A New Year: Recap and Resolution

Hi Everyone! If you don't know me, my name is Adrian Tan.

Most of you would know me through the business name of Square Hippo Photography and sadly I have made the choice to change my business name to something more generic and straight to the point (even though Square Hippo was Awesome!).

It's a NEW YEAR! so Happy 2014 everyone.

This will be the 1st post as Adrian Tan Photography and there will be many many more to come! In this post, I am going to recap some of last year. It's pretty much a self review for myself and for those who are starting out in their own business (maybe you may learn to avoid my mistakes).


Last year was a turning point for me, I just graduated from university in Photography and Illustrations and was thrown straight into the deep end. I had no idea what I wanted to do, NO Business experience!!, I was unemployed and my dreams were crushed by an architect who was paying me close to peanuts to photograph his buildings.

Jump straight to the positives

My business name was Square Hippo Photography because I wanted to give weddings a go (That name was awesomely unique too!).

recap wedding

The 1st wedding I shot was alright, (beginner's luck) and my clients were over the moon!

My 2nd wedding was not too bad, the weather was a grey as can be (it is hard to photograph in such conditions) and sadly my clients were rather disappointed.

Jason Tey Photography pick me off the ground and sure and slowly, my skills started developing as a wedding photographer. I now second shoot most of Jason's weddings and I thank him greatly for the opportunity he has given me.

I finally found my place in shooting commercial headshots and boy did that win my heart all over again. It was really tough though because not may people cared about the quality of headshots and sure enough, there were plenty of photographers who shoot headshots for 50bux and without any business/PR experience, I pretty much sucked at promoting my services.

There were plenty of ups and downs and sure, sometimes I would just hate the world and hate myself. I did not aim to be successful, all I wanted was to earn enough to support my partner and my family.

"Enough with the Negatives of last year."

As for the positives I became a WA graduation photography manager for a company named GFP Studios within a few months of working for them (one goal checked off my list). I love working with the people there, they are all such lovely people! and yes that was my bread and butter.

I met Ron Gibson from Go NetworkingLinda Le from Gen Y Advantage and Lun Lin from Victory Mortgages (who has become one of my closest friends) and they taught me everything I know today. Sadly depression clouded me last year and I lost the plot, but I am back a new man this year and already utilising what I have learnt!

I joined Rotary of Perth and met lovely people like Rebecca Tolstoy from Tolstoy & Associates and Michele Alexander (Belmont Rotary) from Your Local Business Coach  and they really sparked my inner heart to be a better and happier person I am beginning to take on this year. Trust me, you will feel much better!

That's pretty much it for last year. As you can see, I let the negativity cloud my mind last year and I got nothing from it.

What I have learned is that if you want to succeed in anything, you have to get off your death bed and fight for it. Yes DUH! it's a no brainer, but it's not an easy task and I am sure many people fall into this trap and never crawl out again.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes
  • and Don't be afraid to be rejected by people.

I now go by the rule of "1 out of 10 will say yes" so don't worry, just keep going and soon that 1/10 will become 1/5 and you can look back to say "WOW look at how far I have come".

New Years Resolution!

To think positive, work on my communication skills and to allocate some time for Rotary (I really do want to help).


I thank everyone who has helped me come this far. May you all have a mighty year!