My oh my, what a year it has been! I came into 2013 with one simple goal: shoot more, shoot more, shoot more! I have been extremely lucky to have had all of the opportunities that I did this past year to work on my craft, meet some amazing people and to tell stories of love, art, family and adventure. Some weeks, my email inbox was flooded with inquiries for shoots. Getting inquiries for new work feeds my creative appetite. At times, it felt like I was on an unstoppable roll: booking weddings, having amazing shoots, meeting inspiring people, getting featured on a blogs, etc. These kinds of streaks are exhilarating. But more than not, those kinds of hot streaks are few and far between. More often than not, there are the weeks upon weeks (upon weeks and weeks) where I got nothing. No emails, no phone calls and no definitely no requests for features on Style Me Pretty. Sometimes I have to email myself just to make sure that Gmail is not broken. It’s times like these that it’s so easy to get down on yourself, to start questioning your work, your style, to start comparing yourself to all of the other amazing photographers in town that seem to have everything going for them and who are shooting amazing jobs, are busy all the time, getting featured on blogs, etc. The internet is a great place for inspiration, but it’s also a great place for inspiration killers.
In June, at the height of wedding season, my wife and I packed up and went to France for two weeks. Two weeks away from the day-to-day grind. We took our time to decompress, eat lots of baked goods and find new inspiration. I returned ready to explore what kind of work I really wanted to be shooting. Being away from home made me realize that I can’t continue waiting around for work to fall into my lap. Instead, I decided to start making work for myself. During weeks when my inbox would go quiet, I would reach out to stylists, designers, makers and doers that I admire and started to make connections. Through this process, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who was craving creativity. I know you hear it all the time, but the old motto “you get what you give” really rang true for me this year. I started finding inspiration all around me from food, to cars, to trees and shadows. All in all, this past year I photographed 19 families, 6 weddings, 4 engagements, 2 seniors, a dentist, a folk musician, a launch party for Warby Parker, a wild mens adventure weekend, and countless styled shoots, test shoots and collaborations with some of the most amazing folks in America. Each year that goes by, I find inspiration in unexpected places. I’m learning more and more about photography and business every year. The older I get, it easier it is for me to take a step back and really think about what it is that I want to get out of life. For me, I want to continue exploring the stories of the people around me. I’ve learned that I’m driven by storytelling and emotion. I certainly have a long ways to go to perfect my craft and my business, but every day I wake up inspired because I know that exploring life, nature and emotion is a never-ending journey.
Here are some of the things that got my attention in 2013.
Food! Ramen, pasta, pizza, kale, everything tasty and wonderful!
My suitcase got a lot of work this year. Travel always provides me with a fresh perspective and continually inspires me to put myself in uncomfortable situations to seek new experiences.
Oregon, the state that never ceases to amaze me. From the long, dark winters to the crisp falls and amazing long summer days. I intend on spending a lifetime exploring this amazing land.
Not a day goes by in Portland that I don't find myself surprised, inspired, or unsure of something I've seen. I try to spend at least one hour every day walking the streets of this city that I call home.
A peek into some of the creative collaborations that I dreamt up this past year.