I titled this post "whew!" because that's kinda how I feel right now. This year has been nothing short of amazing for me, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't really hard work along the way. Therefore, I find myself saying "whew" as I sit here at the end of the year wondering how I am so lucky to have met such fabulous clients throughout the year.
As many of you know, I only started doing this full-time on June 1st. Prior to that, I worked full-time at an advertising agency and shot on the weekends and weekday evenings. That was a hectic time trying to manage both jobs, but I don't regret it one bit. In fact, I consider it one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. It allowed me to build a client base, earn money to put towards the best gear that money can buy, and gain experience along the way. I truly enjoy what I do, and none of it would have been possible without the love, support, encouragement and help of my friends, family and clients.
As I was trying to sum up the year on this blog, I wasn't quite sure how to do it. I thought that I could go back through all of shoots and pull a favorite image from each one and re-post them here...but, do you know how much work that would be? You wouldn't believe the number of files that I have, and the number of archive drives that I have. It's one thing to shoot all of those photos, but it's another to STORE and MANAGE all of them!:) I know that would probably be the best thing to do, but I just couldn't possibly get that all done. You know why? Because I had 145 shoots in 2008! Can you believe that? That's a mix of portrait shoots, family shoots, weddings, engagement shoots, event shoots and commercial shoots. It's not exact, but I tried to go back through my '08 calendar and count up all of my shoots and 145 is what I came up with. I had no clue how many I had done, but I thought maybe it was around 85 or 100. But, ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE shoots??!! Holy cow! And 2009 is looking like it's going to be even more than that. I have to thank each and every one of you for everything that you've done for me. I feel like I have about 200 new friends!
This new blog has made a huge difference for my business. It was completed sometime at the beginning of September, and since then I hope it's been a much more pleasant presentation of my work for you. As you've noticed, anyone can vote on ONE favorite image from each shoot. I love being able to see what everyone else votes on. I am always the first person to vote on each post, and sometimes you guys vote on the same image as me, and sometimes it's a completely different image. Either way, I think it's fun for us all to see what the outcome is. At the top of my blog under "categories" you'll notice that there's a link called "viewer favorites." If you hadn't already discovered that link, well, you've learned something new today:) Anyways, because I decided that I couldn't pull a favorite image from each shoot, I decided that I would do something different with the "viewer favorites" page. I decided that I would give away a free 11x16 canvas to the image that received the most votes! Funny enough, the image with the MOST votes was a photo of Irish, who is a dog! That doesn't make Irish any less important though! Somehow, Irish's photo ended up with 14,614 votes. I don't know if my website was broken or hacked, or if there really were over 14,000 people out there who thought this was the best photo, but either way, it had the most votes. So Lauren, Matt & Irish are the lucky winners of the free canvas! Here's the winner...
And since I'm not sure if 14,614 votes is accurate or not, I thought I'd go ahead and giveaway one more free 11x16 canvas! The next favorite photo, with 20 votes, was from Reece's 9 month shoot! Here's the cutie...
Thanks again for everything that you guys have done for me. I cannot wait to kickoff 2009! I promise to try and provide even bigger and better things for you to see here!!! CHEERS!
I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas! I failed to get a single Christmas card out this year to friends, family and clients. That's one of my favorite things to do each holiday season, but I found myself working as fast as I could to keep up with all of my work and shoots. So I apologize to you all, but I hope that you did have a wonderful time yesterday with friends and family. We spent Christmas Eve with Simon's family and then ventured up north yesterday to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. As expected, it was fun watching Claire and Lyza open all of their gifts. I honestly don't think that they can remember all of the new toys that they got. Simon and I decided that we weren't going to get each other gifts this year because we are taking a trip to Ireland and England in April! We both have everything that we need, so we wanted to just put our money towards the trip. We did buy a GPS Navigation System that works both in the US and in Europe, so I suppose that could be considered our gift this year!:) We plan on taking that with us to Ireland so we don't get lost!! Santa was pretty generous this year for our little Peyton. She got an Uglydoll in her stocking, and a few days before received a package in the mail from Coach! Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure...
Here's our little princess, Peyton!
Peyton's gift came wrapped in a lovely little box with a gold ribbon...
As I was taking a photo of the box, Peyton was excited to get a sniff of it...
Inside was a beautiful pink, patent leather collar. Pink usually isn't Peyton's color (since she's such a tomboy), but the fact that it had peace signs and skulls made it pretty edgy:)
It was so much fun editing these photos, because when I see the huge smiles on these kids' faces, it honestly makes me smile. I know that sounds cheesy, but candid, natural, relaxed and fun photos are right up my alley! I have to give all of the credit to Lucy, WIlliam and George. They are kids full of energy and laughter. When Molly and Warren scheduled this shoot, we all knew that the weather would be questionable being that it's December in Indiana. Either way, we were planning on working inside and outside, but the outside shots would just depend on the weather. It was cold, but the kids did great! I suggested finding some cute hats, scarves and gloves, and that's exactly what they did!
Meet the oldest, Lucy! What a doll:)
And meet the middle child (minus one front tooth), William!
And meet the youngest cutie, George!
I think that at this point, Warren was giving me bunny ears. Hey, I'll do whatever it takes. It was well worth it to get these smiles!
I LOVE this one:)
Here are some of our indoor shots...
William was being a ham...
They're all so cute!
I could have picked a family photo where they were all looking at the camera, but just judging by the hour that I got to know this family, this is a more accurate portrayal of their everyday life. You can see that Molly and Warren put their kids at the center of everything, and the kids love life because of it!
Thank you so much, Molly & Warren! It was a pleasure working with you and your family. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your slideshow!