Best of 2017 | Year in Review / by Jordan Hefler

Y'all I just went back and re-read my year in review post from last year and it's so freaking long. Why did you let me write a blog post that long? Ain't nobody got time for that. This will hopefully be a little shorter (fingers crossed, I like to talk)

I feel like 2017 was a big year of growth for me. I still mentally visualize myself as like 15 years old but this year seemed like the big year of adulting. I moved into my own place, photographed some bigger commercial gigs, realized I needed to start reporting sales tax, dealt with budgeting my money and time more since I'm constantly dealing with back problems- it's been a big learning year.  Did I mention I made 1 year working for myself full time and didn't go bankrupt!? All in all I do feel like it's been a really successful year though!

Here's a lil recap of what my goals were by the end of 2016 and if I made them or not

-Lose 20 pounds and buy a Louis Vuitton purse as a reward / I lost 11 and bought the purse anyways, YOLO

-GET BACK INTO YOGA ONCE I'M HEALED / Did that for a while and need to get into it again

-Make an E-Course for social media and have it available to purchase for download / working on that now! It's *supposed* to be released in January. Click here for more info

-Work more with brands on social media / done and still looking to amp that up in 2018!

-Go on a tour of some sort/travel more in general / didn't tour (kind of got asked for my rates for touring with a band, didn't work out which is fine, my back hurts a lot but I did travel-ish more)

-LIVE ALONE / DONE and the best decision of all time! I love my cockroach infested apt!!

-MAYBE hire some help (an intern perhaps?) / Nah, we still rollin solo

-Solidify whatever it is I am doing in this crazy creative life / Sorta, I elaborate on this a bit at the bottom

-Write shorter blog posts / HA we will see

Now that we got that out of the way, here are some milestones of 2017!

I GOT LOTS OF PRESS! People cared about my lil biz!

I never blogged about this because I suck, but I did post on Instagram about 8208690 times while I was there. I went to visit the city with some friends and we went to the Create & Cultivate conference in Brooklyn. The whole trip was pretty awesome besides our sketchy Airbnb situation and me dropping my phone off of the Brooklyn Bridge (I did get it back and I do still use that phone BTW.)

I photographed Red Hot Chili Peppers, G-Eazy, Blink-182, Vans Warped Tour, and Voodoo Fest!

I shot a lot of other bands too but those were my big deals for 2017. I didn't shoot near as many concerts as I did in 2016, but I have been recovering from my neck surgery since last November and dealing with a lot of lower back pain as well. Long story short- I focused more on doing more things to help stabilize my business this year longterm and sometimes that meant staying put in Baton Rouge and not doing late nights shooting shows in New Orleans. Music photography is still my favorite thing to shoot though and I am eager to see what concert I get to photograph next!

I moved into my own apartment! I love living alone!

I live in the Garden District in Baton Rouge and I LOVE IT. I live in a really old building so there was a lot to do when I moved in (like get rid of a perpetual cockroach situation...if you've been following me on Snapchat and Instagram I'm sure you're aware, and the dead rat that was in my laundry room and my AC going out and then also my heater going out and then also water coming out of my fireplace when it rained) BUT it's all been so worth it. I'll eventually get a blog post up on my place since you all seem so interested.

I did Whole 30... and kind of loved it

I plan on doing a blog post on this in more detail because Whole 30 changed my life. Trust me, if I don't cook and usually live on a diet of Mexican food and Waffle House and I survived and lost 11 pounds, you can too. I'm planning on doing this again soon (like real soon) so be on the lookout for a post about that!

I did a lot of editorial photography

This year I really did a lot of photography for some local publications. I am so behind on blogging this stuff because it was happening so frequently, but I got to do all kinds of stuff this year for 225 Magazine and InRegister magazine, like photograph more LSU football games, photograph John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard, monthly style shoots for 225 like this and this, and more.

IT'S GAMEDAY 🏈 LSU football photographed for 225 Magazine

A post shared by Jordan Hefler 📸 (@jordanhefler) on

I gained some clarity

I realized that my mantra is "Do What You Want" and a lot of times I'm doing stuff I don't want to do. I am tired of putting my time and energy towards shoots I don't want to do, content I don't want to make, clients that don't align with my vision... at the risk of sounding harsh, I'm working on cutting the fat in 2018. Life is too short and my back hurts too much to be doing all the bullshit. We are going full throttle ahead with more stuff that makes me happy, not just pays my bills.

So what are my goals for 2018?

-Become more of a resource for other creative entrepreneurs and photographers. I want to write more tip guides on my blog, and offer online courses and workshops to help inspire others to Do What You Want. Did I hear someone say PODCAST????

-Do more blogging in general and social media influencer marketing. I love creating content for other brands, but I'd love to create more content for myself in partnership with brands.

-Get more organized in my business. Taxes, budgeting, accounting in general... those are my weak points.

-I'm going to need healthcare by September 2nd when I turn 26 LOL kill me

-Get my back right! Self care usually falls last on my list so I'm working on unapologetically putting myself first

Cheers to another creative year! Happy New Year to you and yours and I can't wait to see what other ridiculous opportunities 2018 brings!

Jordan Hefler • Photographer • Creator
Do What You Want / Jordan Hefler

-XOXO, Jordan