As I continue to grow and get wiser, I'm quickly learning that life is all about the experience. Its all about the laughter you share with a friend or that daring moment you jump off a cliff or that shock when you realize your work paid off. No one experience quite defines you, yet the sum of all your life moments sort of makes you who you are. We may be one spec in a broad universe, but we have the opportunity to leave one hell of a mark. As I reflect on my favorite moments from 2014, I'm realizing just how beautiful and vast my life is and how happy I am to be alive. Thank you to everyone who I've spent this year with- you're all a part of my life now, and I'm forever grateful.
1. Starting With a Bang- Atlanta Flickr Meetup
Not only did Taylor McCormick and her family host an amazing adventure for our photo community to spend time together and create art, they threw the best New Years Eve party in HISTORY and rolled in the New Year for all of us in a very memorable way. I’ll never forget this amazing experience!
2. Phlearn Takeover
My jaw must have dropped when THE Aaron Nace asked if I’d like to take over Phlearn! Getting to experience their video world for a week was exhausting, but one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I still get messages from people who loved seeing those videos!
3. First Workshops
HUGE thank you to Joshua Chamberlain, Peter Jamus, Carolyn Hampton, David Talley, and Karrah Kobus for embarking on some of my first workshop experiences with me! I learned so much from each of you and grew closer through those experiences. I always look forward to getting to cross paths again <3
4. Eskimo Style Trek to Mackinac Island
I can’t say I’ve ever frozen so thoroughly and yet enjoyed myself so thoroughly! For those who don’t know, Mackinac Island is a historic town 4 miles out into the Great Lake Huron in Michigan; in the winter there sometimes forms an ice bridge to the island, graced by bone chilling high winds. Yeah. We crossed that. On FOOT! Huge thank you to my friend Michael Maltby for making a dream to enter the Grand Hotel come true!
5. First Family Wedding
HUGE Congratulations to my big sister Kristi for finding, and committing to the love of her life! Its incredible to see her happier than ever, and as I write this, she’s already holding her new baby boy Liam in her hands; life is full of joy!
6. Living in NYC
I’ve always dreamed of living in NYC, so when my good friends Nataie and Lissy offered one of their rooms for a little over a month, I had to jump at the opportunity. YOLO. So many great adventures and new friends were made! I miss my Brooklyn girls <3
Need I say anything!? I mean… Iceland. I’m pretty sure you already know why this is a highlight. I suppose I’ll give a shout out to my girl Kelsey for making the trip possible, and of course those rascals Lizzy, Whitney and Sian for believing in the trip equally to make it happen. This was by far the most incredible trip of my life and I cannot wait to return… for at least a year ;)
etting to see some of my favorite artists live- what could be better? Experiencing my first camping festival was such a freeing and exuberating time. Thank you Drake for surprising me for my birthday!
9. The Wild Ones Tour
This experience was life changing to say the least. I am forever grateful to the originals Sarah, Joel and Shane for bringing me along and to all of the incredible students and hosts I was fortunate to meet. I’ve forged some new friendships that I’m certain will last a lifetime, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences I had during this trip.
10. Flickr Island
HELP! I’m trapped on an island with 40 crazy artists- what oh what shall I do!? Oh ok, make some new best friends, I guess I can do that <3 Thank you Gurbir and Lizzy for making one of the best weeks of all our lives possible; Sending love to all my left hand men and women
11. 2 Month Cross Country Roadtrip
s if I didn’t already see enough amazing in the earlier months of the year, I got to roadtrip from Portland Maine to Portland Oregon, coast to coast for a second time this year, meeting some of my favorite US artists and revisiting good friends and family. I got to spend an entire month with my Texas family and see the southwest finally! I could list a whole top 12 just from this trip!
12. 1 Year Anniversary
I don’t even know how to put my love into words for my significant other. To protect our privacy I won’t share a name but in November we celebrated a year of being together and I have never felt closer to another human heart. I’m excited to continue sharing 2015 together my love <3
1. Be 100% true to myself
2. Engage more with my photo audience and blog more
3. Release my Iceland series in a magazine
4. Build a new community in Portland (I move in January!)
5. Visit at least 3 new continents (maybe all of them!)
6. Land my first official gallery
7. Get a magazine cover
8. Book more high profile clients
9. Workshop tour in Asia and Australia
10. Spread ALL the love <3
ANNOUNCING 2015 CHALLENGES
In 2015, one of my top goals is to have more interaction with my online audience; you have all made a huge impact on my career as an artist, and I’m forever grateful to be living my dreams while encouraging you to live yours! Each month I’m going to issue a challenge, and you simply must comment on my blog post with your response. My favorite 1-3 choices each month will win a variety of prizes; free prints, posters, gear from a sponsor or other swag! Winners will be chosen within the last week of each month.
Share your favorite experience from 2014 that represents a change in your life and express it in a single photo. This could be as simple as a vacation photo or an artistic photo. The story is what counts here, so make sure you explain your entry! Comment below with your story, email address and photo or a link to the photo. The top 3 winners I select will receive a free 11x16 (or square crop if applicable) print of their choice photo from my portfolio!