The blessings that 2023 brought to Shelby Leigh Photography have been surprising and abundant! I’m not just saying that – I had no idea a year ago what would be in store for this amazing year, but WOW, it’s been fantastic for me both personally and professionally.

First, professionally. Here are some highlights from 2023 that have made their mark on my heart:

* First time to volunteer with A Night to Shine at Park Valley Church – it was such a beautiful event and one I’ve wanted to volunteer at for a while!
* Gave my first Keynote for Prince William Business Connections
* By June, surpassed all of last year’s income and met my yearly goal. Six months early.
* Had my First Annual Coat Drive for Boxes of Basics, $215 raised, and 9 coats donated
* Donated multiple sessions, including Maternity, Newborn, Military Event, High School Event
* Gave my first Educational talk – discussed the value of a CRM and Honeybook as my CRM of choice
* Relationship and work with local vendors, including Love Wedding & Events and Castle Drive Flowers
* Photographed for various community businesses, including A Pup’s Valley, John Wall, CPA, and SAHM Side Hustlers
* Partnered with Ashley Castellano Photography for Christmas “Believe Box” Sessions (and more!)
* I was invited to and attended two vendor events
* I hired assistants in studio and a virtual assistant (you can find Kristy’s work here, too – Kristy Breen Designs )
* I had a session IN The US CAPITOL BUILDING!! (whaaa?! yep, it was amazing)
* I was hired for a session at the Ritz-Carlton (that was a first!)
* Nominated and became Finalist for Washington Parent Magazine Parent Picks for Family Photographer
* Nominated and became Finalist for Washington Parent Magazine Parent Picks for Newborn Photographer
* Nominated and WON “Best of Prince William” in the category, Photographer
* While I don’t have exact numbers, I’m pretty certain I’ve photographed quite a few sessions more of each niche than ever before!!
* As of 12/21/23 of writing this, my 2023 income is just under 3 times more than I’ve ever previously made (mind-blown) Now, while I have only ever worked part time and as I am able (health issues, surgeries, children, etc) I have very reasonable goals and this year just took my breath away…in the best way possible.

There’s probably more in there, including me purchasing a new camera (as I was afraid mine would die at a session)…and I didn’t even need to put it on credit…! The year before, I couldn’t say that…

Now personally!!

* If you know me, you know I’m an introvert, and I don’t typically go out a lot with people. That said, this year, I have really pushed myself out of my “comfort” zone and I am so thankful that I did. I’ve attended several community events, and truly it was time well-spent with friends
* Attended a Military Spouse Event with two friends
* Purchased a cruise for myself and my daughter (with my income!)
* Learned Reiki – true story, and I loved it! Thank you, Mystic Flow and Megan!
* Helped family finances and paid off a credit card, or two
* This is business and personal. I have made some amazing friends THROUGH photography. Thank you. THANK YOU for inviting me (and my family) in to your lives, and for including me in your thoughts, prayers, family events, Christmas cards…and…I’m even a new Auntie…Baby A.

Now, looking towards 2024, I have some even bigger goals, and while I’m a bit nervous to share that fact, I truly am EXCITED about the prospect of even greater things happening for Shelby Leigh Photography! I have a couple BIG projects that I’m working on, and will share as more unfolds with them.

I am looking forward to deeper connections with my friends and with my relationships with other entrepreneurs and photographers in 2024 – I know that the connections and friendships I’ve made through these first two years here in NOVA have helped tremendously to give me confidence and grow my business. If you read this and want to connect, reach out!

I am beyond grateful for each and every one of my clients and the trust that they put in me to deliver their priceless moments and images captured, through my lens.