As 2012 comes to a close, I cannot help but feel sad and relieved at the same time. The past year was filled with so many joyful moments and milestones, but it has also had it's fair share of sadness. With each passing year, I realize more and more that there will never be a year of only happiness, no matter how promising it might feel on New Year's Eve. So perhaps it should be of no great surprise to me that as eager as Mike and I to turn the calendar to 2013, to have a fresh start in so many ways, that there is still much unknown that awaits us in the new year. That's why I am holding on tight to June 15, 2013 - our wedding day! No matter where these next 365 days lead us, I know we will be just fine next to each other.
At the end of each year, I like to go through the photos I have collected through the past 12 months. From an emotional standpoint, there is no better way to nicely wrap up the year than to relive some of my favorite moments. From a photography standpoint, I imagine, like me, you will enjoy seeing the progress you have made as a photographer. It was somewhere in these photos that I started feeling confident in myself, that I am ready to take my longtime hobby to the next level in the coming year. When I began switching my files over to my new computer, I found photos from four years ago! I loved going through those photos, both for the smile they put on my face, but also as a reminder of just how far my constant practicing has taken my photography.
So as the bubbly is chilling today, I encourage you to go through your own photos from the past year - whether on your computer or the snapshots embedded in your memory. Hold tight to these moments that are writing the story of your life. And embrace the excitement you feel about all the moments that await you in the coming year!
The opening photo is of Mike at my parents house in Virginia in April. This is one of the few places we visit where we can truly relax and unplug from our busy lives. When I took this photo, just happy to see him unwind, I had no idea he had asked my father's permission to marry me just a few hours before.
This photo is of Sadie, my parents Golden Retriever. Normally a bit wild and crazy, I caught her intense stare at my mother puttering around the kitchen, just seconds before she was up and running around again.
It was really difficult to chose just one photo from the Crowder Family's photo shoot in Central Park. There were so many that I loved, so many I felt captured the sweetness of four year old Caleb. But this photo - completely unposed as we were walking from one location to the next - really captures both the family and my enjoyment of mixing in some journalistic photos.
I snapped this photograph at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, just after we had finished our lunch at Blue Hill Cafe. We were just about to head out to explore the farm before our official tour. While I was trying to get my exposure just right on a beautiful, intensely sunny day, Mike was looking at the map trying to find the perfect location to ask me to marry him.
On our official tour of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, we saw lots of farm animals - something us city people don't see too often! I love this moment of the sheep looking right at me, lazily eating her lunch. And despite the brutal heat, the dogs kept a very watchful eye on their herd.
This photo makes me laugh every time I stumble across it - Mike doing a handstand in front of Twin Lakes in Colorado. That week together was so relaxing, exploring Denver, Aspen, Fort Collins, and Boulder. I remember how great it felt to just forget about our stress for those days.
Also from our trip to Colorado, this was a quick snapshot I took while we were exploring Boulder Beer. I love the harsh light on the keg.
It was so much fun to photograph two competitions this year at my gym, CrossFit Metropolis. This is from the Holiday Throwdown - an inspiring moment from one of our strongest members at the end of the workout.
This is sweet Doug, my sister and brother-in-law's Golden Retriever. At Easter, just eight months old, he was just starting to realize he was just as big as Sadie, even though he was just a puppy. He was a bit shy at first, but once he had his momma (my sister) close by and he heard the click of the camera shutter, he started enjoying the outdoors.
My baby sister, getting dressed on her wedding day. Like most weddings, the morning turned out to be more rushed than expected, but we somehow lucked into having a few moments, just the two of us. I helped her into her dress, and photographed the last minute touches.
On our last day in Aspen, Mike and I woke up with no plan for the day ahead. What a luxury that morning felt like! I made a coffee run, while Mike prepared breakfast. Later in the day drove to the Maroon Bells to hike to Crater Lake. This is just after we had parked the car, with Mike looking in awe at the beauty of the mountains.
This is from the first CrossFit Metropolis Team Competition I photographed. The workout was simple but brutal - rowing and burpees. This is one of our coaches working through the last minute of competition.
Haven's Kitchen was one of my favorite finds of this past year. It has delicious coffee and treats, but it is just a beautiful, inspiring place, build in an old carriage house. The light on the ground floor shop is incredible and highlights all of their beautiful items.
One of the best things I did this year was renting camera equipment to figure out which brand's equipment would best suit my needs down the road. I was waiting for Mike to finish work before heading to South Carolina for Thanksgiving, so I ventured outdoors to start learning the new camera body and lens. I just love this photo of a tree dressed in holiday lights - I find it both happy and haunting at the same time.