2014 is coming to a close. What a year! It flew so quickly I can hardly believe I am writing this post so soon. It feels so bizarre to be saying goodbye to this year but it has been a great one and I am excited to highlight the year in this post. As per tradition, these end of year posts feature my favourite photos from the year as well as a write-up about the year’s lessons learned, memories, thoughts, and experiences. This is my way of closing a chapter and sending it off in style! Of course, as most of you know, this is always a very personal post. I always dive deep into my personal life and my own beliefs and thoughts…cause I love being real with y’all. So come along with me as I look back!
For me, 2014 has been a year of dreaming new dreams and scrambling for the guts to go after them. My husband Scott and I packed up our life in Barrie and moved an hour south-west to a small farming community in a century home. Oh, and that century home was abandoned. Oh…and also….some of the townsfolk thinks it’s haunted! (It isn’t!) It’s actually so peaceful and fabulous. If you believe in that stuff or have experienced it, you know when things are freaky and when they aren’t. My home is my haven. I have been blessed with this home and the peace it carries, which I know is a gift to us from the God we serve. I love history and it makes me super curious to know about the lives that were lived here. It feels so neat to know that this house stood through the world wars, so many big inventions, and has housed so many different families. I feel nostalgic for lives I didn’t even live. If you want to follow along on our home reno journey, check out the blog space reserved specifically for that: http://emberlyhouse.blogspot.com
So with the move and being stranded out here cause Scott takes our vehicle to work, I have had a lot of alone time. I have been busy, but at a pace that feels great. I have been working on my writing, starting a new business, decorating the house, falling in love with cooking, trying and failing at gardening (there’s always next year), adventuring in our new neighbourhoods, and still loving to create with my camera.
My life looks SO different than it did a year ago…and I feel like a completely different person. I think it’s so important to not only make time for the dreams you’ve always had in your heart, but to also leave room for new ones to grow. In truth, my life isn’t what I thought it would be. I planned to start a family almost three years ago now, which is crazy to think of. I never expected that dream would be delayed and that I’d have to find other dreams to chase. And yet, how faithful God has been to me and my heart. I feel immensely blessed to have had the time to really grow as an artist and to be molded and shaped into a better person. I am confident (not in a cocky way) that I am much better equiped to raise up human beings now than I was three years ago, although I am sure you never feel fully ready or capable. Overall, yes there are days when it hurts…but with this perspective that I carry, I know I am coming out of this a better person, and it will make me a better mom. Having time for myself really has been amazing. I will have the rest of my life to not have time for myself, so I have learned to really embrace it!
After 2013 being far too stressful for me to handle in some ways, Scott supported me in taking as much of a break and refresher as I needed to in 2014 to figure out what I really wanted with my business. I fell in love with photography all over again in 2014. I love the medium and have been spending time with many of my cameras – the DSLR, iPhone, polaroid, film SLR, disposables, etc. I look for beauty again in a way I feel like I haven’t since I started learning photography in highschool. I look for little moments that stand out to me visually, like the way our bodies create form which somehow conveys emotion. I love studying the way people and nature compliment eachother. I love studying light the most – it speaks to me as an artist and I love seeing how it can magically become the subject of the photo.
So what can I say about my clients and my work in 2014? This past year was incredible. I am so inspired. My clients this year were such beautiful people. Every wedding was thoroughly enjoyed and the time to pack up and leave was hard. I have always been blessed with great work but there was something about this year that stood out to me as being particularly fantastic. When I stop to reflect on why this may be, I immediately think of how different I am this year as a person. My goal wasn’t to get into award shows or bridal magazines (I submitted nothing). I wasn’t out to prove myself. I didn’t feel threatened by any competition or even follow their work to compare mine to. I stopped following wedding photography on Pinterest. I quite simply removed pressures that I had put on myself to mold me into something more cookie cutter in the industry and instead I allowed who I am right now to form my work. I allowed real inspiration to mold me….like the movies I love…the countryside I live in…the books I am reading…the love that surrounds me. I have learned to stop comparing my life to others because I know it will never look like anyone else’s. I booked less work so that I could show up at weddings and be ridiculously excited and not exhausted. I felt like my clients just “knew me” and I, them. We were on the same page. It was truly a blessing to work with everyone I did this past year. I can’t thank you all enough for choosing me to photograph the beautiful, happy moments as they unfolded. It was an honour…and something I will always be thankful for as I look back on my life and consider all the people who entrusted me with their memories.
In my free time, I mostly focused on capturing memories in different ways…mostly through writing. I’ve been allowing myself to be IN a moment and not have to step outside of it to run and grab my camera. I also often feel satisfied enough to take photos with my iPhone since the camera quality is decent enough for what I would use the photos for and I like to challenge myself to get good photos with less bells and whistles.
In the New Year, I will be launching my new photography branding AND my new business. So keep your eyes open for new exciting things coming in 2015. I don’t set New Year’s resolutions per say, but I do create goals for myself.
Here are some goals that come to mind:
-I want to get back in the swing of taking photos of everyday life and not just photos for clients
– I want to explore nature more with my camera
– I want to bake more
– I want to read at least one book per month (which is an easy goal but I find it hard to find time to read)
– I want to learn to refinish furniture
– I want to do more study and practice in modern calligraphy
– I want to get a second vehicle
– I want to get involved in my community
– I want to support privately owned restaurants wherever possible
– I want to learn to garden
– I want to get all debts paid off
At the end of the year, I will report back on how I did with these goals.
To all of you, I wish you a very happy holiday season and may the spirit of Christmas fill you all with hope for this new coming year. Dream big!
Hope you enjoy these photos! I didn’t blog much this year, so many of these will be new to you!