Finding the right words for this post has left my mind dry and scattered, like topsoil in the summer. I am often the answer to all my problems and all my sufferings. I try and be poetic and profound with everything I say, especially when it comes to photography. There is a passion that boils within me when I make photographs, when I see the photographs others have created, and when no photograph is needed at all and your eyes are the shutter for your soul. Instead of trying to find the "right" words to say, I would love to just talk about the inter-workings of wedding photographer life, the fortunate days we all get to bathe ourselves in, and all the things that keep me afloat, alive, and able. This year was huge for me. Emotionally, it was one of the best years of my life. Having a daughter born into our family at the beginning of wedding season challenged me in a way I never thought possible. Most Saturdays I would cry before having to shoot because I was going to miss her so much but I soon realized that I am away from her one day a week for 12 hours and the other six days I get to literally just be with her. For those of us that get to do photography full time there is no maternity leave that will expire, no day cares we need to call and interview with. I stopped crying and started working harder because I realized that the wedding photographer lifestyle we get to lead is one of immense freedom and I never want to seem ungrateful, pretentious, or upset about it. We are so lucky. Some days I tell myself I can never complain about anything again and I definitely want to go into next year with this attitude. I am going to try really hard this next year to step away from the screen and engage people who want to learn, offer mentor sessions, have conversations about the industry, have my work critiqued and critique others so we can all be better shooters, and meet people I know in social media but never had a face to face conversation with. My life is possible because of friends, family, and those who believe in what I am doing. Every year I feel like I grow, every year I make a mistake, and every year I learn a lesson. I have to say that this entire year of weddings was possible because of the people I had by my side every weekend. A few especially huge shout outs to Chris Wegner, Tyelr Goodling, Ashlee Bennett, Tim Ho, Jatten Daniels, Michelle Perrin, Tom DeBruyn, and most importantly Erin Dahlin. These individuals kept wind in my sails throughout the long, exhilarating, exhausting, and often times magical wedding season.