2016 was rough.

It started with an accident that left me with a horrible face injury that is still healing. I went through a romantic heartbreak. I had all of my photography gear stolen from me. My Grandmother passed away. And these are just some of the highlights to the incredibly rough year that I went through.

But we aren’t going to talk about that anymore. It’s a New Year so let me reflect on the good. There wasn’t much good, but it was a powerful good.

I learned the courage that it takes to be vulnerable. I learned that vulnerability isn’t weakness. It’s bravery. To show not only your weaknesses but to share your love and happiness without shame of feeling someone deems you too “mushy” or “emotional”. That showing your true self is one of the strongest things a human can do in this crazy world.

Which brings me to my incredibly brave clients who truly were the highlight of my year.

Prepping before a wedding or shoot, I would be stressed and hurting from everything going on. The traffic horns on the way there, the stop and go, would just perpetuate those thoughts. The second I walked up with my cameras on me and I began my process of storytelling, I felt it all fall away. My heart it up to be a part of these stories that I documented in 2016.  After my gear was packed and I was falling into my driver’s seat at the end of the night, the smile was still there. My heart was still full.  The struggles that had been pullings down on my soul released me for that night.

These stories are what got me through 2016. They were brave enough to be vulnerable and to share their stories, their hearts, and their love with me. Armor down, they let me see who they were and let me create beautiful things from it.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

A sunset portrait session for a bride and groom at their Up! Themed country wedding at the Bar Z Ranch by Heather Elizabeth Photographywedding ceremony at the palm event center by heather elizabeth photographyIntimate Upstate New York wedding by Heather Elizabeth Photographyfather daughter dance at a wedding reception at the palm event center by Heather Elizabeth Photographyemotional and sweet first look at the palm event center in pleasanton by heather elizabeth photographycrystal wedding heels at the Hotel De Anza in San Jose by Heather Elizabeth Photographysunset wedding on the coast of big sur by heather elizabeth photographyIntimate sunset engagement session in the hills of Concord by Heather Elizabeth PhotographySunset windy engagement session at the Concord Coastline by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyIndustrial wedding portraits in the Dog Patch of San Francisco by Heather Elizabeth PhotographyFine art wedding photos at Dog Patch Wine Works by Heather Elizabeth PhotographySunset portraits at a wedding at the University Club by Heather Elizabeth Photographyfine art engagement session at the historic point reyes ship crash by heather elizabeth photographyfine art engagement at the famous ship crash of point reyes by heather elizabeth photography