinematographer in San Francisco who needed extra hands for a back to back weekend of weddings.
As I am writing this, the year really seems to have blurred together quickly. The last six months went by in a flash and I am so excited to use this time in the new year to prep for another busy season.
Top TWO Business Successes in 2021, Yearly Recap
- My business got a huge face lift. I went from Finer Details Artistry with a lot of different directions to Wandering Wilde Media with a solid, consistent plan and idea behind my brand. The official launch has taken a little longer than I had hoped, but it is worth the wait!
- My weddings took me out of South Dakota and Midwest region. I photographed and filmed in Iowa (June), Wyoming (June + July), Montana at Glacier National Park (July), Minnesota (September), Virginia (October), California (October), and North Dakota (December).