2014 is arguably one of my best years yet.
I only say arguably because my mom would probably say that the year she made me a My little Pony birthday cake is my best year.
Life comes and goes in waves I believe. Our trials are truly something to test us. To show us what we really want and desire. The past four years were a hell of a lot of trials. From in 2010 losing four family members in 8 months while still trying to maintain a business. To 2012 photographing 20 weddings with a fractured ankle, bells palsy, and kidney failure. Add in other personal trials and tribulations that were incredibly emotionally draining – it was tough. I kept asking “When it was going to get better?” Kept feeling like the light was going to come out again.
The only joy I felt was when I was photographing. I felt like it recharged me emotionally. As many of you know though, being a full time wedding photographer there is only so much shooting. Many hours is behind that screen editing. It’s a lot of being home alone not able to get away from the overthinking about all the rotten stuff.
This year, I tried to take the bad and good. I lost my beautiful cat Fanbelt a few weeks ago to liver cancer. It’s very easy for me to fall into a dark place and stay there, but I tried to push through it. I hugged and loved on my other two kitties a little bit harder to get through the grief.
I got a hell of a lot of “we decided to go with another photographer” e-mails this year. Instead of taking the rejection so deeply, I pushed my work more, I photographed with more of my heart. I would post photos of my work on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media I decided to do that day, and get only a few likes. So I just pushed harder to create work that I loved no matter what the internet said. I decided that it was time to stop letting fear and rejection run my life. Now I have 19 weddings on the books for next year and each one of those couples is totally worth all of the “no”s I received this year. They are people that connect with my work. My grandfather always said things work out in the wash and it’s time to finally start listening to that tid-bit of advice.
Regardless of the downfalls and sad times of 2014 I felt like the fog lifted. Was there bad stuff? Sure there was. But I was blessed with so much this year that it really made all the hard stuff make sense. It made my heart even more excited to photograph anyone and everything. I became an aunt this year to a beautiful baby girl. I went on my first vacation with my mom since 2010 to Disneyland. I truly figured out who my closest friends were in the world. I was actually part of two wedding ceremonies (other than just photographing it). I travelled back and forth to Los Angeles and experienced amazing places I had only ever seen on television. I watched my niece experience Disneyland for the first time. I photographed a wedding in Las Vegas on the balcony of a pent house suite of the MGM Grand. I took chances. I pushed through rain until the rainbows came out. I was able to finally meet quite a few of my online photography buddies and turn them into friendships, like Stephanie, Orbie, Paul, Jay, Danielle, Carina and of course Caroline. I laid on the beach while the Pacific Ocean crashed into me. I donated time and love to animals in need at the local shelter. I don’t think I would change much. I am truly blessed.
I have another post coming with my best of 2014 images. However, I didn’t photograph my last session of the year until two days ago so I suppose that will have to wait. 🙂
Hug your loved ones or at least text them that you Love them today. See you all in the new year.