It genuinely feels like I just wrote this – and it’s probably because I’ve re-drafted this so many times. How do you describe a year that feels like a blur when you look back on it? Then again, most years do until you sit down and reflect, month by month.
This post will not be a month by month reflection. I would be here all day looking through photos and going down that rabbit hole of memories. But, I did sit and reflect earlier this morning and naturally, the year and what it consisted of flowed back to me with ease.
2017 was a weird year to say the least. It felt as if the outside world was turning, and I was stuck watching it. In the past 365 days, I made a grand total of two fine art photos. That, in and of itself, can tell you where my head has been.
A problem I had never foreseen being a problem was my inability to find balance between living a creative life and living a busy life. There was wonderful growth in my business, which is where I found myself focusing my time on the most. I loved filling up my calendar with dates for shoots or mini shoots. It took priority, and I never wanted to do much of anything else once I had a particularly busy week. I wanted to curl up and relax, and the thought of conceptualizing, or getting my things together to go shoot, it seemed absolutely exhausting.
I got used to that workflow. Shoot, edit, shoot, edit, shoot, edit, send galleries, shoot, edit, etc. As a result, I got used to it. And when things would slow down, there was an immediate sense of discomfort. I related not being busy enough to not succeeding. And as a result of that, there was times I felt so unbelievably lost. I questioned my purpose for doing photography in any sense. Why was I a photographer? What’s my reason for shooting? Why do I love it? I had no answers. Only recently have they been coming to me, as I allow myself to be open to not knowing.
So as I sit and reflect on that aspect of 2017, I also have to reflect on the opposite side as well. The brighter side. The side where I felt the complete opposite of the past 350 words. 2017 was also a year where I felt like I was able to find comfort and confidence in who I am at the core much more than any other recent year.
To explain it simply, it’s the difference between the feeling you get when you introduce yourself using just your first name, then introducing yourself using your full name. There’s that subtle change in confidence, and in assurance. I owe a lot of that to the times in the year where I felt unstoppable. The busy times full of endless shoots and little rest. It showed me that I can. And again, on the other side, the down time showed me that it’s okay to wonder, and to be at peace. Those two things is what I want to bring with me from 2017 into 2018.
And all of that reflection went into this photo. Lost In Wander is how I’ve felt towards the latter end of this year as it’s wrapped up and I’ve tucked it away in a little box. With all of the roller-coaster of emotions over the last 12 months, there’s been an overwhelming feeling of being lost, wandering around. But during that time of wandering in the unknown, there’s been such outstanding beauty guiding me to where I know I need to be.
And with that, here were some of my most favorite beautiful moments of this year.
My Favorite Places
March is one of my busiest months. The chill of winter is fading, which means things are blooming, and people crawl out of their homes and search for bluebonnet photographers. Add that to the fact it’s also my mom and brothers birthday month, it’s also my anniversary month with my boyfriend, and I usually volunteer for SXSW.
This past March, I also decided to add a trip to Florida on that list. Or rather, my best friends wife, Mari, decided to surprise Veronica for Valentine’s Day with flying me out to Florida. It was beyond gracious. Oh, did I mention they also took us to Hollywood Studios?
If you’re wondering, I also don’t know how I get so lucky with the wonderful people in my life.
Then in the later part of September, my brother and I found ourselves planning an impromptu trip to Dallas. My cousin had flown in to Dallas to spend time with his family up there and his time in Texas was limited, so we drove up there to be with him a little bit longer. And, we got to see our sister and surprise my niece and nephew!
And finally, all the way back in June, I bought tickets to see Foo Fighters in Tulsa, OK. in November. Jason and I planned it as our 2 year anniversary trip, booked an air b&b, and drove our happy butts up there. Now, I always say this, but nothing will ever top the very first time I saw them live. This though is a close, close second.
It blew me away. It wasn’t the same performance I saw at the Moody Theatre, and definitely not the festival setting of ACL. It was a pure Foo Fighters show where they had an incredible stage setup that made spending our entire day waiting in line 100% worth it.
My Favorite Shots
The amount of photoshoots I had this year topped the last two by a landslide. Here are some of my absolute favorite shots!
I won’t stay here too long, since this post is now 1,000 words long and I have other things I need to focus on today!
In October, I had a vaguely life changing experience with one of my good friends, Taylor. That experience, my friends, was seeing Harry Styles live. Not only did he play every song off of his album, but he also had the audacity to play The Chain by Fleetwood Mac and I lost my damn mind.
On top of this being just a phenomenal year for music as is, Foo Fighters released their ninth full length album, Concrete And Gold, in September. I listened to the whole thing shortly after midnight on its release date, sitting in my boyfriends bed. It was perfect. It’s something so new and refreshing and it gave me such a new respect for my favorite band.
In November, I decided to get a tattoo that had been in my head since July. My vision was just a single eye, but to get the shutter of a camera in the place of an iris/pupil. (For those wondering what the shutter of a camera is, here’s an explanation: “Simply put, a camera shutter is a curtain in front of the camera sensor that stays closed until the camera fires. When the camera fires, the shutter opens and fully exposes the camera sensor to the light that passes through the lens aperture.”)
David at American Gypsy Tattoo hooked it up. Not only was he super nice and receptive to my ideas and thoughts, but he booked me fast, got it done quick, and I healed in under a week.
Folks, that’s my year in review.
In 2018, I’m going into the year with abundant hope and love, and I wish you all the exact same. Thank you for another amazing year, and may the next be even better.
Spread love. xoxo