2015 wasn’t like any other year. It was a year of contrasts. It left me emotionally fulfilled yet incredibly raw. It took me all over. I watched my Aunt get married in a tiny chapel in my home town, and I flew 14 hours to photograph a wedding under a jungle canopy in New Zealand. I cried behind the lens while watching couples who were longtime friends and couples who were strangers, just the day before, say their ‘I do’s’. I spent a lot of nights alone in boring hotel rooms and a lot of days seeing inspiring new places. I took amazing care of my couples while oftentimes forgetting to take care of myself.
2015 was full of challenges, large and small. I found myself facing cancelled flights and lost luggage. I got stuck driving from Philly to the Hudson Valley in a thunderstorm, to make it on time to someone’s best day ever. I showed up to an engagement session covered in mud from the knees down because I tripped at a rest area. I had to compete with foreign tourists with cameras taking pictures of a couple in DC. I virtually threw aside my social life for the summer and entered into a very close relationship with my iMac and the photo editing software it contains. I shot outdoor weddings on rainy days, twice (thank the Old Gods and the New for clear umbrellas).
For all the challenges and the hard work, the high points and the low, the relentless back and forth between pride in what I’ve build and fear I was going to fail, unequivocally, I wouldn’t change a thing because 2015 gave me incredible experiences. I flew to California to shoot a wedding and took the day after to stand in a redwood forest for the first time and cry-laugh all alone. I saw rocky coasts, and revolutionary war battlefields, and Arizona deserts, and hobbit holes, and autumn foliage on the Catskills, and the clear waters of Lake Michigan. When the season was at an end, I spent 12 days in New Zealand with my husband and friends, allowing the scenery to bring me back after months of non-stop work and self neglect.
I say all this to be candid. Anyone who paints an entirely pretty picture of being self employed in a creative endeavor is painting you half of the picture. It’s a wonderful life, but it’s a life fraught with contradictions and challenges. It’s a life I would never give up for another, and the people in this post are the reason why.
Here’s my 2015.