Well, sorry about that. My intention was to get this post made before the dawn of a new year, but I was busy partying like it was 1999.
Two years ago I started the tradition of selecting my favorite photos of the year. This is really a fun personal exercise that helps me remember the opportunities I had over the course of the year.
The disclaimers are: I have a hard time picking the pictures because there are so many I love! Please don’t be offended if you don’t see your picture posted. I have picked these mainly because of their composition, but most of them also have sentiment attached to them that makes the composition that much more special for me. These are a mix of paid work, gifts, and personal photos, but they were all taken with my “real” camera.
I’m just going to put them in the order they were taken, because it would be way too much to try to prioritize them in the order that I love them.
I have been photographing this family since their oldest was brand new, and I always get sappy when I see my newborns become big kids! I was delighted when they asked me to do a shoot for them at MY Lighthouse. The shoot was in February, so Mama was smart and brought rain boots for everyone so they could venture into the water and still have happy faces. I did not have rain boots, so I can testify that it was a good idea! At least my face was behind the camera!
Every March we spend a weekend with our friends, Eric and Jackie. And, since they started having kids, every March, we try to get a good picture of all of our kids together. The results are usually sub-par, but this time we got a shot with everyone looking and relatively happy! It was a Spring Break miracle!
Our third nephew, Gabriel was born in March! Of course I have been snapping pictures of him ever since, but I love the composition of this one. It makes me think of the Helen Keller quote, “Keep your face towards the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
So this was the fateful day I tried to get Spring pictures of the nephews. Maverick was NOT HAVING IT, but I love this picture, anyway. This is real life, folks.
This is another family I’ve been shooting for a few years. I met Sheetal at the very park that we did this shoot for last minute maternity pictures less than 24 hours before giving birth to the fun little guy on the right. I remember that it was right before a storm hit and we just barely eeked out the pictures in time. For this shoot, three-ish years later, the weather was gorgeous and the boys have never smiled so easily before. It was like magic!
This couple. They were my last paid shoot before our big move. I shot their wedding in south Georgia back when I was able to do some traveling for weddings. They contacted me about doing their anniversary pictures. For their FIFTH ANNIVERSARY. Although I have seen plenty of “my” newborns grow up, this was the first marriage I got to watch “grow up,” and I was completely honored.
They drove over an hour to do this beach shoot with me. I failed to warn them in advance that they would be getting wet and dirty, so they arrived without towels or changes of clothes. But they were completely good sports about it and still enthusiastically did whatever I asked of them, even though it was going to mean a very soggy drive home.
They had done this dip pose spontaneously at their wedding and it is one of my favorite wedding photos of all time, so I couldn’t resist asking them to recreate it!
This is another one of “my” newborns…at My Lighthouse! We got a lot of fun pictures of her family on this evening, but I love the lighting in this candid. I miss evenings at the Lighthouse…and this family!
I know you’re surprised to see ANOTHER picture at my Lighthouse. We had to squeeze the Harrell’s family pictures in the week of the big move since they were long overdue. I love the Lighthouse at low tide. I love catching reflection pictures. But, more importantly, this picture represents a family that truly exemplifies what family is all about.
I had the amazing opportunity to go to Vermont and bring my camera along! I really should represent the trip with a picture that is more representative of New England, but my favorite is this detail shot from the Christmas Shop in the Yankee Candle Flagship Store in Massachusetts. What can I say, the heart wants what it wants.
Josh’s sister, Kristy, got married in August! She had planned for me to not have to take photos so that I could enjoy myself, but a few days beforehand she asked if it was at all possible for me to shoot the reception. I was really relieved; I feel much more natural and comfortable behind a camera at a party! (Think: Socially Awkward Penguin.) I heartily agreed, but my one condition was that they would let me take some couple shots at sunset. Because sunset.
I had the opportunity to take the yearbook photos for our new Classical Conversations Community! I was honored that they would trust me with this since they really had not had time to get to know me. Especially since I am also a tutor, so I was having to ask parents to cover in my classroom so that I could take photos. This is my adorable class!!!
I opted to go back to Tallahassee for Mini-Shoots for Missions since I didn’t have a client base here yet. I wasn’t sure how people would respond, but the minis filled up in less than 24 hours! I was especially thankful to have an opportunity to photograph this little guy…his parents had moved away from Tallahassee just before we did, and I did not expect to get to take some newborn pictures for them, but it worked out that we were both visiting the same weekend! He has a pretty awesome story that I hope to write about soon!
Another one of my minis! This family decided to spice things up with a chalk fight! It turned out super cute, and I really love how Mom jumped in there and was a part of it! #goals
This was my first official shoot in our new town! This is the pastor (and his family) at the church that we are now a part of. Our Sunday School Life Community Group Class all pitched in for their newborn pictures. Little Luke rocked all his pictures, but I had to share a family picture because his sisters rocked the pictures, too!
His older brother made the list last year under very different circumstances. Blog post on this little guy soon to come!
And finally, there’s always that one laaaast holiday shoot squeezed in at the beginning of December! This lovely lady is Ava’s tutor at Classical Conversations, and it was a treat to grab a Christmas photo for her! I had not worked with twin babies since Kate and Rose were tiny 5 years ago, but I came with the thought that it would be fun to put them in a box. There was a lot of crying and we almost gave up, but after some magic worked by Dad, we had happy babies in a box!!!
When I started thinking about the photos of the year, I initially thought that there wouldn’t be that many. I certainly have had much less work after the move than before. But the more I looked, the more I realized how special a year it was in photography. The first half of it was filled with “last” shoots. Tallahassee is where my photography journey really began, and it was hard to think about leaving and starting over somewhere. Of course, I will be going back for occasional shoots (you can’t take me away from My Lighthouse!), but I spent the first half of this year working on a sense of closure.
But the pictures of this year also represent new beginnings! New family members and a new community that we get to be a part of!
So, 2016: The Year of Lasts and Firsts. I like that.