2016 has been one of those years that truly makes you look back and be thankful for everything that has been handed to you. This past year has had some pretty big moments for myself, and some pretty big ones for the world as well! I believe that everything happens for a reason and I know that this business of mine was really the right thing for me to pursue. I made the choice to ditch my music education degree and move forward with my passion. I think that you really have to choose the right path for yourself, no matter what anyone thinks. People are going to push you in other directions, tell you that you are crazy, and push other opportunities your way. I chose to ignore what the others were telling me and move forward with the job that makes me happiest. Being behind the camera is what I love. I can’t really describe the feeling that I get when I am walking around with a newlywed couple on their wedding day. The jitters are gone, the worry is no more, the couple is perfection, and all I am doing is memorializing this moment between the two of them. Together. What couldn’t you love about this job? Why would I want to leave it and go somewhere else? A nine to five job where I am sitting in an office, listening to others be unhappy, making myself more and more unhappy. That is not what life is supposed to be like!
This was my Instagram Best Nine of 2016. As I look at this, I know that my look is cohesive, my brand is going in the right direction, and I seriously think that another trip to Zion National Park is in order!
I took 2016 and let it lead me to my true potential. I took on jobs with other photographers, following them, shooting for them, and allowing them to breathe when they needed those moments. I was able to walk alongside over 30 couples just in this year alone. 30. I was able to watch these brides walk down the aisle, towards the man they love most. I was able to watch the parents wipe their tears away with joy on their faces. I was able to capture the true and pure emotion between two families that finally became one. Plus, hey, I also enjoyed over 30 meals that were impeccably made by some amazing catering companies here in the Central Florida area. I traveled to Las Vegas for two weddings. I went to California and watched the sunset in La Jolla with an amazing couple. I traveled to Zion National Park, where I was able to get some of the most amazing work in that I could have ever dreamed of. I met a photographer there who truly helped me with my brand, my business, and my look! I came home and realized that I had come so far in only a week long trip! I was able to visit venues that I never thought I would have the chance to shoot at. I went to a bridal runway show with some close friends (that blue Hayley Paige… swoon!). I made new friends. I created a small group of photographers who needed the support of each other every now and again. I was able to hone in on the Instagram algorithm change, and attempted to make it work for me…. although this is still not working well haha! I was able to create lasting vendor relationships with some amazing other small business owners. I watched others grow their businesses into something bigger and better! Then, I quit my serving job. September was a really hard month. I decided that it was time to leave my day job and pursue only what I truly wanted to do with my life.
Photography. This is my passion, and my life force. I have the support of my close family, my friends, and the love of my life. I have been able to let this business take the front burner, lead me in a direction that nothing else could do. I am looking forward into 2017 as though it is the light that I chase every single day. I will be chasing my dreams. I will be going overseas for the very first time. I will be hosting a travel trip for photographers to Paris! I will finally get to visit Sweden and the place where my Aunt and Uncle live. I will be traveling to Ohio, Alabama, and maybe even again to the Mid-West. I will be pursuing my dream, and allowing my dreams to lead me into the unknown. I am excited about this coming year and the crazy things I may get myself into. I want to make more relationships, I want to be able to take a vacation with my man, I want to be able to not worry about bills. There are so many goals that I have for this year, and I am already closing in on some of them! I will make it happen for myself, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!
I also wanted to take a moment to make a special shout out to the ladies and gentlemen who have really pushed me forward this past year. McKenzie Stewart was truly the first photographer who took the time to continue hiring me as her second photographer at weddings. She has helped to mold my shooting style, watch more carefully, and even work on my technological skill! We have grown very close and are even putting the Paris Collective together as a team! Another wonderful lady is Jessi Caprella. Thank you for allowing me to be at your side, keep you grounded when things get crazy, and for allowing me to capture some of these beautiful weddings with you! Leila, you have become such a close friend, and I am so happy to have you as a friend, and for letting me blow off steam. Emma, Melissa, and Megan, thank you ladies for being some of the close friends I have now found, and thank you for taking the time to meet with me and get me out and doing what makes me happy! Tyler Rye, Thank you for hosting the Zion Workshop. Without that trip I would have never realized my true creative potential. I would have never gotten to see the light at sunset in Zion, and I would have never been able to truly understand the gift that I have been given! Lastly, thank you to Dave, the man behind the scenes. Thank you for allowing me to be crazy, cranky, work from home, quit my day job, and back me up when I really feel like I am failing! I could not do this without you and I know that I am truly grounded with you by my side.
I really cannot wait to see what 2017 brings for all of us and for the friends that I have yet to make!
The following images are only SOME of my favorites of 2016. These images are in no specific order and are here for you to enjoy. I believe that each image tells a story and allows you to see the true self of the subject it beholds. I will say, some images that are my favorites may be missing from this post. That is not intentional in any way, I simply could not look through galleries any longer! Thank you again to each and every client, and now friend, who has made this year so successful for me. I love each and every one of you and I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to make this passion into a life long career!