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Goals

Published by Catherine Nguyen

While I love the start of a new year and the idea of a clean slate, I’m not fond of resolutions.  There’s something about attaching the word “resolution” to a concept that dooms it right out of the gate.  Goals, however, propel me to move forward, keeping me focused on what I am working towards.  They inspire me to be my best self.  So, in the spirit of the New Year, I’d like to share some of my personal and professional goals for the next 12 months and beyond.  

Let’s get personal first.  If you read my last blog 20/20 on 2020, you will remember that I dealt with some rather serious health issues at the end of the year.  I am still recovering, but I’m getting stronger, and I’ve been reminded not to take my health for granted.  The work of an advertising and editorial photographer can be a very demanding job physically, but it is my passion, so I am focused on getting and staying healthy.  

I would like to continue my resurfaced love affair with painting, too.  If you remember from my blog entry Perspectives, my interest in photography stemmed from wanting to capture scenes that I could later paint.  In late 2019, I took an alcohol ink art class with local artist Susie Silver.  It reminded me just how much I love to create art.  I experimented and then posted some finished paintings on social media for fun.  The response to my work was both overwhelmingly positive and extremely encouraging.  

Last year, I posted a contest on social media using a detail photo of a home by Tony Frazier Home Design, challenging my followers and friends to name the architect.  Lauren Burns won on Facebook and Lauren McKay was the Instagram winner, and both seemed thrilled to learn they had won customized alcohol ink paintings from me.  It’s very exciting to be indulging this creative calling.  One of my dreams is to take a painting class that my extraordinarily talented friend Carolina Lizarraga hosts in Italy.  One week in beautiful Italia visiting artisans and experimenting with a different kind of painting sounds incredible.  Hopefully this dream trip can safely come to fruition. 

I thought long and hard about where I want to go professionally.  I’m very grateful for the people I have met and the places I have photographed.  I have been working toward getting my work into more national publications and was elated to be featured in the November/December 2020 issue of Flower Magazine.  I’ll be featured in Flower again this spring for the photo shoot of the home of Martha Schneider, an interior designer and owner of La Maison and Trellis. 

This is a natural segue into my second professional goal of the year, which is to continue building and maintaining client relationships.  A few years ago, I was referred by Tula Summerford of Design by Tula to Alice Doyle, Editor of Flower Magazine, to photograph a small advertorial on Coastal Fog, a home furnishings store.  I am honored that this introduction evolved into a valued relationship and has led to additional projects. 

My involvement within the local home building industry is another example of how my marketing presence and networking has grown and strengthened my client relationships.  One of my clients, Tony Frazier of Tony Frazier Home Design has referred me to several Triangle area builders and designers.  At the end of 2020, I started working with Evan Bost of Bost Custom Homes.  In addition to work for his own company, Evan has suggested to his home building partners in Destin, a luxury new home community in Apex, that I photograph their projects to achieve a consistent look across the website and marketing collateral.  My clients are what keep me going, and it’s connections like these which make me beyond grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the referrals so graciously sent my way. 

Now, I’m off to work on these goals one by one.  If you haven’t already, I hope you will set your goals for the new year, stretching your creative talents and even discovering gifts you may not have known you possess. 

Here is to health, wealth, and happiness for all!