Ohhhhh goodness.2013, you were an incredible year. Here's 2012's, if you missed that one.
Let's do a little recap, shall we? (Warning: it's heavy on the pictures..)
Personal: + Followed my heart and listened to Jesus when I quit my consistent, managerial job. + Got a passport & traveled internationally for the first time (yay, Quebec!). + Traveled for personal and business to a ton of awesome cities, including Colorado Springs, Memphis, Charleston, Asheville, New York (twice!). + Traveled ALONE cross country and to NYC. + Tried to be fearless as much as possible. + Got a little (lot) more tatted up. + Learned who Jesus was as a Provider - probably my toughest (and most rewarding) lesson this year. + Realized how lucky I am to have a family who cheers for me, constantly. + Turned 25! + Got a puppy, a mini goldendoodle named Murphy. She was the SECOND toughest lesson this year. + Made and maintained amazing, encouraging friendships with people I met on instagram/facebook (Kelly, Lauren, Paige, Jordan, I'm looking at you!) + Saw Ben Rector TWO times! + Realized that being single is a gift, not a curse. Found absolute contentment with where I am in life. + Family celebrations - my brother got married (I shot his wedding, there are some pics of them below), my other bro&sister-in-law built an amazing house and have a great testimony behind it, my Dad and his wife celebrated a year of marriage, my sister got a new job, and my mom continued to dominate in hers!
Business: + Became a Southern Weddings Blue Ribbon Vendor! (post on that later) + Got published on Green Wedding Shoes (and I also just found out a Ruffled feature will be coming out soon!) + Was Wedding Wire Rated at a 5.0/5.0 and also was given one of their Bride's Choice Awards . + Reached 1,000+ likes on Facebook (this doesn't really matter but it's cool!) + Second shot for incredible friends and other photographers, as well as had several incredible second's by my side. + Became a Smitten "In the Loop" Vendor (again, post on that later!) + Learned that it's okay to turn couples down - what matters more than anything is that we FIT to work together. I'm not just a vendor and you're not just another bride. Let's make it more. + Reconfigured my entire philosophy as a photographer, which you can read more about here! + Went full time photography, became an LLC! + Truly became friends with a handful of my brides & grooms.
There were times when I didn't know if I was going to be able to pay my rent. Times when I had to turn to my parents for help and my siblings for prayer and advice. Times when I cried to my friends and was their shoulder to cry on right back. Friendships that disintegrated and others that flourished. Times I was scared about traveling alone, nervous about shooting (every session!), worried that people wouldn't love my work. But guess what? I didn't give up!
I do my "recaps" a little bit differently. If you're not listed on here, or if you don't have a ton of images, don't think it's because I didn't love your session or wedding, I truly did. These are just glimpses of moments that stuck out in my mind, people and places that left an impression on my heart. It's not to leave anyone out, because I can't thank each of you enough for truly letting me pursue my dream day in and day out.
So, to everyone who booked/had a session with me this year, (Christina, James & Natalie, Masha & Tolik, Nicole & Bobby, Calah & Ryan, McCrea & Troy, Angie & Sage, Erin & Will, Hailey & Ben, Katie & Chris, Liz, Mallory & Will, Nicci/Sol & Junie, Tammy & Brian, LeAnna/Justin & Asher, Sam & Chase, Carly & Al, Jess & Justin, Laura, Sam & Caroline, Ana & Brett, Diane/Marc & Levi, Jena & Josh, Ash & Gray, Kelly & Jeremy, Erica & Jordan, Kelly & John, Jordan & Nick, Lauren & Kyle, Steph, Kelly & Clint, Candace/Chris & Evie, Shannon & Ryne, and Morgan & Zach), thank you.
Goals for 2014: + Shoot a destination wedding! + Start traveling to the PNW, shoot in Washington/Oregon. + Go back to California, try to book a session there. Or better yet, a WEDDING! + Book at least 25 weddings. + Maintain my philosophy with the couples I work with. + Shoot a wedding in the woods. + Shoot an elopement. + Be featured on GWS again. + Have something published in a magazine. + Solidify my brand. + Tithe a portion of my proceeds to either a local or international philanthropy and have that be a part of my mission statement.
Okay, SO. Enough chatting. Here's what you really wanted.
"This is the part in the movie where the music changes and you go live the big life you decided you were going to live." - Bob Goff
(Still one of my favorite images I've ever taken, you're gorgeous, Christina.)
Meet Murphy. She's no longer this tiny, but still as adorable.
Quebec! (As the locals pronounce it, "Kay-Beck") - longer post on this later.
And instagram! (@emilychidester)