This past year I participated in not one, but two weekly collaborative projects. Unfortunately I ended up not doing both every single week, but the fact that I mostly managed to keep up with two pictures a week oughtta count for something, right? This post makes up the pictures that were part of my weekly posts to the Sham of The Perfect and This Day and Every Day blogs. As I put them all together and saw them as one body of work, a few things came to mind. (note: the images are not in order of posting. I wish they were, but they’re not. Also, I have only included personal images published, not images including clients, of which there were a few.)

  1. I sorta fell off the wagon toward the end of the year there. I had some good reasons, but still. This year I am only focusing on ONE weekly project.
  2. I’m super thankful for the friendships and connections I have made with other like-minded artists all over the world. They have been a sounding board, an encouragement, a resource, and so much more. I consider many of them friends. They are some truly incredible women and photographers and I’m very thankful our paths have intertwined. Some of us even got to spend a magical weekend together on a private Vineyard in Sonoma. Sigh. But that is for another post.
  3. I really do have 4 kids, it’s just that 3 of them are gone most of the day and when they’re not in school I’m often shuttling them around to cello, baseball, soccer/ making dinner/ eating dinner. I’m going to try much harder this year to get them all in the picture. And I’m going to try to get in the picture too.
  4. What an embarrassment of riches I have in these kids, this life… all this life in my home. It sure is beautiful- even the mess and chaos.
  5. My response to beauty or really to any emotion is to create something. I used to turn this response into writing. As my artistic journey has shifted to photography I just can’t help but compose the world, the feeling, the connection through my lens. It makes it more real to me. I’m so thankful I have these tangible moments and images to bear witness to their childhood that is going too fast. Looking at these pictures is a little feedback loop for me- reminding me of the glory in the midst of all the mundane, moving me toward gratitude.
  6. I am reminded how important it is to make pictures of my own family. A photography mentor years ago said “you will tell a better story if you are living a better story.” And I have clung to that little nugget of truth as a touchstone in my journey as an artist and business owner. What good would it be if I was some internet famous photography superstar (as if), telling the stories of other families if I was missing out on living and enjoying my own family? If I am so busy with client work, helping them see the beauty in their own lives that my life becomes too out of balance at home I will have failed. And I’m sure sometimes I will. There are lots of Girl Bosses who make it work. For me, the balance looks like still doing the things we love to do together- sitting down to dinner together most nights, playing games, watching my boys play baseball, and my girl play cello, having time to read, cook, garden, and exercise- while getting to document other families and weddings. Of course that’s the crux of the balancing act, and there is always a cost to consider. Personal work like this is always what will motivate me as an artist. Strengthening my voice through this practice can only help me better a better storyteller in documenting the lives of my clients.

So without further ado, here is the year-in-review. What a beautiful year.

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And here are the pictures from This Day and Everyday:

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Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?- C.S.Lewis

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life- Brian Andreas