Courtney Malone

Here you'll find some of our most recent family stories, as well as tips and tricks for aspiring lifestyle photographers.

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CMP Business | Looking Ahead to 2020

Wow, 2019. You were good to me.

When the year started, I had BIG goals for this little business of mine. I wanted to launch a new lighting and posing course for fellow lifestyle newborn photographers, and photograph 60 newborns over the course of the year. I was revved up and riding the high of 2018 which brought so much growth to CMP at the start of 2019, and wanted to keep that momentum going.

Well, fast forward a couple of months into the year and into my second pregnancy with our son, Riley, and I realized quickly that I may have to readjust my expectations for the year given my rapidly growing belly (and subsequent discomfort) and my upcoming maternity leave.

Overall, 2019 was a success both personally and professionally. We welcomed our beautiful baby boy on August 15th, and I took a 4 month leave from my business to spend time with our new family of four. I also photographed 43 beautiful babies (not including Riley!), and more families than I can count. Honestly, I’m shocked at how much was accomplished in 2019, and it gives me great hope that 2020 is going to be even more amazing from a professional standpoint

I’m a big fan of goal setting and dreaming big, so I wanted to publicly share my goals for 2020 with you here in this space! So without further ado, here’s a look at what I hope to achieve in 2020!

Courtney Malone Photography Goals

  1. Photograph 60 sweet babies in 2020! Newborn sessions are the heart and soul of my business, and I pray that this year I can continue to hone in on my newborn offerings. I’m quickly and gratefully becoming known for my Fresh 48 and In Home Lifestyle newborn sessions, and it’s been such a gift to me! I also hope to grow my studio newborn business, and especially love the idea of this session as an “add-on” to a lifestyle session – the perfect pairing for refined newborn portraits as well as a more casual story telling approach.
  2. Photograph 40 children for Heirloom Portraits. My heart is bursting at the seams over these beautiful, traditional children’s portraits. I love seeing your little ones personalities shine during these sessions, and leaving you with images that are true works of art. This year I’m taking the show on the road with plans to visit Charlotte and Tampa for portrait sittings!
  3. Scale back on outdoor lifestyle family sessions. This one is tough for me, but with two young children at home now, it has been really difficult for me to leave in the evening hours to photograph your beautiful families during that gorgeous golden hour light. Because of this special season of life we are in with our littles, I’m going to be implementing a new system for how I take on family sessions! At the beginning of Spring and Fall, I’m going to publish a calendar of my availability. Once the spots fill, I’ll close my outdoor lifestyle family session calendar until the following season. I’ve done this for the past two Fall seasons, however this will be my first time implementing it for Spring/year round. My hope is this new system will allow me to better serve your family, as I’ll have more options for rescheduling should weather get in the way. I’ll also be able to devote more 1×1 time to helping you get the most out of your experience. Most importantly, it will also allow me to better balance my work and home life, and to truly be present for my family in the evenings!
  4. Publish my “Lifestyle Newborn Lighting Framework” course in the second quarter of 2020. This has been a work in progress for about a year now, and I’ve been pouring my heart into coming up with lessons and workflows for my fellow newborn photographers around lighting for lifestyle newborn sessions. I’m most frequently asked about how I use artificial light in such a natural way for in home sessions, and I”m so excited to bring an in depth course to my fellow professional photographers in the new year!
  5. Open up the doors to my Frameworthy Photo Course (my signature course geared towards moms who want to FINALLY learn how to use their fancy DSLR cameras), twice in 2020. I plan to open the course in the Spring and again in the Fall, and I cannot WAIT. This course has been a game changer for so many mamas, some of whom have even gone pro since taking the course! I hope to pour more time and effort into providing resources and being present in our online community to help my students continue to grow in their photography skills.

Personal Goals

I’ve also set a few personal goals for the year. I heard this quote while listening to one of my favorite podcasts a few days ago – “Every action you take is a vote for the kind of person you want to become.” It was a conversation between Amy Porterfield and James Clear (the author of Atomic Habits. You guys. I stopped in my tracks. It’s the phrase I hope to live by this year. I want to live and breathe that phrase – in knowing that every action, and very importantly – every action I DON’T take, is a vote for the kind of person I want to be.

One of my biggest goals for the year revolves around my own health and fitness. I’ve always been active, and consider myself relatively fit, but 2020 is the FIRST year since 2014 that I haven’t had a person living in my body or had surgery, or BOTH. That’s FIVE years of something pretty major going on with my body.

God willing, 2020 is the first year that my body is completely my own. I pray that I can truly take care of myself this year. I feel like this is FINALLY the year I can really push myself to get stronger. I love working out at MADabolic, and my biggest goal is to move up a weight level (or two) in 2020 and to take my strength and fitness to a new level. I’m going to show up at the gym and give every workout all of my effort, with a focus on being STRONG. I cannot wait.

I also hope to do a MUCH better job with sticking with a budget in 2020. We started out great in 2019, but in the final stretch of getting ready for baby, things got a little nuts on the spending front! I hope to really reel it in in 2020 and to focus on only purchasing things that we truly need. When I spend, I’m going to think of that quote. What does buying this say about who I want to be?

Lastly, my husband and I both want to spend LESS time on our phones, and more present with our children. We are extremely guilty of feeling the need to respond right away when things come up for work. We actually came up with a code word for when we spot the other on the phone, rather than in the moment, to gently nudge each other to pay attention to the precious little people who so desperately need our full attention right now. We are in the thick of it in the craziest and best sense. Life with these little ones is extremely demanding. Work pulls us in a thousand directions. There are NO breaks, and we end each day exhausted. But we also end each day with full hearts over our daughter’s precious voice, her out-of-nowhere amazing comedic timing, and her deeply devoted Elsa obsession. We end the day feeling grateful for our son, who gets more handsome with each passing day. We want to savor every minute of this exhausting but fleeting stage.


So there you have it! I’m so ready for you, 2020. I’m not one for big resolutions, but I love the beauty of a fresh start and new window to really dream big and make things happen.

So tell me, what do you want to make happen in 2020? I know you can do anything you set your mind to!

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