2011 in Review: Photography Happened (and it Rocked)

I ended 2010 on a high after amazing adventures, art shows and creative outlets abound. I was excited for 2011, but I also couldn’t escape the pressure of passion to shoot weddings. I was entering my fifth year of trying to get my business off the ground. I had come to terms with the reality that running a wedding photography business and finding work isn’t easy stuff. It’s, well, really hard.

As December closed, I finally met Emily Gutman of Emily Takes Photos who wanted to meet up for coffee in the New Year. Was she being sarcastic? I had sadly mis-perceived that two wedding photographers in the same city with a similar style couldn’t openly admire each other’s art, never mind be…friends!?

Fortunately, the second I saw her face, I melted. She was adorable and lovable and gorgeous, incredibly warm and welcoming. On our first date, she handed me a little box of knowledge that changed my photography life forever. Why was I wasting my time being buried in website listings? Hadn’t I ever gotten involved with wedding blogs? A cup of tea, a scribble of blog names on a napkin, and the rest is happiness history. I not only started finding emails in my inbox, but they were from people like me. They weren’t questionably spam or unreasonable bargain shoppers. They were people I’d pick as my friends in real life, people who I couldn’t wait to spend time with and photograph.

So this post is a thank you to both Emily for her support as a friend and her knowledge of being a woman small business owner and a fabulous photographer, and to every couple below who enriched the year with so much love and character and creativity, with friendship and laughter and constant admiration. So much more than clients, you have each in your own way found a place in my heart and have treated me to the most amazing year in photos.

I started the year at the most intensely unreal dance party wedding in Argentina, feeling royal with C & J

Followed by the most quaint Berkeley wedding filled with homemade Southern Charm with C & S

Cried along during speeches at the Terra Gallery while time stopped for E & E

Was witness and partner in colorful elopement excitement with V & J

Warmed my heart around the fire on a ranch with J & G

Was mesmerized by the beauty and inclusiveness of family under the redwoods with M & B

Shared in anticipation and sheer joy at City Hall with T & J

Beheld the incredible love of two beautiful women on a foggy cliff at the union of J & A

Danced and laughed with young and old alike in Marin with M & S

Wished the beautiful summer night would have lasted forever with L & A

Felt consumed by the union of art and love at the San Francisco Art Institute with C & S

Crossed an ocean to be a part of two ceremonies and a huge celebration in Italy with F & C

Was captivated by romance in the forest air with J & A

and closed the year at the Boston Museum of Science while playing under dinosaurs with E & A

In addition to the honor of photographing the union of new friends, it was also an amazing year filled with travel and adventure, color and contrast. At no point did I lose sight at how lucky I am to have a day job that challenges me to constantly learn and grow, and a life outside of the office that always keeps me smiling.

It was the first year my photography was published, both in Harper’s Bazaar and on A Practical Wedding. I photographed beautiful children and families like M and M and E, P, the L’s and the W’s

…and was trusted by my favorite muses to get a little crazy in costume, dress up in tulle, get cozy with taxidermy, and spend afternoons in nameless bars.

I travelled to New Orleans with those amazing muses and played in the snow with Q in New York, got lost on the streets of Venice , went to Frenchy chic picnics, and visited friends in Berlin

I played Parent to my little brother in Oregon , conquered Brooklyn and Manhattan with ladies who I love, spent a long weekend at Jenna’s childhood home in Alaska, split my 29th Birthday between Point Reyes and dressing up with friends in Capes and Crowns

I was lucky enough to spend time in Iguazu Falls Argentina, hung art in a local store, spent some time in the beauty of Sonoma and Northern California, and had a taste of summer at home in Australia.

To be fortunate enough to fill my life with travel and good friends, photography and being creative, daily inspiration and (two) career(s) that keep me motivated is so much more than I could ever ask for from life.

2011 was a pretty incredible year.