I am someone that loves to work alone. I love to stay in my head, write little notes on scraps of paper, keep myself awake with 'what ifs' and 'how can I's. But you know what, the truth of it all is that you can't get anywhere all by yourself. You can produce some great work, and many people have, on your own. But Mozart needed an orchestra, Woody Allen needs a camera man, and whether it's strangers or your best friends - you need to learn to open up a little bit of yourself to other people and trust them with your ideas and your work, in order for it to get anywhere outside of your own hands. And I know that's one of the most obvious statements a person could make, but it's something that I think a lot of artists struggle with. Fears of being misunderstood, of being cheated, of ideas been stolen, of rejection, criticism - it's all valid, and it all happens. And I think that's the best and worst part of it - you can find yourself crushed, but when you do get back up, and when you do find something that works, it's incredible.
I put in a lot of hours this year to photography. Some days I'm convinced it was too many, and other days I'm sure it wasn't enough. I really don't know, and honestly, it doesn't matter. What really blows me away, is the hours, the time, the nights and the weekends, that other people have put into all of this. People have driven from literally all over this state to be a part of a photograph. I've thrown out some ideas that I feel were mildly insane, and not only gotten a positive response, but have had people reach out and ask if they can be a part of it. To all of you that have - you cannot possibly understand how blown away I am. To anyone who has "liked" a photo I posed on Facebook, to models like Seisha who have driven over an hour and a half after work to come to a shoot, to all the kind messages of encouragement from both friends and strangers, to Ariel working hours after her salon closed to get a make-up design just right, to every couple who asked me to photograph their wedding this year, to Alex and Alyssa and Kari for dropping everything to crowd in my bathroom and style models, and...I could write a whole post on everyone. Seriously, if you're reading this, I owe you a thank-you.
And the names you never see in the credits but that deserve to be in every single one are my parents and Christopher. Moral support, last-minute backdrop building, light replacement runs, feedback, hugs, encouraging texts while getting ready to collapse from ten hours at a wedding, and most of all, for understanding how important all the little things I worry about are, even if they seem completely absurd. You are my heroes, and I love you <3
I know this is a big block of texts, and I'm more of a pictures person myself [haaaa I had to put one bad pun in there], but the thing to take away from all of this is that I am so, incredibly grateful. I have no idea what this new year holds, but if it gets anywhere close to this one, I will be a happy camper.
With a deep breath, and so much love,