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Dec 31 2013

Looking back at 2013! Upswept Creative’s Year in Review

It’s been a memorable year in a lot of ways! It feels like it’d be near-impossible to mention all of it, but we’ve had some fun, made a lot of pretty, and made some memories.

In with the New in Old Town

Window displayWe opened 2013 settling into our new space on NW Couch St. in Portland’s Old Town, and it was quite a change from our old space in Southeast. It’s cozier than before, but the added character, new amenities, and awesome street-level location (complete with a sweet window display area!) more than made up for it!

That also made the perfect opening for Petra to come on board! She hopped right into keeping the studio gears turning, and brought some extra magic to the mix with her styling prowess. She’s the wizard behind our window displays, and she started bringing her panache with floral and visual styling to our photoshoots, over the course of the year.

And speaking of team additions, in the Fall we also added our first intern, Malee! She joined us and flexed her muscles doing some graphic design pieces, and honing her skills for designing and building web sites from the ground up in WordPress.


Workshops! (?!)

I have to admit, workshops weren’t the first thing that sprang to my mind when I thought about things I’d be doing. Public speaking isn’t exactly a thing that comes naturally to me! But, 2013 had me pushing myself on that front–first with the help of Shelby Rice Style in our co-led online class + photo session, Branding Your Style. We loved working together and we’re looking forward to offering the workshop again in 2014!

After that, I found the inspiration to launch my first solo workshop through Upswept: Make The Camera Love You, which is all about being your best, most authentic self in photos. It was really fun and valuable time spent–enough so that we’re offering an expanded version of the workshop in January 2014! We’re adding live mini-photo-sessions to the workshop, so you can practice what you’ve learned and get some individual attention. You can get more information and register for our January 30th session.

I also had the pleasure of presenting at the Siren Nation Festival with a workshop I called Getting To The Heart Of Your Brand. I did that presentation coming off of a nasty flu, but we had an amazing group of ladies who shared great discussions, and gave me a lot of inspiration to take forward. You might be seeing this one again in the future…!

Upswept Creative + Design Week Portland Open House

Rebranding: even tougher when it’s your own brand.

After adding onto the team, and realizing that, hey, maybe this whole, “run a design and photography studio in Portland,” idea could be bigger than just me, the notion of re-branding started gnawing at my thoughts.

The name had already been rattling around in the back of my brain for months, so in the fall, I finally decided to do the work and make it a reality. It was much more agonizing to make branding decisions about my own brand! Our minds, hearts, and emotions can get so tangled up in our own work that everything seems critical and dire. So, when I say that I know how our clients feel, I’m really not kidding, especially now.

Upswept Creative became official in October, and the new name seems to fit like a glove so far. Best of all, we got to unveil our new name as part of Design Week Portland! We hosted an open house gathering together some awesome new collaborators, and chatted with a lot of awesome new people. And, we’re fairly certain that ours was the only Design Week Portland Open House with a pair of live steampunk heroines on-site. 😉

The White Queen - styled by Bonnie Thor

A Couple of Goodbyes

We did have to say goodbye to a couple of people, towards the end of the year. Malee’s internship was for Fall Term, so after her 10 weeks were up, we bid her a fond farewell. But, who knows? You might be see her hand on some of our future projects–some goodbyes don’t last forever. 😉

December also saw our last photoshoot with Bonnie Thor Style, before she moves to California. I had the good fortune to meet her at a summer BBQ over a year ago, and she’s brought endless thought, creativity, and style into all of our sessions. When Bonnie asked about the possibility of squeezing in one last photoshoot, turning a one-look beauty shot into a three-look fashion session was the least I could do!

It’s rare to find someone whom you respect and have fun working with, and who you enjoy as a person, too. I’m so, so grateful that we got to make so much pretty together! We’ll miss you, Bonnie!

Looking ahead at 2014

What’s coming up in the new year? As I already mentioned, January 30th is our expanded Make The Camera Love You Workshop, and we’ll have more offerings in the coming weeks. We’ll have more pro tips and pretty photos coming at you on the blog, too!

We have a few potential changes to make around the shop, and some exciting consultations already on the calendar, so there’s plenty to look forward to. If you’re looking to refresh your brand, we’d be so excited to help you! Get in touch with us, and let’s start talking about making you look awesome.

THANK YOU for being a part of our adventure!

<3, Sarah

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