We all have them. Here is my bookend to a crazy year.
My word for the year was G R O W.
The funny part about being an artist of any kind is that growth is hard to see on our own. Its hard to see unless you reflect and look back to where you started. Not just at the beginning of a year as you come to an end but maybe look back to where you first began. Where it all began. For me, this moment came almost five years ago. five years since something inside of me clicked as I held a camera in my hand and photographed families at Christmas time. Yeah, I have had a camera in my hand as long as I can remember but I didn't see the spark just yet. This job sets me on fire. I wake up everyday excited about what I get to do. Excited to spend time with people who are looking forward to what we will create, together.
This year was challenging because #growingpains right? Its tough putting yourself in front of people as an artist sometimes. Its vulnerable + magical all at once. This year for me was all about trying new things, and finding out what I LOVE to do in the realm of photography. I found out that I love weddings and engagements. I love working with couples who are excited and have a vision for a wedding day. I love knowing that I get to help them hold onto those moments forever and create moments that they never even imagined when envisioning such a big day. I also found out that I don't want to photograph every inquiry or email that I receive, although I am grateful to receive each one. I think there is such a thing as the one...the one photographer for you ; ) and I have found that it's not always me + and I'm 100% okay with that. I have learned to say yes to what I love and no to what I don't. I have taken back time with my husband and family that I didn't have in 2015 simply by saying that word: no. It's a magical word you guys. On that note, my marriage and my personal life have grown miles. 2016 was truly a milestone for me in many ways. I learned what it meant to be honest and take back my heart in places I did not realize it had gone. Its' amazing what a clear head and some wise counsel and conversations will do for you my friends. I stand today extra grateful for people. Safe people. Wise people. Honest people. True people. All of the good people. Extra grateful for my relationship with Jesus and my church and the community I call home. I think you call this growth. Taking one foot and putting it in front of the next, looking back but looking ahead. Loving well and conversing honestly. forward motion. sometimes even pausing. pausing and breathing.
I said yes to traveling + creating with some of the most beautiful couples and families this year. I saw some of my best friends have babies. I photographed all of the best kids. I met new couples + dogs. I explored OKC in a new and fresh way. I traveled to Texas and Arkansas and all over Oklahoma to photograph people. I went to Florida with my family + Seattle with Devon. I went to Portalnd and St. Louis for photography workshops and conferences. I traveled 20 plus different times this year. I photographed a lot of weddings and I also teamed up with Randy Coleman Photography to photograph even more families. I partnered with other creatives to document projects and also photographed other business owners to showcase the talents they all have. I worked with the best wedding vendors in Oklahoma and look forward to even more of that next year. I am excited for all of this to continue in the same way and in new ways in 2017. Keep moving forward, and looking back. Excited for what is to come...and all the moments that I am unable to imagine even now. If you need a wedding photographer in 2017, lets chat! If you have a small business and you need content to feed your website and social media...lets chat! If you are a family and you are down for a fun and fresh shoot...hit me up.
I leave you with a bit of my camera highlight reel from 2016. Here is to all of the best clients and the best photographers who I teamed up with to shoot weddings last year. Thank you to Charity Jack, Kris Smith, Erika Featherstone and Alexandra Dugan for second shooting with me. You Ladies ladies are rock stars. I am the luckiest + I don't take what I do lightly. I am so grateful for you. To all of my cheerleaders, I owe you.
To see a more extensive look at some of these sessions, check out my 2016 blog posts.
some of these photos were taken under randy coleman photography.