i lost the ability to take self-portraits early this year. arms-length myspace shots were the only thing i felt i could produce. dragging my tripod out and prancing around in front of the camera felt very foreign to me.
my paternal grandma was in the hospital early this year. in january, my dad and i took a ride down to see her. the 3 hour trip in the car with my dad was almost silent but in a way very nice, reminiscent of when we used to go on long car rides together all the time.
in february, i discovered project unbreakable where survivors of sexual abuse put down their abusers words as a way of healing through art. i submitted to them and it felt like another piece of me was letting go of my experience.
the rest of february and early march was a blur. i worked and i saved and i worried about money and the future far too much. adrian's opened in march and i was skyrocketed into working 7 days a week, often finding myself burning out and then begging for a day off.
march did, however, bring me some free afternoons and with my 365, it brought me back into the swing of self portraiture.
i turned twenty in april. i spent the day at the milwaukee art museum and had dinner with my family. it was a very low-key day, but i was happy. it was warm, there were flowers outside, and i was surrounded by my loved ones.
at the end of april, i dyed my hair red again after being a blonde since before i shot my first wedding in june of last year.
may brought more work, more exhaustion, and less and less effort with my photography. memorial day weekend, burlington always holds chocolate fest. i have a love-hate relationship with it from working at adrian's, two blocks away from the festival grounds, but this year actually wasn't half bad. on saturday night of the festival, a few of my friends went to see katie todd whom we got to meet and sing on stage with. it was one of the best nights of my life.
in june, i started my seasons series.
i also had a few shoots that i was very proud of. one was with a girl that i had been dying to shoot with since my junior year of high school, so i crossed something off my photography bucket list, and the other was with miss haley, who y'all probably know since her and emily and i usually shoot together every summer.
in june, i also quit my 366. that project didn't capture what i wanted it to... i realized that i wasn't really doing photography for myself anymore, and so my self portraits were less and less frequent.
july brought a number of different things my way. i was hired to shoot a wedding at the beginning of the month.
emily and i also shot together before she left for california to pursue her acting career. it was so weird for me to have photographed haley and emily separately this summer, because i was so used to shooting them together.
i also had the first of many senior picture sessions in july. i was slammed in august and in the first few weeks of september. my final count this year was 11 high school seniors--the most i have ever done before in a single summer.
the end of the month brought a straining tension to one of my friendships that broke away with kisses. soft kisses, gentle kisses, crooked kisses, make up kisses, perfect kisses. my first kiss is over four years. it was a hard goodbye to say, but a sadly necessary one.
i was finally able to create images i had had in my head for a long time at the beginning of august. "dancing days" was my baby, and was the shoot that i was probably the most proud of this year.
the end of summer brought girl's night, an annual tradition with some of my friends from high school. it brought new love, endless trips to the diner and late night talks with my best friends.
i think i discovered how to take self portraits again in september. i dragged my tripod out of its dusty bag and pranced around in front of my camera like i had never lost that feeling, that knowledge, that inspiration. it felt so good, like i had never lost that part of myself.
as september segued into october, i was frantic and nervous and excited all at the same time. i had gone on a leave of absence from the portrait studio i work at; i met my boyfriend for the first time in person after so many months of emailing back and forth and video chatting almost every night; my mom's boyfriend moved in with us and i got a cat. october felt good. it felt like home.
november brought quite a few things that i wasn't ready to face... adrian's was closing, i had to go back to working a job i had come to loathe, and i knew it was time to start looking at assisted living homes to put my grandma in because my mom and i just couldn't take care of her anymore.
november granted me a few good things though. i voted in my first presidential election, which was a milestone in and of itself. i drove up north to see justin before i went back to work at the studio. and at the end of november, i started another 365 completely on a whim.
a little more than a month into it, i can say i feel really really good about this. i'm experimenting a lot more than i'm used to doing, playing with artificial light and overlays, something i sort of started to do in the last few weeks of my first 365.
it snowed here a few days before christmas, and it's cold and typical wisconsin winter weather.
right now, at the tail end of 2012, i don't know how i feel about the past year. i've had so many ups and downs. there were very dark spots this year, but the past few months have been full of so much light i think they almost cancel each other out. this year i can say that i am proud of my photography, not only of my personal and client work that i do myself, but also of everything that i have taken at work as well. i realized that i love photography too much to ever have it as my career ever again because i don't want to feel as though i've lost it anymore.
my resolutions for 2012 were to remember my self worth, and to remember that i deserve better than the way i let some people treat me. the self worth part was hard, and i feel like i half completed that. the other half of my resolution however, i feel like i completed because i pushed those toxic people out of my life this year.
tomorrow i'm going up north to spend new year's with justin. i hope everyone has a safe and happy new year's celebration, and you all have a wonderful 2013.
i'll be seeing you.