Monday, December 20, 2010

2010: A Year in Review

Who else is wondering where in the world 2010 went? This past year was full of so many changes and I honestly never thought that by the end of 2010 I would be writing a blog post like this one…

Capturing the here and now has always been something I have been passionate about. I’m a lover of the authentic moments in life, the ones that come and go before we even know it, the very real moments. I feel so blessed to have the ability to forever capture a split second in time that is capable of telling a story about what was happening right then and there. A split second that shares with the audience what the people in that photo love…how they interact with one another…or what makes them tick. A split second that forever remembers our four-legged friends that are not around nearly long enough…that reminds us of their deep brown eyes…their wet nose…or their freckled ears. These are just some of the things that are so special about what photographers do.

The progression of my venture has been so natural and for that I am just in awe. A time or two I had thought that maybeeeee, one day, in a far away land, I might try to establish a part-time job as a photographer. But really, that’s what dreams were made of. As a senior in college I never thought that this year all of the pieces would fall together and gently push me in the direction of becoming much more serious about my passion. I have been busier than I have ever been in my life, and perhaps that is why I’m totally at a loss when it comes to the New Year rolling up in, ohh…less than two weeks. Where did all of the time go? But I am so indescribably energized about the opportunities that lay ahead…the challenges, the rewards, and the excitement of offering my skills to others who value that authentic moment like I do.

No, it hasn't been easy. Yes, I still have so much to do to make my business successful and to become a better photographer, but it’s been coming together at a really nice rate and I am amazed at the awesome resources I have been able to utilize online, and the great working friendships I have established with other photographers who are either in the same place as I am or have been in a similar place. Everyone has been so incredibly supportive and I really hope to be able to give that back in some way, shape, or form in 2011.

In January of 2010, I started my blog. In one day, I wrote 13 blog posts with pictures to share some of my best photos that date back to 2004 when I first picked up the camera with a somewhat-creative eye. In February and March, I continued to update sporadically. In May, I took some of my first pictures of Dustin and Landon and created my logo inspired by the one and only Riley boy (because he is king, duh). To date, I had a whopping 0 visits to my blog. That summer, I began to teach myself more about my little Nikon D80. I learned what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO meant, and soon I began dabbling with different lenses and shooting in manual. In August, I had hit 47 visits to my blog. Wooo, doing big things! After a few months of practicing with the settings on my camera, I was shooting everything in manual and sharing more and more of my photos online. In September, I had 286 visits, and I thought I might actually be able to make something of all of this. I had begun to turn the positive feedback I was getting into ideas and goals, so I offered to shoot pets and children of family and friends as a way to test myself, my creativity, and my technical skills with my camera under a different kind of pressure. In October, I built my website from scratch, and by November I had 1,090 visits to my blog. Basically, my year has been in warp speed and really, I just wrote all that down to remind myself how quickly it all happened. Kudos to you if you’ve made it this far in the post with me haha.

Regardless how quick my year went by, success doesn't come at warp speed, and I look forward to becoming a better photographer, businessperson, and friend to my clients in 2011. I am excited to create art for families and couples who value their pets, children, and relationships like I do. I can’t wait to see more custom art gracing the walls of my client’s homes. And I welcome all of the little roadblocks and speed bumps along the way, because nothing good comes easy and I would never appreciate this venture if there weren't some difficulties between here and my “happy place.”

So, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog posts, check out my website, become a fan on Facebook, and encourage and inspire me this year. I feel so incredibly lucky to have so many great people in my life who understand my passion for telling stories and sharing connections, and who are interested in following along. I am amazed at the power of the camera and can’t wait to see where it takes me in the next year!

And of course, since every post is better with pictures (and anyone who read all of this mumbo-jumbo deserves a photographic reward), here are two slideshows to sum up what I just wrote. Hopefully you all can see some of the changes I see. I definitely believe it's important to understand where you've been to better know where you plan on going.

2009 and earlier (shot mostly with Kodak point and shoot cameras and a few with my D80 on Auto):

2010 (all shot with my D80 on manual):

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