I was originally planning to combine this post with a “highlights reel” of my favorite images from last year, but as I started making my list of “I can’t believe that happened” moments (henceforth to be referred to as “ICBTH”), the list was waaay too long to make into a double post. So you’ll likely have a highlights reel post to look forward to next week. HA. And YOU thought we were done with 2013 review posts, didn’t you? Suckah. (just kidding).
This list is made up of moments/occasions that were especially big/significant for me this past year, whether it was shooting related or something more personal. Every new year in business will definitely have its ups and downs, but 2013 had way more highs than lows. Or maybe I’m just choosing to celebrate the highs, rather than focus on the lows? Whatever- let’s get to it!
(in no particular order other than a loose chronological list)
1) Attending UNITED and being asked to speak on a panel. That was pretty darn cool. I learned a lot at UNITED, one of the most important lessons being just how very many other crazy talented photographers there are out there. I guess you could say I came away from Santa Barbara with a newfound appreciation for my own insignificance. It was awesome! (no sarcasm there, I’m totally serious). AND I had the opportunity to attend a shoot led by Mike Larson- dream come true!
2) Learning to really embrace and celebrate personal work. While in Santa Barbara, I shot all of my “just for me” work on my Contax. It made me realize that I really do love shooting film, but I love it most when I’m shooting for myself, not other people. Since then, I’ve made a much more concerted effort to make time for work that speaks to my soul.
3) Speaking at Radford University’s Communication Week to a jam packed lecture hall of Comms students eager to learn about social media. And trying not to sweat through my chambray shirt so that everyone wouldn’t see how nervous I was.
4) This. To capture such an important moment in my friends’ lives was inexpressibly special.
5) Shooting my cousin/maid of honor/childhood confidant’s engagement session on the beautiful Bald Head Island.
6) Photographing my other high school best friend getting engaged to her sweetheart beneath a massive old oak tree…
7) …and then photographing my their engagement session in Savannah. Another dream come true!
8) Traveling to Kansas City to capture the wedding of two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I wasn’t sure what to expect of KC, but it was amazing!
9) Having the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented Pam & Anne of ATrendy Wedding on several occasions throughout the year!
10) Getting baptized alongside my husband. So incredible.
11) Heading to Surrey, England to photograph the wedding of James & Deanna. I’m an Anglophile and I’m not ashamed of it, and shooting a wedding in England was an absolute dream come true. It’s tempting to try and pass it off like it wasn’t THAT big of a deal, because , you know, *tosses hair* “fabulous” photographers get to do sweet stuff like that all the time, but I was geeking out for sure!
12) The two-week trip with Matt that resulted from item #11- we had the chance to zip around London for a few days, visit our family friends Andy & Angie in Stamford (my favorite place in all of England), and bum around via all of the various forms of transportation offered in England.
13) During the same trip, we also spent time in PARIS! After James & Deanna’s wedding, Paris with my favorite part. I can’t wait to go back!
14) Hosting my first workshop. This was a game-changer for me, and the experience taught me a lot more than I anticipated. In the best way possible, of course!
15) Ballerina portraits. I finally had the opportunity to photograph the kind of sessions I’d been dreaming about, and it’s turned into a bit of a love affair. I’m up to three sessions at this point and we’re just getting started.
16) Refreshing the brand (quite) a bit. After embracing my love of all things classic, Jeff Shipley took on the daunting task of turning my mumbo-jumbo descriptions of what I wanted and putting them into a website. And he did a marvelous job.
17) Realizing my love of travel, and seeing how much my clients have responded in turn with their own desires to shoot in new places! My 2013 destination engagement and anniversary sessions took me to so many new places last year!
18) In that same vein, shooting in New York City for both Mike & Kristin’s engagement session and Corey & Kelsey’s anniversary session! Matt & I had our own anniversary session in New York in 2012, and ever since then I knew I NEEDED to go back for a shoot of my own. And both times, I walked away feeling as though I was walking on air.
19) Connection Mentoring sessions. It all started with a few informal Skype dates with my friend Kaitlyn, and from there I realized that I really enjoyed the format of long-term mentoring.
20) Anniversary sessions. I’d photographed a few of these in the past, but it wasn’t until this past year that I really began to understand WHY they’re important. Anniversary sessions are really important to me and they’ll definitely be a larger part of my business this year!
21) Hosting the northern Virginia Shoot & Share group. This gaggle of photographers that meets once a month in my home never fails to blow me away with their generosity, talent, and ability to inspire.
22) Shooting a wedding in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Because white sand beaches and Caribbean sunsets will never get old to me!
Thank you to every single person who’s stopped by the blog in the last year. I’m always so encouraged and uplifted by your feedback, and I really appreciate you spending your time reading my ramblings and viewing my photography. Here’s to an even more incredible 2014!