Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best of 2009 - Round I

Happy New Year, everyone!

As the year comes to a close, it's a great opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past year. I thought a fun way to do that from a photography perspective would be to select some of my favorite images from the year and create a "best of" list. Not very unique, but a great way to wrap up the year.

Once I started going through my 2009 sessions, however, it became less about which images I liked the best, and more about seeing my photography journey through the year.

2009 was a big year for me. While I have been shooting "professionally" for quite a while, it was always something that I felt sort of timid about. I didn't have a lot of confidence in my skills, and I really needed to improve my skill set in several key areas. I also had been afraid / too tired / too busy to admit how badly I wanted to pursue photography as a bigger piece of my life. I'll always remember 2009 as the year that I finally took tangible steps to change that.

First off, I took a professional level editing class (big shout out to Steve Bye - he'll forever be one of my favorite people on the planet for teaching me how to edit professionally, not just play around). I learned that as a photographer in today's world, your work behind the camera is one important piece to the puzzle, but it's not the only piece. While I had invested in plenty of equipment over the years, that's not the same as investing in yourself. It paid off immediately.

The next thing I did was to take a leap of faith and not just put my heart and soul into my work, but also in communicating my passion and vulnerability because of it to others. Very scary, indeed. Once I did however, people started to respond to my work differently and the emails and calls started coming and haven't stopped!

Throughout the year, I've learned what kind of photographer I am, and almost as importantly, what kind I'm not. That has been very freeing for me, and I think my clients respect and understand that. I will never be a landscape photographer, nor will I be an edgy street photo journalist. I take terrible pictures at events like graduations and corporate parties, so I've learned to just say "no". :) I am, however, a photographer that looks at your kids like I do mine, and tries to capture who they are and not just a pretty pose. You have a two year old that wants me to chase him from here to kingdom come before I get a smile? GAME ON!

You have a teenaged daughter who may not want to express her personality by smiling in front of a stranger? Fine - I may not get her to smile either, but you'll still recognize every fiber of her in the shots we get, and love them just as much if not more than the perfect "cheese".

I love photographing babies, I think mostly because it reminds me of my own when they were that small, and of course weddings! Mostly I just love photographing personalities and relationships, but in a way that feels intimate and emotional.

So, back to the Best of 2009 (I never claimed I was a writer - ha ha). I posted a note asking for people to judge a selection of images from 2009, and I was so pleased to find that over 20 people signed up to judge. Neighbors, professional photographers, old high school classmates and perfect strangers - from Minnesota to Oregon to Spain! I'm so excited! They are judging three different rounds of images, and the top five from each will move to a final vote on facebook, where anyone can vote. Yes, you can vote for images from your session, and you can also tell your friends to vote, too.

So, here are the images currently being voted on in The Best of 2009 - Round I. Enjoy! I'd love to hear your comments, especially if you or your loved ones are in any!

No comments: