Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Spring review of my 2012 goals

Hi everyone!

Well, yesterday was such an exciting day for me. I finally got an iPad!!!

Ta da!

My friend Sas updated hers, and we struck a deal and now an iPad is mine. ALL MINE! ;D

And I'll just say now, I'm in love with it! I'm already looking disdainfully at my poor iphone and it's smallness which was once a feature. But my iPad is shiny and new and BIG! haha. I'll calm down soon I'm sure.

What with yesterday being the first day of spring, and I achieved one of my goals of getting an iPad, I thought this would be a good opportunity to review my goals for this year.

The observant may have noticed that I have a page dedicated to my goals on this blog.

So...let's see how it's going....!

Okay we'll have a look at my health goals which are maintain weight loss, exercise regularly, continue eating well, and take Sundays off.

I'm afraid to say I'm not doing very well in these areas. And Sundays are meant to be Me Days, but I have ended up letting other things overflow into those days. That's my own fault and I simply need to be stricter with myself as I really enjoy a day to chill out, get all beautified and watch films.

I think the biggest mistake I may have made is to stop blogging about my weight loss and my exercise goals because apart from having an injury from running late last year, and taking a break from running all those miles, I have slipped into bad eating habits again.

As a consequence I have put weight on and I'm not doing as much exercise as I would like. So I'm now going to address these areas and get back on track again because that's the only way to go. I felt much better and had more energy when I was eating very healthily and working out regularly. There are so many benefits, it would be madness to undo all my great work.

Let's have a look at my work goals. Continue developing social media skills. Yes, well I'm always keeping up to date with as much as I can with what's new in social media and it's something I'm very passionate about. I use social media that every aspect of my life including work and play and projects and social arrangements.

Launch wedding photography services. Yes I am happy to say that I can tick this one off the list. I launched my wedding photography services in January. I'm only going to take on about three or four wedding photography bookings this year. That's due to my other work commitments. I don't want to take on too much, because it's important that I keep balance just right.

Website make-over on Yes I've done this too! It's a one-stop-Karen-Strunks-site. It is quite a basic and simple design, and I will probably play around with a bit more, but it's something that I've been meaning to do for a long time and I'm very happy with it. The benefit of having everything under one roof is that people know what I actually do. The problem I had in the last year or two was that some people only knew me for my photography work, some people knew me from talk about local, some people knew me from the Birmingham Social Media Cafe, or the 4am Project. So now when somebody visits my site they can see all the areas that I'm involved in.

Oh, and I've moved my photography site from to Don't ask me how I managed to do it! That was one big learn-as-I-go challenge.

Next goal. Get sponsorship and funding for the 4am Project. This goal is still outstanding. Now there are two parts to this. One is to gain sponsorship, the other part is to gain funding. I've had a few approaches with regards to sponsorship but they haven't been right fit, and it's very important to me that if I find a sponsor they match 4am Project and it's ethos.

The second part to this goal is to secure funding of the 4am Project. Obviously this requires me to apply for the funding from some organisation or other. As you may be aware I received funding from Channel 4 and Screen West Midlands couple of years ago. I'm keeping that option open and I may apply for some funding, but whether I get sponsorship or funding for the 4am Project, it will continue for as long as I want it to. I've been running it since 2009, and it will naturally come to an end at some point. It would be nice to get more sponsorship/funding, and I know that I will have to do actively go out and do that if I that's what I want. So I'm leaving this goal in the air at the moment. There's lots of things to consider, so we shall see!

Things I want to buy. I have put here that I want an iPad (check! See above!), an iMac, and a 10 mm lens. Okay, well I've got my iPad! I don't have an iMac but in the meantime I do have my MacBook pro, and I think I'm not too bothered about 10 mm lens now. If one happens to pass my way, that would be great. But if not that's okay too.

Now to the big one! My life goal. To live and work in new York city. Well, let's say that I haven't achieved that goal. Yet! However, as you can see it's a pretty big goal. And apart from my health goal, and to generally be very happy in life,  this is one that's the most important to me.

Times Square

I find it quite hard to actually talk about this goal. I could a blog post everyday about my passion for New York City and how much it means to me, and how much it would mean if (when!) I achieve my goal to work there. Because it's such a big goal and it's so important to me sometimes I find it quite hard to talk about as I'm so emotionally attached to it. If there is anything in life that keeps me going, it is this goal. I'll say no more about it now, other than whether it takes one year or five years or 10 years, it's one that I intend to achieve. Unless! I change my mind! lol.

So there we are! This is a quarterly review of my goals and I'm pleased to say that 2012 is going really well.  I'm really happy, I'm loving my work and the people I get to work with and meet. I love being kept busy and it's all good so far.

I've decided to make the month of May a month for me. I have a week off to spend on myself. I think it's really important to have that balance. And I'm still upset that I was ill with a cold on my Christmas holidays lol. I am saying no to a lot of things for May (unless it's a trip to NYC!). I'm concentrating on myself and I think that's perfectly okay. If I'm not happy then I can't help other people and be at my best.

And as for the rest of the year bring it on!

How's 2012 treating you so far? What's been the highlights? Are you going to change your goals and review them throughout the year?

I hope 2012 is going well for you! There's never a wrong time to have a quick review of the goals that you have set yourself for the year and never too late to get back on track, and don't forget that you can always change your mind about things too!

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Monday, 19 March 2012

Midlands Media Awards 2012

I had a great reason to get glammed up last week - The Midlands Media Awards!

I can't believe this is the 4th year I've attended the event, the first time was in 2009 when I was finding my feet with my photography career and had just started the 4am Project

The Midlands Media Awards is one of the highlights on the Birmingham Press Club's events calender, it's sponsored by Birmingham Airport.

And a big Thank You to Birmingham Airport for inviting me as their guest. It was great to see the team again and I was over the moon with having (I think!) the best seat in the house!

I made a Quick Video Of Ed James from Heart FM opening the awards.

Well done to all the winners! I hope next year the Press Club will have a 'Best Hyperlocal Website' category! :)

Storify of some twitpics of the awards winners of the night.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Announcing the next 4am Project date!

Get ready to set your alarm clock for 15th April at 4am!

It's 4am Project time! 

I started the 4am Project in 2009 and it's a global, collaborative photography project that aims to capture a view of the world at the often unseen time of 4am.

It's really easy to take part - and I hope you will! All you need is a camera and a free flickr account. Oh, and a willingness to get up at 4am!

I've set up a Facebook Page and also a 4am Project group on Flickr too, so feel feel to join.

4am Project

This April marks the 4am Project's 3rd birthday. Third! It's been an amazing 3 years and the response to the project has been astonishing. I'm so glad people like it and want to take part!

You can expect a few 4am Project posts over the next couple of months. I have a lot to say about it! :)

In the meantime, you can follow the 4am Project on twitter, see the Press Release here, and put the 15th April in your diary!

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

I won a prize for my Wateraid photo!

So, last September I was a ambassador for the charity, WaterAid. I headed to Cardiff and took part in a 6.2 mile walk around Cardiff bay and did some live social media reporting en route. It was a jolly good day, all the walkers were in great form and I took some photos along the way, including this one.

Well, it's only gone and won a prize! 

I got a lovely email from WaterAid saying I've won £100 voucher from Kathmandu. Whoop! 

But what to choose?! After a long time on their website looking through all they have to offer I decided to go for.... a new suitcase!

Earlier this year I actually managed to lose a suitcase. I have no idea how. It was at home, then it wasn't. I can't think what I've done with it and it was one of my favourites too.

But, now I have a new one! And in red too.

Hybrid Trolley v2

I've got a couple of short trips coming up, so I will put my new bag on a road test. Where am I going? I shall say no more for now other than hwyl fawr and addio ;)

Thank you WaterAid and Kathmandu!

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Friday, 2 March 2012


I'm just going through some notes (tip: never throw your notes away, you never know when they will come in handy!)

And whilst rifling through pages and pages, I found this gem that someone once told me:

L - Luck. Keep going and make your own luck
I - Innovation. Take a simple idea and convert it into something
F - Be frugal. Conserve cash in good times. Prepare for lean times
E - Never EVER stop

That's actually just what I needed to read right now and has spurred me on. I've been struggling with an idea this afternoon and that's reminded me I just need to get on and Do It! :)

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