No doubt about it, 2020 was a strange and often difficult year. It's easy to get drawn into the negative things but I'm trying hard to be grateful for what I did have: a safe and healthy family, an adorable kitty for company, a day-job that allows me to mostly work from home, calls with friends. One quick visit to my parents up in Vermont/New Hampshire and a mini vacation from some intense work hours. Being with family, even without hugs, was so nice. It was probably the first...only? time I felt normal all year. What a refresh. And of course adopting Ziti! We've grown to be very good roommates, and though I considered myself more of a "dog person" before this, it turns out I am both! He inched out from behind the couch and directly into my heart. And my lap.
Family Sessions At Last
I was so thrilled to capture a few full family portrait sessions this Fall, one fabulous new client and one repeat. Both are so special to me and just being back out there, photographing families again after SO LONG without any, was a thrill. And after a tough year, wow, it felt so good. Plus I discovered a new hiking and photo location with M, E, and little M. The week before, I went scouting and took a book with me, and just sat for awhile enjoying the nature and stillness. It really kick-started my getting outside more, which centers me more than I sometimes give it credit for...you know, from my very comfy couch. And then, the session itself was so much fun! Capturing such a wonderful family - and this moment in their lives - was lovely. M&E had just had their wedding, and little M had turned one days before we got together.
I also provided new photos for a long-standing family and old colleague. We did a session together a couple years ago in the same place, and we explored the same park in 2020. It was great to see Janek, Vanessa, and Avery and get lovely photos all around the area. We had a lot of fun, and they even said that Avery is usually shy around cameras - but she opened right up with me and we even got some special pictures just for her. I just love this!
Since we couldn't have the cherry blossom minis, I was excited to offer Fall Minis this year! We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day together.
COVID-19 has, of course, made spending time with friends in person rare, which is why I was so happy to see my friend from college, her husband, and their new baby girl! Brittany and Santiago were a joy as usual and it was the first time I got to meet little Talia - from a distance - in person. I'm so happy for them and their growing family. It was also lovely to see Alyce with Robert and their sons: Alyce and I went to the same overnight summer camp on Lake Winnipesaukee, and she has spent several years now hosting camp reunions with other women in the area. It's pretty cool to share stories from across the years and see where the overlap is. Rebecca and Truett's children came to the park in song - really! There was a Star Wars song with a dog in there somewhere that they'd made up, and it was sweet to see them having such a good time together. Michelle and Brian were super cute, posing for some fresh photos to fill their gallery wall. I loved seeing how they made each other laugh throughout our session! Colleen and Jim and their fabulous daughters had a great time, walking along the path and field, and making sure to save a few minutes at the end for epic silly pictures together. Holly and her adorable daughter Freya were really fun, complete with toys and some secret candy. Holly and I had bonded over Iceland (yes, it's still on my list as soon as we can safety travel!) and connections with Freya's name before our session, so it was nice to meet in real life too. Then Mentwab and her family arrived for new family photos, and we had a great time exploring the park together, her daughter and husband playing tag and laughing together, too. Lorraine and Al were fabulously color-coordinated with their sons - who were really good sports about family portraits together. I know it's not every teenager's dream ;) Tim and Larry and their son Aaron - along with pup Bambino - were the smiley-est family I think I've ever worked with. No matter where I was, bam, eyes up and smiling. It was impressive, really. And Luisa, David, and Charlotte came out as well, and Baby Bear even made an appearance at the beginning of our time. We got some cute shots of them all zipping down the field and showing Charlotte's small hands against each of her parents.
Seriously. I love my families! It was very busy and definitely a workout - I took some time to myself and had a little picnic in the park between morning and afternoon sessions. I'm so glad we were able to do these. You all made my Fall that much brighter - doing what I love, in person, with such incredible clients. Thank you!!
More 2020 Reflections
What else did I get into this year? I started and then forgot about a travel series (I'll bring it back this year!), planned and wound up cancelling cherry blossoms sessions for everyone's safety - and the NPS wound up closing the area off anyway. So then the reality of the pandemic set in, and the weekend before the stay-home guidance started, I adopted a super chill and sweet kitty affectionately named Ziti (cool as a noodle in your arms). And then...I tried to adjust to the new world, as we all did. I tried to give myself a new project: 365 photos. But emotionally and mentally I was on a wild rollercoaster: motivated and excited one week, despondent and anxious another. I got a handhold from DCfempreneur, a community that really helped me get back to myself and to intention in my business. I got a significant burst of motivation, finally finishing this new website (!) and putting myself out there more, sitting down to plan content and invest in my goals. Through that, I was able to start a new kind of photography, working with my fellow DCfempreneur Cristina for interior design photography (psst if you want to redo a room or three, she is fantastic, she did my bedroom and I love it). Since I was still sorting out my safety measures for portrait photography and for myself in the spring/summer, it was nice to focus on learning a new skill and all that comes with capturing rooms, and angles and lighting that look best. And let me tell you, it can be a workout! It has been great collaborating with Cristina.
I got a monthly craft cocktail subscription box and have had a great time learning about drinks and balancing flavors. I've even discovered some liquors that I like, like Japanese whisky - which was a nice surprise. Consequently my bar cart is...much more full! You can find some of my creations on my Instagram highlights, where I stop in with #cocktailheadshots.
And my connections led me to trying a new goal-planning system called PowerSheets, which has been amazing so far. One of the things it focuses on is making progress little by little, instead of all at once on January 1. In fact, it walks you through how to spread your goals out in a reasonable way throughout the year. It took a lot of work and self-reflection, but I've gotten a lot out of it already. Writing down goals helps immensely in making progress! Giving myself grace and knowing that little by little is still progress continues to be a journey.
Who knows for sure what this year will bring - hope of vaccines is on the horizon, and I'm eager to get back to family and engagement photography when it's a bit warmer out. I'll also be heading to Pennsylvania for a vow renewal in the mountains! Let's get planning - contact me to book a session for this year and we'll have a fantastic time!