2012.

Wow.

That’s all I’ve got to say about you.

Well, that’s not really all I have to say, in fact I’ve got quite a bit to say. Keep reading.

2012 was a super busy year, I shot ten amazing weddings with 10 beautiful (inside and out) couples, conducted two boudoir marathons for some lovely ladies, and had a great summer shooting seniors and experimenting more than ever with that area of my work. I attended WPPI for the first time and was awestruck by all the talented and like-minded people I came met and encountered while there. I watched my best friend get married. (Amazing wedding film by Nathan at Intentuous here). I launched a brand new site thanks to Adam Scott. I went on a really awesome trip and got engaged to my bestie. The year was a whirlwind of craziness that I think only I can really understand because I’m the only one who was there for every piece of it. It was amazing, it was trying at times, it was certainly productive, it was stressful, it was gratifying and it was scary all at the same time.

At the end of the year last year I challenged you all to stay hungry and stay foolish.

I have to apologize now to all of you because I’m not so sure I held up my end of the deal.

To be completely transparent, I’m really really tired.

It’s not easy juggling all these balls in the air at once.

It’s not fun sitting in front of the computer all day in a cubicle to come home and sit in front of the computer all night.

It’s not easy waking up every day to racing thoughts and elevated heart rate because you’re stressed.

It’s not fun spending your lunch hour in the public library scrambling to get photography work done before your 60 minute break is up and you have to scramble back to the office.

It’s not pleasant feeling like you’ve abandoned your family, friends and fiance to spend time with your work.

And it really sucks putting who you are and what you love on the back burner.

I’ve got a lot to look forward to this year, like A LOT, but I still can’t shake the uneasiness and apprehension I feel when looking at 2013 spread out in front of me. I used to feel guilty about feeling that way, like I should just be grateful for everything I have and ignore those negative feelings, but I’ve learned they’re a part of me, and maybe it’s not fair to me to deny my right to feel.

But as I think about the coming year, I’m reminded of you. You people who write nice things on my Facebook page, you people who hire me, you people who send kind emails or encouraging emails when I have a bad day. You people who offer your referrals to friends. You vendors who lift my name up to clients and offer me new opportunities. You people who offer to help me when I’m busy, listen when I need to talk and run my errands for me when I can’t. As far as I’m concerned, I’m one person running a really big machine. I’ve never been able to do this alone and I never will be. YOU help me move it everyday, one step at a time. Forward.

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude toward all the people who want this machine to keep moving and offer themselves, their hands, their ears, their money, their words in order to keep this thing alive. This silly little dream of mine.

So thank YOU, thank all of you a million times over. Words really cannot express my gratitude.

If there is any way I can help you make your dreams a reality, please let me know. It’s a cool cool thing to have a dream, and I think it’s time more of us started really living ours rather than just dreaming them. New motto for 2013:  Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.

Dear 2012, you kind of kicked my butt, but we are not finished here yet. Expect big things from me in 2013.