And what a year it was! My dad has always advised me to work for myself, go into business, be my own boss. In fact, I recently edited Dad’s memoir (he’s 91!) and one comment in particular, talking about his own father, sounded very familiar:

He also said to me, quite often, “Mike, when it is time to go to work, I want you to be in business for yourself. If the best you can do is have a peanut stand on the street corner, at least you are your own boss and not at the mercy of someone else.” Those words have stuck with me throughout my entire life.

It took me a while but I finally started listening, and I’m so glad I did.

On Safari for Dad’s 85th birthday

Throughout 2021 I have turned a “get paid for your hobby” business into a true entrepreneurial adventure. I could not have done it without the help and support of some very talented people guiding me in business practices, marketing content, social media strategy, branding, and web design. And I definitely could not have done it without YOU! To all of you who have hired me, purchased my work, brought me referrals, given me advice, and cheered me on as a photographer of people of all abilities- special needs or otherwise…Thank You!!!

This past year I once again got to be the School Photographer for my son’s special education program, and I donated a portion of the fee back to his school. I also photographed families to raise money for their local SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Counsel) on the North Shore. I even documented a super fun event in Boston to celebrate “Sake Day!”

2022 is going to be about growth and giving back. I want to be the School Photographer for more special ed programs in Massachusetts. And I have lots of new ideas swirling around in my head, like photo session themes, home decor portrait planning, and special offers for non-profit organizations – not only those that serve individuals with disabilities. How about more fundraising photo events? Or special packages, maybe even a FREE photo session for your favorite nonprofit organization? Stay tuned…

In the year to come, I want to create beautiful photos and portraits of as many individuals, with or without disabilities, as possible. I will continue to provide my signature fun photo session experience and, from that, images that will make everyone smile. As a matter of fact, in addition to my Friday Family Spotlight, I will be introducing a new weekly social post: Monday Morning Smile. I feel like we all need that!

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