2016 was a whirlwind. I shot more, traveled more, wrote more, taught more, and experienced more than I ever had before and I noticed something. The constants, the solidified, and the established were what I sought out to find in each minute that I spent with people. This is what I noticed, this is what was fueling me to keep going, and this is what I want to share with you.
27,388 images is a lot to deliver to people I have grown to love so dearly. In those thousands of images you’ll find a myriad of things. Flowers, cakes, rooms, decorations, invitations, quiet moments, loud moments, laughing moments, crying moments, and everything else in-between. However what you’ll find the most of is people, being themselves, and letting you in. Last year I made it known that I wanted to be included; I wanted to be more than just a photographer, I wanted to be a friend. In the pursuit of this level of inclusiveness I found that the door goes both ways, that to be included I have to also include. A mutual effort of letting each other in created some of the most incredible work that I am most proud of and that I might always be the most proud of in my life. This was the year that it all became solidified and concrete in what I am meant to do in this world. I’m meant to be an advocate, a voice, a confidant, a support, and a friend. As you scroll down and see laughs, smiles, and quiet content moments with new beloveds, I hope that this joy you’re witnessing isn’t passive or something you overlook. What you don’t see on your side of the screen is the context of this joy and context is sometimes a messy thing. We lose loved ones, we deal with awkward family structures, we love people who let us down, we let people down, we hurt and yet in the midst of all of that, these people this past year consistently chose joy as the center of everything. Not just their wedding, but everything. They chose joy, not just for themselves, for those around them and each carried this weight with more strength than I’ve witnessed before. Knowing their context and experiencing this joy with these people left a mark on me that I still am trying to process and might be for some time, which for me means that it truly meant something.
This past year has changed my life in the best of ways. If we got the pleasure to work together, please know that I don’t just see you as clients. I see you as friends. I see you as my people. I see you as someone that I cannot wait to see again. You are the ones who greeted me with hugs, doughnuts, welcome notes, homemade meals, christmas gifts, birthday greetings, encouraging text messages, and all things that aide in the definition of support. In every definition of this phrase, there is no way that I could do this without you.
2016 is over in just a few short days and although I am tearfully sad that this year has already come and gone, I could not be more excited for what 2017 holds because if it’s more of this? Man, I’m game for a lifetime.
2016 . . . fin.