What a year you have been! My second year of being a professional photographer full time and being self-employed. I documented many weddings, Document Love sessions, as well as baby and family sessions. I didn’t realize just how many until I started putting this post together last week. I met new couples, new families, but also saw faces I already knew. I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico, California, Stockholm, Iceland (twice) and Jamaica this year both for destination weddings and for personal travel. It was a great year in many ways.
There were also times when I felt lost, overworked, unappreciated and exhausted. I came back from an awesome workshop in March feeling inspired and hopeful, not knowing that there are always two sides to every coin. I felt lost for a time and didn’t really know why I wanted what I wanted. It was a scary feeling. It’s so much easier to work towards a goal when you know and understand what you want. But without that purpose, it felt empty. I asked myself hard questions, and wondered. Months went by and I didn’t seem to have an answer. Instead I lost myself in the kind of busy that is the summer wedding season. One day I was taking a break and surfing on Pinterest and came across a pin that said “It feels good to be lost in the right direction”. This stopped me in my tracks and pulled me out of the dazed state I was in. That quote described perfectly how I’d been feeling – lost. But what I didn’t realize was that even though I was lost, I was lost in the right direction. After all, I quit my day job for a reason. I wanted to be a full-time photographer, I wanted to have full control of what I do with such a large portion of my time, I wanted to do what I love and I wanted it to be meaningful to me.
I had to go back to the start – why do I love what I do? I realized that never really changed – I love stories, I love photography’s ability to tell stories, to capture moments, to create (in some way) an infinity out of a finite life. But, I also came to realize that because of how much I love what I do, I had become a bit of a workaholic this year without knowing it. I am now a firm believer that too much of anything is not good for us (even chocolate). There needs to be some sort of balance and harmony. I don’t regret working hard. After all, if you don’t put in hard work, how can you reap the results. But, I do feel that there are other things in life I want to do and try while I’m still young. I didn’t want to get out of one rat race just to get into another, more self-imposed this time. Life seems long, when we were young, it felt like we’d never grow up. How many years do we have in one lifetime? 60, 70, 80? The problem is we think we have more time.
I’m asking myself, if I only had one more year to live, what are the things that I would want to do the most? If I were to die tomorrow, what would I regret not having tried? I don’t have the answers yet, but I definitely want to find out.
So I leave you with one of my favourites quotes from the year, from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.
I feel I was able to do some of that through my work this year and the past few years: to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel – people at their truest selves, in moments when they forget they are being photographed, I have captured some of that. And I’m glad I did, whether it’s the tears rolling down a groom’s face as his bride walked down the aisle, or the way your grandma looked as she hugged you after the ceremony, or a giggle or laugh that is the trademark of a child that only a parent can know.
Thank you 2014, for the lessons, the heartaches, but most of all, for those moments and those connections.
2015, I’m looking forward to meeting you!
Here are the favourite moments, highlights, and favourite photos from the year – through my lens.