2017 was a huge year of change for me. They say you can't know where you're going without knowing where you've been, so as I've started making plans for 2018, I've also found myself reflecting on the crazy journey that was 2017. Looking back has truly inspired me to face the new year head on! In no particular order, here are seven of my big moments from 2017.
I launched a website! A big, scary leap in starting this business was creating this website. It felt like such a public declaration of my decision to pursue photography professionally—once it was launched, there was no turning back! Though the overall feel of the site has remained the same, it's gone through quite a few tweaks throughout the year. Another photographer recommended taking screenshots of the early website in order to reflect on growth in a few years...I can't wait to see what this site will look like by then!
I jumped into weddings! I've found a lot of business/photo inspiration from wedding photographers, and after spending so much time admiring the work of others, I thought I'd give it a try myself! I began second shooting for Jennifer Gilbert Photography in the fall, and I've had an absolute blast. Surprisingly, a number of things that make me good at horse show photography made the transition to weddings fairly easy. I can't wait to keep developing these skills in 2018!
I created! Starting in January 2017, I partnered with Mustang Maddy as a content creator, and it's been so much fun helping her journey to promote the American Mustang and transform lives through education! This year, I've helped double her social media following (80,000+ on Facebook!), produced several viral videos for her brand and helped develop/launch products like a virtual teaching platform, a DVD, case studies and more! 2018 will see the release of Maddy's incredible 100+ page book and a new virtual platform.
I had a horse named after me! A Paint Horse Journal trip to Oklahoma to photograph Judy Campbell's historic breeding program included an extra morning surprise—a newborn foal! Judy is just the sweetest, and she wound up naming the foal in honor of my visit...Rachels Robin! I can't wait to cheer him on when he grows up.
I traveled! Georgia, Arizona, Amarillo, Oklahoma, Indiana...I got quite a bit of adventuring done in 2017! Trips home to Indiana meant meeting Baby Michael for the first time and spending time with good friends...and it lit a fire in me to get back more often! I can't wait to kick off 2018 with a (very cold) trip to Montana!
I opened up! As much as I love words and stories, I've always been a fairly private person when it comes to my own memories and experiences. Building a brand around myself, though, means letting you get to know me! Blogging about horses and memories that are dear to me was tough at first, but it's turned into an amazing experience. I can't wait to keep sharing my journey while learning about yours!
I captured memories! I've taken portraits on and off for a few years, and I started taking it seriously in 2016, but 2017 was my first full year officially in business. I feel SO incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to capture your love, joy and laughter and preserve those memories for you to enjoy forever. I can't wait to serve even more of you in 2018!
hope your past year was just as thrilling as mine, and may you find even more adventures in the new year!