This year was the BOMB. It was filled to the brim with some of the very best people I know, and I’ve met some pretty awesome people along the way as well. It’s important to me to reflect on my years: the triumphs and failures, ups and downs, happy and sad… so I spent the majority of my morning sifting through this year’s blog stories, Instagram shares, and Facebook posts. How awesome is it that we live in a time where we can keep such a personal & everlasting diary?
Anyway, without further adieu, here is my list of highlights from the year… I hope you take a moment to reflect on your own as well. 🙂
1. This past January, I chowed down on some Oreo cookies with a couple of one-year-old twins. This session will stay in my mind and heart for my entire life, I’m sure. Not only was it just stinkin’ cute, but their momma deeply touched my soul. Kind words can do amazing things for a creative heart. I recently received a message from her stating, “I can’t tell you how much I am able to look back on our January photo shoot of the twins and am so blessed by how you were able to capture the moment. God bless the road you will travel in your photography memories.”
2. I had sushi for the first time ever, and my life is forever changed. I would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could. I’m not even kidding either. If you haven’t had it yet, I recommend adding it to your New Year’s resolution list. My favorite is the spicy tuna roll. Yum, yum, yum.
3. Crazy January weather in Ohio. Enough said. I belong in the sunshine. In fact, I’m missing it terribly now.
Their maternity session was unseasonably warm, and the sun was almost as amazing as in Summer, and I loved every moment with this sweet couple. And now… to think that we are planning their sweet little guy’s one-year session. Crazy the way time seems to somehow leave me behind.
4. In February, my cousin, Cecilia Harlow, was born. And I flew down to Florida to capture her. There is nothing quite like a house with a new baby. There’s a special kind of quiet. I don’t think their house is quite as quiet was it was when Ceci was 28 days old, but I’ll find out in about two weeks. 🙂
Let me tell you something, though. There are a few things in life that will never ever get old, no matter the weather or the state or the time of day. Amongst these things are time spent with family, the view from an airplane window, fresh baby smell, and the shrimp tacos from The Backyard.
I still get teary, watching this video of the trip.
5. I feel like I truly found my style as an artist. I know that’s kind of crazy to say since I’ve been a photographer for SIX years. I think it’s always been there tucked way down deep in my soul, emerging every now and then… but I think in 2014, God knew I was ready to stare at it in the face. Deep, rich, emotional, real portraits… timeless… art.
6. I gave back to my community in ways I used to only dream about. $2,000 worth of toys went to children in Seneca country… this picture features almost half of those toys.
7. I finally conquered some personal projects that I’ve been dreaming of doing for years. A couple of examples of which, would be my SAHM Series and my Selfie Project. The SAHM Series was a lifestyle series of photographs, documenting the daily life of stay-at-home mothers. The Selfie Project was an exhibition that took place in the studio. Various women in my community submitted “seflies” and the public was welcomed in to leave encouraging notes… something I will never forget.
A few images from my “SAHM Series”:
Some images from the “Selfie Project” exhibition:
8. I celebrated six years of being in business, and with that, a full year at the “new” studio. I think I’m going to start calling it the “everchanging studio”. Every time a client enters, he or she comments on how much it has changed since the last time they visited. It’s not perfect… not even close. But maybe that’s why I love it so much. It’s a work in progress. Kind of like me.
9. I became a crazy bunny lady. Peter Lou entered my life in January, and my sweet Henry Bug came along in June. I love them dearly.
10. My clients. Sweet children. YOU, reading this right now. Of all things… that is what made my year totally awesome and sock-rockin’. If I can touch just one person with my art, or my words, or a combination of the two, then all would be well in my world. Here are some behind the scenes snapshots that my clients captured with their phones over the year. I LOVE it when my clients surprise me with these. 🙂
2014 continued to teach about the meaning of true love. I learned to understand my value. I created from my heart and let my art feed my soul. I kept my beliefs front and center. Saw beauty in things that others may not, and proved it. I always tried my best, after all, that is all I could do. Understood that there are no rules or restrictions to art. I let my imagination be free. In the New Year, I know I will face trials. I know it won’t always be easy. But 2014 taught me that the importance of seeing that the value in what I do is worth so much more than any bump in my journey.
Bring it on, 2015.