Time for that new years’ post. The one that puts the last year in review, sets the sights on the new one, and gets a little personal. If you have a blog… this is the post you gotta make, right? 🙂

    I’ll start off with the year in review, for me both personally and businessally. (don’t question my words). and really that’s probably enough for one blog post… so I’ll come back to the next year’s ‘resolutions’ tomorrow.

 So here’s the synopsis:

      We had a baby. (we being my wife & I. I don’t know if you you had one or not. If so, congratulations!) Here’s the progression of year 1…. (january, july, december) 


our other kiddo got older. (he turns 3 in a couple of weeks).


my hometown, home, and equipment were devastated by a tornado. but by God’s grace, we survived and came back out on top. 


the business got bigger. Things grew for 9art immensely in 2011, especially after the summer. This included some amazing commercial opportunities, including:

  •         opportunity to work with rebuild joplin (one of the largest recovery organizations/websites in the area)
  •         opportunity to begin an ongoing relationship w/ joplin tourism taking new photographs of Joplin attractions
  •          I was one of the chosen photographers to work w/ an extreme home makeover family.
  •         I was interviewed by ‘Joplin Metro’ magazine.
  • worked with a variety of other clients outside my usual realm, including Jordan Howerton Band, ‘frontline’ worship group, ‘home is here’ magazine (put out by furniture row) restaurants ‘Instant Karma’ and ‘Monterrey downtown grill’, the tri state business journal, ‘hello destroyers’, and others.
  • got to meet and work with many new family/wedding clients this year. Lots of clients got married and several ‘baby’s 1st year’ clients graduated!

9art celebrated 1 year w/ a studio (back in september).

Being downtown in this location with a meeting/working/shooting space has been amazing. I love downtown Joplin and hope to stay in that area for some time.

The ‘third thursday’ photobooth took off and became a regular part of the Joplin art walk events. So excited to see my studio become a regular stop for the many folks who attend.


9art took on an intern.

Michelle Andrews was chosen to intern for a set period, after which she will be hired on as an employee. A huge step, and something we are both very excited about. Michelle is going to be a perfect fit for the business and will help things run more smoothly in the coming year. Here is Michelle and her adorable daughter (Michelle was a client before an employee….)

I learned a lot.  Yeah. this one is vague. But really, I just learned so many new things this year, in a personal sense and in learning how to run my business a lot more like a grown up. I got a little better at my craft (a goal every year), I became more efficient, and I was humbled into learning a lot of things about how work and life can and can’t work together.

 I celebrated 7 years of marriage to an incredibly beautiful, kind, clever, creative, Godly woman. Autumn has been beside me encouraging me to pursue my passion for the length of our marriage. She has been my best fiend, started a family with me, put up with my ridiculousness and helped keep me on track. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years.

(picture by Whitney Scott photography).

 I (re)learned that God always, always takes care of those he loves. Startlingly religious, I know. But after everything my family has been through this year, I have been reminded that God loves us, and always takes care of those who trust in him. 

I read this book. If you are a creative professional- a newb or established, running a full business or still in school- you need to read it too. It helped me re-think how I think, helped me streamline a good many things, and begin to become a more focused entrepeneur. I’ve still got a long way to go, but this definitely got the ball rolling on organizing my passion.


I got overwhelmed. Busier is better in some ways, and, of course, worse in others.  I got to a point I’ve never been at before, when I had more business than I could handle. I don’t mind being honest about that. Editing fell behind, things were overlooked, and some customers had to have a little more patience with me than they probably would have liked to.

To those clients… I can never thank you enough for your grace and patience. You are amazing people. The summer was a hard one for my family, and I was thrown into a workload that quickly overtook me as soon as the re-settling process was over.

I’m looking forward to learning a new pace this year- with the help of self control, a new employee, and continued streamlining. Can’t wait to set up a new, extremely fast turnaround for every aspect of my business.


That’s my honest assessment of 2011. Tomorrow moves on to the next year. Thanks for reading… hope the pictures helped you get through all that.

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