i've been journaling for as long as i can remember. there are so many reasons why i do it. people who know me well know i journal a whole lot. but perhaps the most valuable part of journaling is being able to look back on old entries and remember how i felt then, my perspective on life then, who i was as a person then, how i've grown since then. this is no different. honestly, i went back and forth on posting a recap of the year in photos just because i knew it would be a commitment to do it. i'd have to sit down for hours and cycle through a year in files and when you average a few thousand frames a shoot, you can imagine the time it took. but i'm so thankful i couldn't resist the need to do it. a few weeks back, i was in a bit of an artist funk. we artists get down on ourselves and turn into pathetic balls of pity and start comparing ourselves to others. we think that our stuff is getting old and our work is no good and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our craft. i realize that this is not all a bad thing. it's a dumb burden we place on ourselves but on the flip side, it can provide a sense of urgency to always push ourselves in our art. to seek the best and never stop learning. every now and then you get to look back on what you've accomplished, how far you've come, where you were and where you are now, and you get to take a deep breath and realize you are just where you need to be, on your own path. in fact, "it is well."
there were plenty of moments this year - five hundred twenty one thousand six hundred minutes, as i sing from the famous broadway tune. if you wanted me to capture it, i was there. and even if you didn't, i was still shooting. clients shared their lives with me. there was love shown in every way possible between my brides and grooms, moms and babes, fathers and sons. there were tears because of those souls that passed this year and there were tears of joy shed by strong men as the love of their lives walked toward them down that aisle. lots of love this year. all strands of it. all kinds.
there was a lot of celebrating too. there was dancing and fans cheering for their teams and newborns welcomed into the world. even the mayor of chicago himself let me catch him in action as he opened up a new recreation center for the city's youth. i was there.
in 2011 i traveled quite a bit for clients. i crept around to grab those secret moments. i was there. i laughed with you. i made friends. i did sweat, so much. i cried at my desk while editing late into the night because i love this so much. every ounce of it. and this is why. this is what i have been blessed to experience in 2011. and for 2012, i vow to follow my gut in projects. i vow to not let fear of failing keep me from exploring and discovering more. always more. i want to let photography continue to sharpen my senses, my heart, my character - just as it has this year on so many levels.
i could have posted hundreds more. every time i found one that i needed to put up there were 5 more i found that i had to put in the batch too. and these may not even be the best of 2011, but they were the ones that moved me. the ones i remembered from editing, no matter how long ago the session was. i am so grateful to have had my hands in such a diverse set of projects. may that always be.
thank you, 2011, for being my breakthrough year. welcome, 2012. i embrace you.