2017 took forever, it seemed like. There was a lot of good. A little not-so-good, too. A lot of me mustering up the courage to get up in the mornings. A lot of failing. A lot of creating and trying and troubleshooting. There were downfalls and triumphs and celebrating even the smallest victories. There were days I wanted to throw in the towel, give up photography forever, and never go to another wedding again. But those didn’t last long. They might be back, but when it comes down to it, I think this is what I was designed to do.
And when I felt that low, I realized it was once again comparing myself to others. So I tried doing that less. And the results were good.
I felt like this year was a struggle for me in many ways. I won’t delve into that now–I’ll save it for another post–but I still got to make photos for wonderful people on the happiest of days.
I feel like I came out on top in the end. I survived a strange year and I’m happily in a new mindset to kick a whole lotta ass for 2018.
Before I get to my best wedding and engagement photos for 2017, a recap of a few business highlights:
+ I attended Thrive Modern and grew alongside some stellar girls who turned into friends.
+ One of my beautiful couples blessed the Fall/Winter Brides of Oklahoma cover. It freaked me out to see a photo I took just hanging out on magazine racks in Barnes and Noble and Whole Foods.
+ Junebug Weddings (with the help of some fab judges) picked one of my photos as Best of the Best Engagements. They also chose me as an Instagrammer to Follow for the month of May. I was published on there a few times this year and I still get goosebumps whenever I see my work floating around their site.
+ Green Wedding Shoes published one of my all time favorite weddings. So much color and joy and fun. I’d shoot that dang thing every day.
+ I started offering mentor sessions and flew to Denver to teach my first one! I also made a true friend in my first Mentee, Kenzie. I love her and she’s crushing it.
+ After that came the chance to be on the Guest Panel at the Lookslikefilm Oklahoma Photography Summit and spoke alongside some rad fellow wedding photographers and got to hang/shoot/grow with a hundred photographers from around here. I saw friends and made new ones.
+ Night School invited me to teach a class on Modern Wedding Photography and I was sooooooo nervous but had the best time ever. It was the night I got to let loose, spill my guts, share nearly everything I’ve learned over the years, and realized how much I enjoy teaching. One of the attendees came up to me after my presentation and said “I went to a big photography conference in the Pacific Northwest last year and spent hundreds of dollars and I just learned more from you than I did the whole three days I was there.” and that was a highlight for sure. Probably a highlight of my life. If you’re interested in getting free tips and tricks to so many different sides of art, creating, and business-running, Night School is such a kickass thing. Check them out.
+ I got to travel and photograph weddings and elopements and engagements in Washington, Colorado, Florida, Texas, and all over Oklahoma.
+ I photographed a few editorials and had some weddings featured in the Brides of Oklahoma Magazine, which can be seen in the current issue.
+ I shot some food and commercial projects for a big company that I cannot disclose and it made me realize how badly I want to do more food and travel photography.
+ I booked my first international destination wedding (HELL YES) and will photograph it later this year.
I had the sincere honor to photograph 25 couples’ big day and to shoot so many engagements and other sessions. I think I had the most fun this year with my couples than ever before. There was a unique energy to each couple I got to work with.
All in all, a solid year. I felt stagnant for a lot of it and felt myself becoming robotic, but I think I’m out of that now. I’m excited for 2018.
I took tens and tens of thousands of photos in 2017.
Here are my favorites (in no particular order).