Holy guacamole you guys! I don’t know how it happened but today is the last day of a DECADE. That seems big, right?
I always mean to do one of these end of year posts … and always seem to forget. But this year, with the calendar flipping over in a big way, I thought it was time.
Looking Back on the 2010s
Before I jump into what all this year has meant to me I wanted to take it all the way back to this time in 2009. It was around this time that, on somewhat of a whim, I picked up my first camera (a Canon Rebel T2i for those of you who are wondering!). I fell head over heals in love with photography – taking pictures of bike races, my dogs, and our adventures in the mountains. A month or two after that I dropped some serious coin on a lens that was WAY more than what I needed back then. But something told me to do it. “This lens will change your life”, my husband said.
He was right. If you had told me ten years ago that I would eventually leave my stable 9-5 and start a business photographing WEDDINGS off all things, I would have thought you were crazy. But here we are.
The past ten years have been full of learning, growth, and adventure. I’ve found my place and voice in an industry I never thought I’d be a part of. I had a kid. I traveled the world. I lost one dog and adopted another, far crazier one. I fell out of love with skiing and climbing only to fall back in love with them all over again. I hiked and mountain biked more miles than I ever dreamed were possible. I conquered mountains. I conquered fears. I raced bikes and burros. I cried the first time I saw the Northern Lights and then cried again the second time. I made and lost friends. I made my dreams come true.
(me and my #1 doggo on top of some mountain somewhere in 2009)
…. and that brings us to 2019
I’m not one to pay attention to stats. I can’t tell you how many miles I drove this year, how many flights I took, how many nights I spent in a hotel or airbnb or tent.
What I can tell you is this:
+ This year I had the absolute privilege of photographing 25 couples who made me laugh and cry and inspired me in ways that I never knew possible.
+ I took a spontaneous bucket list trip to the Lofoten Islands in Norway with some photographer friends. I spent some time north of the Arctic circle for the first time and fell even more in love with cold, wild places. I experienced motion sickness for the first time on a ferry ride from hell, saw the Northern Lights for the second time, and thanked my lucky stars to have friends who think going to frozen places in the dead of winter is a good kind of “girls trip”
+ My son, husband, and I went to Portugal and the UK this summer. It was the little guy’s first trip abroad and it went far more smoothly than I ever imagined it would. I will never forget watching him play soccer with kids he couldn’t even talk to or the way he happily skipped down those history-steeped cobblestone streets. I want my son to feel like the world is his oyster – this felt like a step in that direction. (As a side note, I took THREE cameras with me on this trip but mostly took photos with my iPhone. It felt good to step out of photographer mode for a bit …)
+ I turned 40 and that felt both pretty big and not big at all.
(photo cred: Shanna M Photography)
+ I found balance in my life and business for the first time since starting this thing in 2016. My business had its biggest year yet (by a longshot) but it was also the biggest adventure year I’ve had in a while. I did so much more hiking, mountain biking, and fly fishing than I’ve done in the last few years and I found my way back to skiing and climbing. It feels good.
+ I ate a lot of delicious food, drank my share of IPAs, old fashioneds, and wine, laughed until I cried more times than I can count, pushed my limits, and tried my damndest to make the most of every day. For all of these things I will be forever grateful.
I’ll stop yammering on now, because I know you’re all really just here for the photos! So without further ado (and in completely random order) here are some of my favorite shots from 2019 …
It has been one hell of a year (and one hell of a decade) you guys. Thank you to each and every one of you who has been on this journey with me. I can’t wait to see what the 2020s bring!
Happy New Year, friends!