Summing up a year tends to seem insurmountable in words alone. So, this blog entry is an attempt to couple words with photos to give you a good idea of all that 2021 was and why I consider it to be the year I really gained perspective.
2021, you were an interesting one.
You’ll be marked in my calendar of years as one to remember. Full of so much discovery and change and loss. In the midst of you, I saw God’s faithfulness on display like never before and that is what I treasure the most.
Not long after the year began, I lost someone very dear, my grandma. When someone passes from here to their eternal home it automatically calls for reflection and redeeming the time. The things that truly matter seem to rise to the surface and a gift is granted – perspective.
In the midst of grief, the Lord taught me to trust. He made his goodness very clear in ways that became an anchor and defining narrative for the remainder of the year.
First, in the life of my nephew. Watching the wonder of life and constant discovery of a child as they grow from infant to toddler is one sure way to remind you that there is beauty in every day. From things as simple as marveling as a wind chime makes music in the breeze or discovering the sounds of animals and immediately trying to mimic them. Seeing life through the eyes of a growing kid will change the way you view life as a whole. – and being called Aunt Rachael is probably my favorite title I’ve been given thus far.
Second, in the people around me. From friends who stepped in and said, “we’re not going anywhere” to incredible clients who believed in me when I struggled to for myself. 2021 reminded me how important it is to surround yourself with your kind of people – those who cheer you on, push you to do the things you’ve always wanted to do and who allow you to be entirely yourself, no matter how unkept you feel in the midst of it. The type of people who are down for adventure, both planned and spontaneous. And most of all, the people who inspire you to dream in ways you couldn’t have on your own. Basically, just find your people.
I’d say the last thing to commemorate from 2021 is the boldness that emerged in me as both an artist and a business owner. A lot of goals and dreams I didn’t think could be achieved so quickly were realized in 2021. The main one I thought was a pipe dream was traveling out of state for my work. Yet in 2021, I traveled to three different states for both weddings and brand shoots as well as roadtripping up to Northern Ohio more than once to capture brand imagery for phenomenal clients! The honor of getting to create imagery for both brands and brides to encapsulate their story is not lost on me – and getting to do that outside the boundaries of Ohio is something I didn’t know I’d love as much as I did (do)! Plus, I’m walking into this new year with some imagery in my portfolio that I’m pretty proud of – you’ll see more of those later.
Okay, this “summary” of a year is quickly becoming more like a memoir. So, I’ll attempt to wrap it up and get you scrolling down through the photo portion of this blog entry.
Perspective is a thing that is shaped. It’s the thing that brings joy to every day. Increases the meaning found in the mundane. And makes celebrating the exciting stuff that much more fun. It’s the thing that I treasure as a photographer – the way I see the world comes through in the imagery that fills my camera roll. It’s also the thing that allows me to truly be thankful in the life I have now. Perspective determines outlook – and thus how full my life is in any given moment. Perspective is refined in the most exciting of times and in the darkest of valleys. Yet all the while it is guided by the One who holds life itself in his hands. My perspective truly shifts when I realize that my trust and hope are in the hands of the God who formed the galaxies. And because he holds my life in his hands, there is no valley too dark for his light to beam through. No mountaintop experience that exceeds the joy of his love. And no every day moment he isn’t already in. Perspective is simply a point of view. One that, for me, has been enriched by living through the year 2021.
Now onto the photo portion.
I couldn’t decide how to display the selection I curated, so you’ll see them in three main groups. The first is a collection of favorites from my brand shoots throughout the year. The second contains weddings and portraits. And the third is a mosaic of just life things and memories I bookmarked from the year. I hope you enjoy seeing a bit of what I created and lived in the year 2021.
You have to know, narrowing down a “favorites list” from over ten weddings and then adding in portrait session is not actually possible. There were so many others I wanted to share, but you’d be scrolling endlessly if I did. So, you’ll find a collection of images that make my artist’s heart come alive as well as reinforce that perspective idea that I shared about above.
Again, curating photos to showcase the life lived in a year’s time is bound to leave something out. I tried not to only include a highlight reel here and I’ll likely filter in some context, but this mosaic is essentially a high-level view of some of the memories I wanted to bookmark and be able to scroll through in my reminiscent moments.