5 Years and Growing

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We are now officially 5 years in business and still going. I survived the crucial beginning and I couldn't thank any of you less.. you - who liked our photo, who shares our links/name to your friends, who shares our work around, who treats me like a friend and last but not least, you who engaged our service. The list is long and you know who you are, THANK YOU! There's a saying that first five years of the business is the most crucial time, many wouldn't have make it. But I think that doesn't apply to me, I don't really consider myself running a business. Rather, it's a self-employed thingy where I constantly create something I like, with my physical presence that is. A proper business wouldn't stop to operate when the owner gets sick. Those of us who are self-employed ain't immune to that.

So it got me thinking, is it time to scale up, accept more bookings, train more people and offer more things like videography seeing it's theoretically 'moving pictures'? The short answer is no, not likely at this point. It has been a remarkably competitive time especially at the geographic I'm serving and losing focus on my strength would jeopardize growth on what I'm known best for. It's a long term investment to the brand, and myself that wish to grow implicitly. Couldn't say it better than Seth Godin, there is a trade off when we scale up. It's much tougher to scale up for what I do, I don't have the resources and capacity to stomach the risk yet seeing wedding is such an important life event. I constantly felt short of time, to achieve what I want and to learn many more things I don't know yet relating to photography alone.

Just November 2014, Wedding bookings already reached 40% of my projected capacity for the 2015 calendar year. I'm stoked with the pace of bookings coming in and appreciate all the kind support and confidence given to our work. To be honest, 2014 was the most hectic year ever, it took a toll on me mentally and physically. I feel that a balance needs to be put in place so I have adequate rest, continue to educating myself and better my craft constantly. It's paramount cause the work I produce is personal. I decided to limit the number of assignments each year starting now - adopting the boutique business model. I will only accept assignments from people who I feel comfortable communicating with seeing the limited capacity I have each year.

For the coming years, I really wanted to slow down, unlearn-relearn, have fun and keep creating photographs that are fresh & creative to me. The best work we will get is always on the next shoot. I find that the soul searching part being a visual artist never ends, I needed a platform for me to express even more. To do that, I had an idea of creating a sub brand I'd like to announce today.

Introducing Arte, where I will create Crafted Portraits that are artistic in nature. Portrait is the genre I know best and love most. By spending more time crafting each picture and slowing down the process, I'm able to create work that are of a higher league which is fulfilling. Apart from that, I'm interested to dabble in boudoir photography via Arte. Where Arte will head to is yet to be seen but we'll find out in the next few years. For 2015, I want to increase portfolio for Arte, anyone who has unique portrait needs be it musicians or couple/bride that is keen on a boudoir session, get in touch with me and a limited number of you with exciting needs will get a special offer.

&.b.t.w. - End of this year made me butt-hurt literally. 10 hours or more of time in front the computer editing daily is no joke. Someone please tell me if there's a standing desk available for sale that has adjustable height!

&.&.b.t.w. - Finally decided to add more value to my site. It's now done in a way that it's no longer just a blog. People who don't have time to follow what I do but need to see my favorite work quick can do so with a portfolio page and play music handpicked by me at the same time. On the other hand, I can free myself to blog more things that are not only focused on my photos. How do you like it now?

&.&.&.b.t.w. - Merry Christmas to everyone who is celebrating or happy holiday! Shooting a wedding around Christmas time will almost always get a nice shot with the lights. I've transformed a fairly simple church canteen into this which surprises the church members. But credit goes to these lights and decoration they put up too.

A photo posted by @milanteh on