year in review

A LOOK BACK AT 2016 - PART TWO

Can't believe we're already coming up on the end of 2017. 2016 was such a full year with so many amazing clients and moments, and 2017 has proven to be no different. As I start to sift through the thousands of images and *attempt* to put together a recap post from this last season, and since there are no rules in photography or blogging, I thought it's never too late to share my Part Two post from my 2016 season in the meantime (because ok maybe I sort of got too busy to post this Part Two ages ago). It's still so crazy to me I'm approaching my 11th year now in this industry, and every time I get to tell couple's wedding stories I feel refreshed and inspired.

As 2017 season wraps up, my highlight this year was my wife and I finding out, in May, that we were pregnant with our first son, due this next month (January). We are breathlessly waiting and preparing for his arrival, which makes this holiday season that much more exciting. We're in full baby prepping mode over here, and can't wait to start off 2018 being parents. We *think* Bodie will be the best big puppy brother too. He'll just have to learn to share a little of our attention. ;)

All our love and appreciation,

- Ryan & Emily

LOOKING BACKWARDS // 2015 IN REVIEW

It's still freaking me out a bit that 2015 is over. Now it's 2016, but last year felt like it went by in about 10 minutes. With the craziness of the holidays over now, we're almost into the time of year when we can catch our breath, sit, reflect and remember. 

Reflecting and remembering everything that took place this year leaves me feeling immensely, whole-heartedly grateful. For the places we saw, the moments we witnessed, and the people who let us into their lives in large and small - but always important - ways. 

With early morning flights and ferry sailings, sleepy trains and sleepless hotels; this year took us from the beaches of Mexico to the incredible landscapes of New Zealand, to the history-filled chateaus of southern France, and all over the coastline, rivers, and mountains of Washington, Oregon, California and Montana. This planet is stunning, and we were overjoyed to see so much of it. 

I'd need about ten pairs of hands to count all the weddings, elopements, engagement sessions and portrait sessions I photographed this year. After all that I'm ready for a breather. But I feel so lucky to have had that many people invest in what I do, and that seriously energizes me. So, maybe I'm ready for a breather, but how about just like a quick 30 minutes in the car while we head to the mountains for another shoot?

For all the years I've been doing this, being a wedding photographer is something I cherish, and I feel honestly blessed to be able to do it. While it's not always as glamorous as it may seem, all the days spent editing and emailing and doing admin work in front of a screen are so worth it when it means I get to photograph and bear witness to these storylines in peoples' lives. To make new friends out of new "clients." Maybe it's me getting older (jk I don't age anymore) but the emotional value and weight of giving someone an heirloom to love and share for decades to come has become even more near and dear to me. Life is amazing and short and long and beautiful and deserves to be remembered and reminisced over, again and again.

To quote the surfer Mickey Smith (watch his short film here, you'll be glad you did), "...this is a present worth remembering. For fires of happiness or waves of gratitude... for everything that brought us to that point in life, to that moment in time; to do something worth remembering with a photograph... I feel genuinely lucky to hand-on-heart say I love what I do."

So, to every couple, family, human, that trusted me and allowed me to do this, or simply (but not merely) encouraged and supported us, thank you. It means more to me than you know - it's not just a transaction to me, it goes far beyond that. I'm happy that I had the chance to meet you and yours. You're the best and I hope we get to hang out again.

Can't wait to dive into this next year.

Here are, in no particular order, some photos I loved from this year. It was painful to narrow down 35,000+ photos into a (not terribly) concise 200-ish. Have a drink and a bite and enjoy. 

BEST WEDDING PHOTOS OF 2013

How do you sum up an entire year in a few paragraphs? I've been staring at the blinking cursor on my screen for a while now trying to figure that out. Then I realized I don't have to sum it up with words. That's not really possible. Not for me. Even the photos below don't entirely encapsulate a year. What I want to share, though, is a look at the heart of the last twelve months of shooting. What I saw, felt, and witnessed.

2013 was in many ways a defining year for me, a "big" year. So much happened, so much changed, and in some ways a lot of things stayed the same. I'm tempted to break down what happened into personal and professional. My profession, and my person, are so closely tied, though - for better or worse sometimes - that it wouldn't make much sense to do so. And, honestly, I'm not in the habit of writing a lot on here. I figure people come here to look at some  photos, not read some English-major-turned-photographer prattle on about who knows what. Probably best that way. 

But hey, blame it on turning 30 this year or something, because I'm going to ramble a bit. :)

2013 was a lot of tiring, joyful travel, and seeing my work recognized and published in a couple magazines.

It was getting a ridiculous, adorable little puppy in the midst of the busiest summer ever. (Don't do that. Except it was totally worth it, so maybe do it.)

It was incorporating more of my favorite medium - film - into my work, realizing that it's so much truer to how I envision the world, and my work, than digital is.

It was more weddings than I've ever photographed before, which was a true blessing in so many ways. Getting to really challenge myself and push myself to work more, and better, than ever before is a blessing. Every single time I think about the fact that people trust me to come to a monumental day in their life, and create something beautiful for them to enjoy for years and show their kids and grandkids, something they can maybe look at on those days when marriage is hard and remember ... that thought is amazing. That's a blessing. 

One of my favorite things about the year was the sheer variety and scope of unions I got to witness. Different people, races, orientations, everything. What I loved about that variety was seeing how differently - yet equally deeply - people love the person they're committing their lives to. It's impossible not to be inspired and moved by that. Bearing witness to that is very literally what keeps me going. That's a story that's always worth telling well.

So hey, thanks for listening. If you read all that, I think you're really neat. Let's hang out. Here's about 170 photos from this year that I really love. It would be impossible to show every moment/wedding/shoot from the year, because scrolling through 41,759 photos takes a really long time, trust me. Enjoy, preferable with a cup of coffee and some tunes (I recommend this one).

TWENTY-TWELVE RETROSPECTIVE

I'm about 90% sure that yesterday I was just putting together my 2011 Review post, so putting this post together was strange. This year went by so quickly that if it wasn't for the thousands and thousands of memories I've committed to 'film', I don't think I'd believe that it actually happened.

2012: I don't think I've travelled this much, photographed this much, or worked this much before. Easing into the new year, it's an amazing feeling to see what a tremendous blessing the hustle and bustle of last year was.

To say that I'm grateful would be a tragic understatement. But, until I find or invent a word to exceed that, I'll use 'grateful' anyway. 

Thank you, to my couples and families who commissioned me, for your trust, and for taking joy in each other, and in what I do. I really don't know how to thank you for letting me document chapters and snippets of your lives.

I wrote a couple more paragraphs, thanking a lot of different people and generally rambling on in a teary (probably Downton Abbey influenced (don't judge me)) soliloquy. Then it started to sound like an overly self-aware Academy Awards speech. So I scrapped it. You're welcome.

Hopefully I'm not taking our relationship somewhere it isn't ready for, but, I love a lot of you. The rest of you, I like, like you. Which is really pretty good too, if you think about it. 

I'm thankful for a great many things. I'm proud of what I've done this year. I'm excited to strive for more next year. So, here's a (small, but not very small) sample of some of the images from this year that I love. 

Next week I'll be posting some of my favorite Polaroids from the year. There's a massive stack of them still needing to be scanned.