2017 was a heck of a year on all accounts. I started the year a hobbyist photographer, not quite sure where I fit in, and unsure of my skills and where I wanted to be. 2017 saw (as if this isn't cliche enough) a metric f--- ton of growth, along with just as many setbacks and confusion. As recently as a few weeks ago, I was wondering if this was even something I wanted to keep pursuing.
Then, doors opened, opportunites arose, and here I stand: ready to tackle 2018 with tenacity and a whole truck load of humility. Which brings me to this: my 13 best images of 2017. These are ranked by nothing but not chronological order, but these are the 13 images I am most proud of this year. Take a peek and let me know if you agree!
The above image is from a shoot I did almost one full year ago! It was my first time really using my Sigma 35mm lens and man, I was in love. With the lens and the shoot! It's funny, while I've tried a lot of different things in the last year to find my style, I still gravitate towards this shoot. Something about my lack of know-how and their incredible natural chemistry made for some unbeatable, unposed images and I still love this shoot.
This image is from one of my first 'real' shoots last February! It's kind of hard for me to believe I'm not even a year into this game, officially. I remember getting this image onto my computer and my jaw dropping (which is kind of funny in retrospect since current me sees technical flaws, but growth is growth!). I loved and still love the milky light and the movement in this image. There is something special about *capturing moments* as much as I hate that overworked phrase. Sometimes it's just true and that's how I feel about this image.
This shoot was my pride and joy for quite a while. I loved loved this image. This was the first time that I felt like I understood what post processing could do to transform an image and it was magic. I still enjoy the scene this image paints, even if the tone isn't what I would necessarily choose almost a year later. It was hot, bugs were biting our legs, and my stool was sinking into mud but this image makes me feel like no one else was there in the whole park.
WHEW. Talk about a milestone. I shot my first ever wedding this year! I mean, DANG. I'm still bowled over that someone would trust me with their most important day ever (and I still feel that way, looking at you 2018 brides!). This was a lovely day and I will always be grateful that my first bride and groom were these two. They were wonderful and it was truly one of the highlights of my photographic year to snap this image.
This year also brought me the chance to photograph many, many friends! This image is when I was getting used to editing in a more 'moody' style, and I love the sweet giggle you can almost hear when you look at this image. It still stands as one of my favorite times getting used to using prompts in my shoots rather than just art-directing the people in front of my lens.
This shoot was special to me as it meant I was in one of my favorite places in the world: Detroit. Casey and I have said many times that moving back into the city is the only way we'd go back to Michigan and these trips confirm it. We woke up at the crack of dawn to see these dear friends so I could photograph their beautiful family against the backdrop of a sunrise over the city. This image further solidified my love of prompts.
This picture is special to me for the simple reason that is of my niece and nephew. I got the chance to take some photos of my sister and her family this summer, and it was amazing to be able to share my passion with family that I've not always had a perfect relationship with. This was a moment I am proud of and will always cherish. Plus, how cute are they?!
This shoot. Oh, what a blast. I requested a model call and these two fantastic people answered. This shot is one of my faves for a ton of reasons. I adore the drama and the emotion, the light, the symmetry, the whole nine. Ugh. This image is an all time favorite.
This sunrise shoot came together the night before at about 11 pm. When she asked if they could wear their wedding clothes I was low key ecstatic. While we got a million shots that day that are some of my also all-time faves (sensing a theme here?), there is just something about this quiet coffee shop window, the adoring glances, the wedding dress amidst the silence...sigh.
What good is a shoot if it doesn't tell a story? I asked Audra to pretend she was hugging him good bye for six months and when I saw this image I got chills. Photographer seceret that's not so secret: we love when you play along and get really into it. That's how we get images that we post everywhere that we can't stop staring at, like this one.
Okay, this spot. This spot! These two! AH! I don't have much to say about this except: the city lights like stars in the background. The wind whipping through their hair. Blue hour! Is there anything else to say?!
This shoot was a mid-November stunner, full of perfect KC fall foliage and a precious family. While the whole session offered many contenders for this list, this is one that I just kept coming back to. I adore the closeness, and while I love shooting for couples, families gave them a run for the money this year. I might just add cheek-to-cheek for my couple's prompts, but I don't think it would be this cute tbh.
One of my favorite frames of the whole year. It was about ten degrees. Thought my exposed fingers were toast. My favorite city. My best friend. A day of adventures. The essence of my photography journey: miniature and still documentaries about the people in my frames just as they are on that date. Full of their life experiences, hungry for more, content all the while.
That's how I plan on entering 2018. Content and whole just as I am, always ready for more. Bring it on.