Tuesday, January 1, 2013

to enter the light

day 365

Counting down to the new year always makes me emotional. A year's worth of pain, struggle, happiness, success; a thousand actions, a million thoughts, a billion memories, all finally fall behind my back as fireworks ring in a fresh beginning. I'm starting to think that New Years is my favorite holiday because it holds the greatest emotion for me. It's just so monumental to put another milestone in your life. I knew 2012 would be a roller coaster year, and it definitely did not disappoint. Tomorrow I'm doing a big year in review post, so I won't talk about all the things that happened in 2012 right now, but even just looking back through my memory, this year has been so insane. And to think that I was able to document it with (nearly) 365 photos is equally as insane.

You may or may not have noticed that I had a series going on within my 365 project, and this photo is the final image in the series. At first I was really frustrated that I would have to shoot in an unknown location with no internet for my last photo, but this one ended up even better than I could have imagined.

day one: to leave the atmosphere
day one hundred: tearing down our foundations
day two hundred: halfway home
day three hundred: and as the fog clears

Day one I wasn't in love with photography any longer and I didn't really know what I was doing with the 365 project. I felt like I was in a fog and couldn't see where I was going or what I was supposed to do. (I actually won a contest with that photo, which I find so ironic because I felt lost in regards to photography.) Day one hundred found me inspired again, thinking I could never top that photo at all. The fog was beginning to clear but I was still timid about what my personal style was and if I even had a place as a photographer. Day two hundred found me with my first wedding under my belt, with my first major photoshoot with miss alaska and miss teen alaska behind me. It found me searching and pushing through that fog. Day three hundred found me in a new place, a new state (state of mind and geographical state), with models and photographers and friends and a lot of growing up. I was trudging through the forest and I was starting to see things clearly. And day three hundred and sixty five has found me finally entering the light, finally feeling at peace with who I am currently, finding joy in pushing my boundaries and doing things I never thought I would do. I think if I were to redo this project, I would have worked even harder on it. I would have given myself more guidelines in what I could and could not create, because many days I was lazy and gave no effort, which left me frustrated and ready to quit. But now I know it is in doing the scary things that bring me the most joy. My favorite photo in the entire project would be this one, and not necessarily because it was the most well done or popular photo. It was because that photo was where I went against everything in me and did something I previously thought I would never have been able to do. I want every photo I take to make me feel the way this photo did: absolutely terrified but so so accomplished. I know that just because I write "day 365" doesn't mean my journey is done. But now I feel a little bit more enlightened and I am in love with photography again. And don't worry, I will be taking a lot of pictures in 2013.

And I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports me. I ended the year succeeding my goal of reaching 25,000 views on flickr and 365 likes on facebook. That to me is unbelievably amazing and I cannot thank you guys enough. You are the best ever. In a couple days I'm having a big huge print giveaway to say thank you, and in a few more days I'll pick up my camera again to make some more awesome images, but in the mean time, I'm taking a much needed break.

I just want to nod my head in the direction of the end of my first 365 project, because that was when I first fell in love with photography and my eyes were opened to this fantastic world of awesome people, many of which are my friends today. I still look on my first 365 with fondness, and it's great to see just how much I've improved. And let's not even try to imagine what I'm going to say at the end of 2013 that I thought I would never be able to do today! But let's make the end of 2013 be really proud and blown away by what we did in the year.

All I can say is thank you, and it's going to be awesome.

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