Oh 2023, what a wild year this was for me, my family, my business and everything in between. If you’ve followed me on Instagram this year or have spoken with me directly, you know that 2023 was a year of tests for me. I’m proud to say I have learned so much after experiencing so much; I want to share a few of those lessons with you here!
My 2023 Year In Review
Let’s talk about the statistics and numbers of 2023:
- 36 cross-country flights
- 2 cross-country drives
- 9 states visited
- 32 families and seniors served
- 19 couples served on their wedding day
- 88 blogs posted
- 90,000 website views
- 3.06 million website impressions
- 3 education courses completed
- Helped five photographers directly through my mentorship programs
- Finally started my email list (hello to you if you’re reading this from my newsletter!)
- Sold 3 houses
- Refinanced 1 house and bought another
- Went through a year-long probate process after the death of my adoptive dad
- Moving on to our fourth high school experience in less than a years’ time
- Moving to our third home in less than a years’ time
It’s just been the most incredibly busy, intense year all around and honestly – I’m super glad it’s over.
The Lessons I’ve Learned in 2023
As you can guess, with all the trials, comes many lessons and as I mentioned, I’m very proud of walking away from 2023 with some new insight.
- Business is going to change, often and without bias
- The post-pandemic gap year is something everyone in the photography and wedding industries is suffering from
- It’s okay to walk away from situations, locations and people that do not bring joy to your life or weigh you down
- Family is often the people we choose rather than the ones we are born into (or adopted into, in my case)
- Raising teenagers is hard but so incredibly rewarding
- Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing and it’s often in that frozen state where we can gain the most clarity of a situation
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2024
2024 is going to be the year of courage for me; in fact, courage is my word of the year for 2024. Let’s define what courage is:
I have spent a lot of my life living in fear and in 2024 – fear of judgment, failure, success, the unknown, change; honestly, you name it and I’ve used it as a success to hold myself back. It’s time to go balls-out about some things that I’ve been waffling on because the time of fear is over. In 2024, I’ll be working one-on-one with one of the best educators in the photography industry (hi Ben Hartley!) and visiting Orlando to go to an exclusive mastermind with him, I will be launching my first digital course as well as releasing some awesome digital products and well … a bit more.
You’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s up. 😏
Hey there, I am Ashley Durham, west-side Phoenix wedding & family photographer specializing in unposed, authentic and classic documented moments that capture the fun, beauty and realness of your life. I am happy to serve couples and families all over Arizona, Southern California as well as Las Vegas. You ready to have an incredible time together?? Message me today!