2018: Looking Back

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog looking back at the past year and everything that’s happened—because I usually can’t remember what I’ve done the past week a stroll down memory lane might be nice. And after a holiday afternoon holiday nap (there’s just something about taking a nap when visiting the family during holidays, but I imagine growing a human might be a factor too), I decided to bust out this reflection. So, let’s see if I can get this done before dinner.

2018 was supposed to be the year of writing. I was not going to promote my photography and focus on finishing my manuscript before attending the Realm Makers Conference in July.

Haha ha ha ha.

January and February are usually slow photography months, so it fits perfectly with my plan to focus on writing, but I have a couple of clients who repeat their sessions during this time so might as well compare the first picture I took of them and the one from this year!

First up is little Ollie, here is he as a nine-month-old squish and then his session leading up to his second birthday—he’s turned into quite the model kid thanks to his momma’s mad styling skills.

Next up are the Hofmann’s, we’ve been friends for ages and it’s fun to see their family grow through portrait sessions (and a challenge to keep them fresh and different)

March took me to Galveston to second shoot for a fellow writer I had clicked with in the Realm Maker’s group—just a couple of mamas’ in Texas who happen to write and photograph. We clicked over mom life, nerdiness, and artistic endeavors. Also, I need to visit Galveston again.

This spring, we got some long over due family portraits done (and I got to meet a fellow KJ fangirl) thanks to the lovely Casey Lester

Then I got to run around Abilene taking graduation photos for a friend who I’ve known since we were in single digits. And guys, she killed it.

Then I captured a friend’s maternity photos, and these faces are fantastic.

I planned to focus on my manuscript during the summer, which I totally finished before the conference.

Narrator: she did not, in fact, finish the manuscript.

But I also put together a styled shoot because I had purchased an antique chair during New Years that was just dying to be used. Styled shoot = fake wedding, if you’re wondering

I then on got paint on my camera for a friend’s maternity paint war.

July brought Realm Makers to St. Louis, I was excited to be back in one of my favorite cities—even though I’d only be seeing the airport and conference center; thankfully Panera (aka St. Louis Bread Co.) was walking distance from our hotel.

Realm Makers is a writing conference for science fiction and fantasy writers who are also Christian (but don’t necessarily write Christian literature). It was a nice change of pace being in a super-nerdy environment centered on writing. There were tons of books, costumes, and TV show references.

check out my fellow writing/photographer Marian on her site

Well, right before I left for the conference, I found out we were expecting baby #2. Thank the Lord, symptoms didn’t hit until after I got home (unpleasant things like not being able to drink coffee—I know, I had it rough). The new alien growing in my belly insisted I stop writing and just lay on the house and eat junk food, so the manuscript got derailed.

Then engagement portraits happened! I had a feeling when I photographed Kate and Austin for the previous Christmas that I would be back to capture their engagement pictures, and I know they’re going to have a beautiful wedding next year on a Florida beach.

I met Mary and Cole for the first time to photograph their engagement photos and they were so fantastic! They were so comfortable in front of my camera and that is not easy to do with a 5k happening a few feet away and rain a constant threat. But we had such a good time chatting, Colton and I knew we would love photographing their wedding.

A 30-year old’s cake smash. There was a tutu, tiara, and heels. It was perfect.

October brought rainy weather, but that wasn’t going to ruin Mackinsey and Matt’s wedding day.

This was also the second year we volunteered our services for Velvet Hearts’ fundraising event, this time at the Ridglea Theater and was a masquerade theme which I was so stoked about.

Then there were cupcakes galore at the Snow Garrett Wealth Management open house and fall family sessions.

We wrapped up my photography season with Mary and Cole’s church wedding and Italian reception, Mary was a beautiful bride and I love a couple who are down for a little trek to get some gorgeous photos of just the two of them. Then they practically forced me to eat cake, so this photog momma was a happy girl.

I decided long ago I want my photography to give back, so 10% percent of all income goes towards various charities, nonprofit, and ministries. These were the recipients for 2018:

Save the Storks—mobile clinics that help shorten the distance between pregnancy crisis centers and abortion-vulnerable women.

Save the Storks—mobile clinics that help shorten the distance between pregnancy crisis centers and abortion-vulnerable women.

Risen Motherhood—a podcast dedicated to support women in the thick of motherhood with gospel-centered messages and encouragement.

Risen Motherhood—a podcast dedicated to support women in the thick of motherhood with gospel-centered messages and encouragement.

Thanks so much to everyone who trusted me to capture their memories!

Next year I will be taking a photography break when our second little velociraptor appears, so just maybe I will get some manuscript work done. Maybe.

Bonus: here’s some behind the scenes photos

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