I love that rolling into a new year feels like a fresh start. You get to think about last year's challenges, mistakes, triumphs.. you get to hold on to what worked and let go of anything that didn't. It's a clean slate that makes you feel like anything is possible. Again.
2015 felt pivotal. It was a year that made me realize that life is constantly shifting. Decisions were made that felt all too "adult." My business was so busy that at times it felt overwhelming. Life sped up, and the momentum was difficult to keep up with.
Yet looking back I'm already realizing that it was one of the greatest years of my life.
It was my third year being a full-time wedding photographer, and even after all this time I feel insanely lucky to be able to call this a "job." I spent almost every weekend capturing peoples' happiest day while witnessing love in every form.
Wanderlust crept in and took over me. I visited 6 countries and spent about two and half months of the year traveling for pleasure. It allowed for innumerable experiences that I'll never be able to explain to another person, but I'm forever changed by them.
Now it's a new year, and that brings new clients, more weddings, more love, more travel and all the change. I'll take what I learned from last year and hopefully be better in every area of my life. Here's to a fresh start. I'm ready.
(These images were shot over the last five weeks of the year as I traveled through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. I brought one film camera, a 35mm Canon AE-1 from the late 70's, and only a 24mm lens (the same one I brought to Indonesia earlier this year). To say this is limiting would be an understatement, and there were days and places where I never even snapped a photo. It felt good to let go of the need to capture everything at all times while also letting go of the desire for perfection that occurs when shooting digitally.)
I've been staring at my computer screen for ten minutes trying to decide how to adequately summarize this wedding. It simply can't be done.
I can say that these two are as genuine as they are beautiful, and the amount of love they have for one another is palpable.
Best day ever, indeed.
I rarely photograph families these days. It's not that I don't love doing it, but it requires a certain kind of patience and letting-go, because frankly, the kids are in charge.
To really capture a family I feel like I need to know them. I want the session to feel like a "hang out" with the parents while the children run around and I secretly click the button on my camera. This is when the magic happens.
It's always like this with these four, and it's why I'm always excited to photograph them.
Don't get me wrong, this can absolutely happen with a family I've just met, and it does all the time, but there is a special magic to building a relationship, and every time I photograph these four there's proof to that.
You might remember these two gorgeous people from their epic engagement shoot in the Columbia River Gorge. Well, their wedding took that amount of awesome and multiplied it by 1000. What's even better is that I've been friends with these two for years now. I remember when they met, I watched them fall in love, grow together, and I'm so honored that I was able to capture these moments in their lives. Plus, they threw one hell of a party in a stunning location on the Gulf coast of Florida.
I love you, Kara + Pete, and I'm so damn happy for what your future holds.
Sometimes the light, the people and the location are absolute perfection...
and I just love these two for spending the evening with me climbing sand dunes and ducking under fences to get the perfect shot.
I think this film was processed more quickly than my brain has been able to process everything that happened on this trip. I really don't even know where to begin...
I've been wanting to travel to Asia for a long time. A decade? Longer? I had always assumed I would go to India (for yoga) or Thailand (because everyone goes to Thailand), but Bali, or Indonesia in general, had never been on my radar.
I kid you not, I woke up in the morning about two months ago, and my first thought was, "I should buy a ticket to Bali." So I did. THEN I spent the rest of my day actually researching it (thank goodness it wasn't going to be monsoon season!), and I embarked on my two week journey a month and a half later.
I brought an old 35mm Canon AE-1 and shot Portra 400 the entire trip. I truly love the imperfect nature of film, particularly on an imperfect camera. Hell, I even lost an entire roll due to it being jostled in a motorbike accident (I prefer the story over that roll of film any day, but sadly my time at the ashram is not documented).
Honestly, there really isn't much more I can say because I'm still thinking about everything, but here are some snaps that hopefully do it justice.
Days like these are what keep me motivated.
Going on an adventure with two people in love and exploring a small part of the epic landscape the Pacific Northwest provides.
Fresh air, mountain climbs and just the right amount of cliff-edge danger.
The freedom to explore births the best possible photographs, plus these two adventurers now feel like good friends.
And then there were four...
I'm so damn lucky to have this family in my life.
Kelsey and Nick are two people I've known since I moved to Portland years ago. We've worked together, "grown up," watched each other change.. thrive, settle into ourselves.
They've also been believers in me as a photographer from the very beginning. They trusted me with capturing their lives and most important moments, even when I had no idea what I was doing.
Grateful doesn't even begin to sum it up.
It turns out, a frozen waterfall makes for a damn fine backdrop.